October 1, 2010
By Ben Schaffer
The Real JDM
One topic I often talk about is good design. When it comes to cars, design is everything for me. Whether it be functional design of performance parts to visual design of body panels to material selection and subtle design of tiny details…design is so incredibly important.
I wanted to take an example today to illustrate the importance and value of design. TommyKaira is in the midst of a brand renaissance and are attacking quite a number of ambitious projects simultaneously. From their Prius to their GT-R, TommyKaira has been cranking out some incredible parts in the past year.
Enter the TommyKaira BM9 Legacy Complete Car. Aside from the first question – why even modify this car? The next logical question would be – How can they transform a car that most people would say is highly unattractive into a car that we could be excited to be seen in. And yet they prove my point and succeed against all odds… behold the power of good design:
June 12, 2009
I always like putting domestics up against imports, so it was fun to pit the American-built Subaru against the Mexican-build Ford in this week’s Showroom Showdown. The Legacy stomped the Fusion, winning by a 2-to-1 margin. Subaru’s well-earned reputation for AWD, combined with the fact that the Fusion Sport doesn’t come with a stick, helped the Scooby post an easy win. Stay tuned for another Showroom Showdown next week!
June 10, 2009
So you want a sporty AWD sedan for less than $30K? Two good options are the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT and the Ford Fusion Sport AWD. The Subaru’s 2.5 liter turbo four banger puts out 243 hp while the Ford’s 3.5 liter V6 puts out 263 hp. The Subaru weighs 3,428 pounds while the Ford weighs 3,803 pounds. The Subaru is available with either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic. The Ford is only available with a 6-speed automatic. Which would you choose?
February 18, 2009
Ok, this is pretty funny. A Legacy GT owner who posts as Scruit over at LegacyGT.com was worried that the dealership kids would joyride his car, so he mounted a DVR in the trunk and taped them with four in-car cameras. The kids driving the car seemed to be aware that they were being taped, so I’m sure they held back a bit. But they really didn’t treat the car THAT badly.
So do you worry about your car when you drop it off? I know my small and independent Subaru and Volvo mechanics way too well to be worried, and anyway, both those cars are too boring to thrash on. And only one other guy besides me touches my Mopar, and he’s more anal than me! Now, I guess if I had a newer Mustang or Challenger I’d be worried… Via Jalopnik
December 17, 2008
Here’s a teaser of the Subaru Legacy concept that will be revealed at NAIAS next month. What do you think? I like where they are going with this, especially considering how bland the current Legacy is (not to mention how homely the Impreza/WRX/STI has become). More at Jalopnik
October 13, 2008
May 7, 2008
By Ryan Douthit
Subaru makes some fast factory cars. Specifically, its rally-bred STI is known for a 300hp fire-breathing mill and excellent road-handling capabilities. However, as much as I like speed, I prefer to have something a little less "racer boy" for my daily driver. I like the feel of Subaru’s boxer motors and the driver ergonomics, I also happen to run a Subaru magazine, so it only made sense that I looked elsewhere in the roo family when selecting a car for my own. In the end I chose a model with styling and an interior I could live with every day: a 2007 Subaru Legacy GT.
Stock, the Legacy GT has a 248-hp turbocharged motor that shares many components with the STI. Though, unlike the STI, you can get leather, a moonroof and body styling that doesnt look like it was an afterthought. In fact, Id say the 2007-08 Legacy is one of the better-looking cars on the road today.
Of course, given my occupation, this car didnt stay stock long. Shortly after break-in we started the first phase of changes in the need for speed category. This included a larger turbo, fatter top-mount intercooler and a Perrin turbo-back exhaust system. All the parts were tuned using an ECUTek reflash and netted a tidy 280 wheel horse-power.
I ran that config for a good year and was pretty happy with the overall performance: the 18G Blouch/TDC Turbo spooled fast and had enough scoot for the occasional track day or Time Attack race. The Achilles heel was the top end. Power came fast, but didnt stick around, making long straight-aways on the track my nemesis. Also, in hot conditions, such as I faced at the 2007 Tuner Shootout in Nevada, the top-mount intercooler just couldnt keep temperatures at bay.
Before we started on Phase 2 of this Legacy GT build, my technical editor Tim Bailey and I changed the engine management to a Cobb Accessport 2.0 (it wasnt available for the cars CANBUS system when we did Phase 1) and played around to see if we could break 300whp mark with the existing configuration. All indications were good, but then made a mistake, by pushing the tune with stock injectors and trying some stuff in an uncontrolled situation, followed by me flogging the car around our test course. That mix spelled disaster for piston #2: we broke a ring and smoking immediately followed. This is otherwise known as the change engine indicator coming on. Yes kids, dont try this at home, were professionals.
In the tuning world the death of one engine often leads to the development of a newer, stronger mill to replace it. This project is no different. Out with the stock (busted) shortblock, and in with a brand-spankin-new STI block with a special ingredient: Cosworth forged pistons. This was assembled for us by the guys at PDXTuning in Portland, Oregon.
While the motor was out, we finally installed some larger injectors (from our friends at Deatschwerks), slapped on a larger AVO 420 turbo (installed by Rallitek performance), and fitted a Perrin front-mount intercooler to help keep temperatures more consistent. The clutch was also fried, so in went an ACT heavy-duty clutch kit along with the ACT streetlite flywheel. If youre keeping score, yes, not much of the original confirmation remained when all was said and done.
For the tune, we took the car to Steves Pacific Import Auto in Tacoma, Wash., where Tim Bailey (our technical editor and owner of Surgeline tuning) was finally able to put together a proper tune on their dyno. End result? 320 wheel-horsepower and 320 ft-lbs of torque, measured at the wheels on the Mystang dyno, running 92 octane fuel.
Unfortunately, I cant give you all the facts about this new build, since it is an ongoing project car for Subiesport Magazine, and is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue — we have to keep some morsels for the magazine. But I can say this: Its fast, but not fast enough. Certainly faster than any stock STI, but thats not what I want. I dont think Ill be happy with this setup until we hit or surpass a safe 350whp, which will require some more changes.
The fact that were not done yet is okay by me. In many ways, testing all these different setups is more fun than the destination itself. Stay tuned, as the adventure continues.
January 22, 2008
A version of Subaru’s venerable horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder will be available as a turbocharged diesel for certain 2009 Legacy models. This marks the world’s first boxer-configured diesel as well as the first in-house diesel motor developed by Subaru. The punchy powerhouse will be putting out a very respectable 258 lb ft of torque, while still getting over 40 miles per gallon. And you still get Subaru’s awesome AWD drivetrain. The only thing left is to convince them to bring it to the US. Get the full press release at CarScoop.