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2007 Legacy GT Spec B - Yet another review from Autoweek


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The spec.B comes only in gray. The new Alcantara seat inserts are grippy, and the iDrive-like button can activate one of three different driving styles for the car.

2007 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT & spec.B Power of the Button: Subaru brings Sport mode to the masses http://www.autoweek.com/graphics/aw_spacer.gif




ON SALE: August

BASE PRICE: $29,000 (est.)

POWERTRAIN: 2.5-liter, 243-hp, 241-lb-ft turbocharged H4; awd, five-speed manual

CURB WEIGHT: 3415 pounds

0 TO 60 MPH: 5.6 seconds (mfr.)








Why should people who can afford Porsches and M-badged BMWs be the only ones to enjoy advanced performance technology? We’re talking here about those trick sport modes that sharpen throttle response and kick the engine up a notch with the touch of a button.


Subaru has broken the high-end monopoly on this technology by offering its own interpretation of a sport button. Called Subaru Intelligent Drive or SI-Drive, the system is featured on the 2007 2.5-liter turbocharged Legacy. Unlike those systems that offer just two choices, on/off, SI-Drive has three modes: Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp.


Push the BMW iDrive-style knob to toggle Intelligent mode and the electronic control unit tells the engine and electronic throttle to adopt a relaxed attitude. I-mode reduces torque by around 20 percent, limiting it to 228 lb-ft, and dials back the throttle response. Ideal for urban driving and bumper-to-bumper traffic, I-mode can also increase overall fuel economy by up to 10 percent, says Subaru. http://cwimg.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=CW&Date=20060612&Category=FREE&ArtNo=60602005&Ref=V2&maxw=490

Twist the SI-Drive knob to the left for Sport mode and performance resembles what you would expect from a Legacy that doesn’t have this system: a balance between comfort and sport. A turn to the right engages Sport Sharp, which modifies the electronic throttle mapping to deliver instant action with the right foot and more power sooner with every inch of travel.


For cars equipped with automatic transmissions, the shift maps also change. In I-mode, shifts are the smoothest and in Sport Sharp, the car anticipates cornering and overtaking by holding onto lower gears longer when needed.


In addition to SI-Drive, the new Legacy 2.5 GT Limited gets restyled six-spoke wheels, a better audio system with auxiliary input, tire-pressure monitors and a split-folding rear seat. http://cwimg.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=CW&Date=20060612&Category=FREE&ArtNo=60602005&Ref=V3&maxw=490

But what interests us most is the 2.5 GT spec.B. If you recall, the Legacy spec.B was introduced to the United States last year to the tune of 500 copies. Now the car goes into regular production.


The spec.B is painted a solitary color, dark gray, and comes only with a manual transmission. Instead of last year’s five-speed, the spec.B gets a modified version of the STI’s six-speed, with higher gear ratios from second through sixth gear. The shift linkage and shift lever ratio are changed for smoother shifts, and clutch effort is reduced from that in the STI to match the Legacy’s more civilian job description.


The new spec.B gets a final drive ratio of 4.11, up from 3.90, a four-pinion front differential from a two-pinion for extra durability, and a more active Torsen (torque-sensing) rear limited-slip differential instead of the viscous type that depends on wheelslip to react. http://cwimg.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=CW&Date=20060612&Category=FREE&ArtNo=60602005&Ref=V4&maxw=490

From behind the wheel, the new bits are all welcomed improvements. Shifts are indeed more fluid than the direct yet often notchy STI gearbox, and the extra gear helps enhance the boxer-four’s already potent acceleration.


The B in spec.B stands for Bilstein, the same shocks that were used last year. The 215/45R-18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires are also the same as on last year’s limited run of cars.


Coupled with the inverted-strut setup borrowed from the STI, cornering grip is abundant and the rear Torsen limited-slip improves corner-exit feel over the spec.B we drove last year. On twisty mountain roads, this spec.B is able to maintain a worthy sport-sedan pace without as much understeer as we’ve come to know with past Subies. http://cwimg.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=CW&Date=20060612&Category=FREE&ArtNo=60602005&Ref=V5&maxw=490

We wish the same attention were paid to the suspension as to the gearbox and differentials. With the familiar STI shift feel, strong acceleration and high grip levels, the way the spec.B leans at the limit is out of character with the rest of the car. It unsettles the suspension particularly after hard braking, when the weight transfers forward as you steer into a tight corner. Subaru is a respected member of the tuner community, so spec.B owners can probably be expected to address the suspension first.


There isn’t much to complain about with 243 hp at 6000 rpm and 241 lb-ft of torque at 3600 rpm on tap, but we found ourselves looking for more hp in the spec.B. With all the other performance-oriented changes and an estimated base price of around $36,000, even 10 more horses in the spec-B would make the decision to upgrade that much more convincing.


Subaru might feel the same. Buzz that a 300-hp package will be available prompted smiles from Subaru personnel before they labeled it “just a rumor.”As for SI-Drive, the system is simple to use and works exactly as advertised. Subaru believes it has a winning system on its hands and is applying for a patent. Expect to see SI-Drive proliferate throughout the lineup.


The Legacy sports a nicely finished interior that befits its near-entry-level luxury status. The charcoal gray leather seats are comfortable yet supportive, and the new Alcantara inserts do a better job of gripping your bottom side than the full leather seats ever could.


With the spec.B in the range, Subaru enthusiasts now need not look elsewhere for a more appropriate performance family sedan when the time comes to graduate from an Impreza WRX or STI. Others can choose the Legacy 2.5 GT Limited rather than a Toyota Camry, Chrysler 300 or Honda Accord. The Subaru is easily the sportiest of the bunch and stands apart with standard all-wheel drive, choice of manual or automatic transmission, and of course SI-Drive.


Flavio Zanetti

Boston, MA

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I love ya brother, but I posted this is a thread at least a week ago! :lol:




I was out of the country last week with no internet access, that explains!!!




Flavio Zanetti

Boston, MA

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Agree they may be smokin somethin funny at Autoweek but it's still a legit ? Let's face it eventually Subaru will need to up the ante and if/when they do will they need to go with a bigger snail or is there enough power left on the table to take it up to 300hp with the VF40?
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Agree they may be smokin somethin funny at Autoweek but it's still a legit ? Let's face it eventually Subaru will need to up the ante and if/when they do will they need to go with a bigger snail or is there enough power left on the table to take it up to 300hp with the VF40?


Cobb's Stage 2 takes the LGT up to 300hp with only a changed downpipe (and possibly a catless uppipe).


2006 Legacy GT Ltd · 2011 Outback 3.6R Ltd · 1992 SVX

2006 Outback 3.0R VDC · 2009 Forester 2.5X

2002 Outback VDC · 1996 Outback 2.5L · 1986 GL-10

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