Subaru previews next Legacy

  • 19-Jan-2009 01:48 EST
The Subaru Legacy concept displayed at the North American International Auto Show features a distinc­tive­ front fascia and flared wheel arches. (Matt Monaghan)­­­­

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Subaru Legacy, Osamu Namba, General Manager of Subaru Design, was tasked with creating a concept model that showcased the direction of future Legacy sedan design.

“When I was asked to design what a future Legacy sedan should look like, I thought deeply about what a Legacy should be and what it proposes to the public,” Namba said. “I wanted to show the dynamism under the skin that comes from the Subaru Boxer engine and all-wheel drive that the Legacy has offered from the very beginning. At the same time, the vehicle should be emotionally appealing to the customer. The Legacy has always been about sporty performance and I wanted to capture that in a dramatic way.”

The concept on display at the North American International Auto Show was slightly larger than the current Legacy model—with a wheelbase of 108.3 vs. 105.1 in (2750 vs. 2670 mm) and length of 188.8 vs. 185.0 in (4795 vs. 4700 mm)—and featured a stronger front design with wing-motif grille, sharper body lines, more pronounced wheel arches, and side rear-vision cameras.

“I designed the car to this size to show that Subaru is thinking about the Legacy model,” Namba said. “The Legacy should not be so big that it loses its natural handling capability but also should be able to cope with the needs of modern customers.”

The car’s contours were highlighted by a high-luster “Ultimate Silver” finish, which Namba said “further emphasizes not only the solidity and presence of the concept model but also the image of performance that the Legacy sedan owns.”

For the concept’s interior, a four-seat layout was chosen, as opposed to the current five-passenger arrangement. Pearl white leather seats with a blue sheen provide a contrast to the black metallic leather door trims.

“I chose a four-seat layout with a wide seating surface, and this design, combined with a roof design that creates good head clearance, provides a feeling of freedom and delivers a vehicle that can be truly classified as a global midsize sedan,” Namba said.

Touchscreens are situated throughout the vehicle, taking the place of virtually all hard buttons. Most notable is the large-screen display in the center console that concentrates all the various functions. The rearview mirror is replaced with an LCD screen that displays the images of the side rear-vision cameras to give a 180-degree back-end view. Monitors are also placed in the rear of the front-seat headrests for entertainment purposes.

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