Three available engines; first CVT with a boxer engine
As before, there are three available boxer engines: a 2.5-liter four making 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, mated either to a brand-new (for the USA) six-speed manual transmission or a new CVT (continuously variable) gearbox; a turbocharged version of that engine making 265 hp and 258 lb-ft, available only with the manual and only in the GT models; and a new, larger version of the existing six-cylinder engine. The boxer six now displaces 3.6 liters and produces 256 hp and 247 lb-ft through a five-speed automatic. Paddle shifting is standard with both the CVT and the automatic.
Three all-wheel-drive systems
Naturally, all-wheel drive is standard on all Legacys, and there actually are three different systems: models with the six-speed manual transmission get AWD with a viscous center differential and a 50/50 torque split; the CVT is paired with a more sophisticated, electronically controlled, slip-clutch setup; and the five-speed automatic (with the six-cylinder) gets Subaru's VTD setup with a planetary gear set and a 45/55 percent torque split. Electronic stability control is standard.
Not much weight gain
The base Legacy 2.5i sedan is said to weigh 3379 pounds, which reflects an increase of only 49 pounds from the 2009 Legacy.
For the base 2.5-liter engine, Subaru expects EPA ratings of 23/30 mpg for the CVT, 22/29 mpg for the manual.
For the turbocharged 2.5-liter in the 2.5GT, Subaru hopes for 17/23 mpg and predicts a 0-to-60-mph time of at no more than 5.9 seconds.
For the six-cylinder 3.6R model, Subaru also expects 17/23 mpg and predicts a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.8 seconds.
Subaru promises very, very aggressive pricing, so we'd expect the base model to start in the low 20s. Expect to see them in dealerships in August or September 2009.
We drive the new Legacy in Seattle this June; check back at automobilemag.com then for a full drive story.