• 26

Click on either image to view our high-res gallery of the Legacy 3.0 R and Outback

Subaru launched the 2008 Legacy and Outback models at the Detroit show, and while it's largely business as usual for the all-wheel-drive duo, there are a few revisions that the Subie fans amongst our readership might find interesting.

After its kid brother, the Impreza, has gotten a new face time and time again, the Legacy and Outback have now gotten their turn under the knife. Sheetmetal up front is the biggest change for 2008. The Legacy gets a new, bigger, chromed-up grille; restyled bumpers front and rear with shorter overhangs; and new headlights and taillights. The Outback gets a bigger, more upright and rugged-looking grille, plus restyled fenders, restyled hood and new wheels. Stability control will be offered on more models, and a tire pressure monitoring system becomes standard. Both models also get some revised features inside.

The 2008 model year also marks the debut of the range-topping Legacy 3.0 R, transplanting the 3-liter DOHC 245-hp Flat-6 engine that's already under the hood in its Outback sister car. Paddle-shifters for the 5-speed auto are also new, and the car bobs and weaves on a Bilstein suspension setup. And while it may not have the clout of a premium German badge, the 3.0 R makes a compelling case against the usual suspects from Europe.

Follow the jump for the full press releases, and click here or on the image above for our gallery of high-resolution images from the studio and the Detroit show floor.



New Legacy 3.0R Sedan is First US 6-Cylinder Legacy Model and Features SI-DRIVE
All 6-Cylinder Models Gain SI-DRIVE System
VDC Stability System Availability Expanded

DETROIT, Jan. 7, 2007 – Subaru of America, Inc., today presented the North American debut of its re-designed 2008 Subaru Legacy and Outback models, at the 2007 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall. Subaru also debuted its new flagship sedan model, the Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Limited, a first-ever 6-cylinder Legacy model for the North American market.

An All-Wheel Drive pioneer, Subaru is the only brand to equip all its models with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard. The Legacy 3.0 R is positioned to compete against midsize All-Wheel Drive performance sedans and introduces a performance-oriented paddle-shift transmission along with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) performance-control plus Bilstein Sport Suspension and 18-inch wheels and tires.

The 2008 Legacy and Outback model lines are each distinguished by revised styling for 2008, featuring new grille with chrome crossbars and a central Subaru logo that represents the company's aeronautical heritage. The new 2008 Subaru Legacy features all-new front sheet metal with a larger grille opening, new front and rear bumper fascias, and new headlights and taillights. The new front and rear bumpers feature reduced overhangs for a sportier and more contemporary appearance.

For 2008, the Subaru Outback also debuts new front sheet metal, but features a larger and more upright grille for a bolder appearance. Combined with the new grille and front fascia, the re-designed fenders and hood deliver a more rugged look. The Outback also features unique fog lights and new wheels for the XT and six-cylinder models.

Inside, Legacy and Outback models gain a redesigned instrument panel and revised interior fabrics. A telescopic steering column and a new integrated ignition key/remote entry unit are now standard. Distinctive electroluminescent gauges, formerly featured only on the turbo Legacy and Outback models, will now be on the 6-cylinder models for 2008. On the premium models, a redesigned steering wheel offers additional controls, including the audio system, cruise control, the multi-information display and separate SI-DRIVE controls.

For 2008, the advanced Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction system will be offered in more Legacy and Outback models, and the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is now standard on all Legacy and Outback models.

Legacy and Outback Safety Leadership
The Subaru Legacy has garnered the highest award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – "Top Safety Pick" – in the midsize car segment. Both the Outback and Legacy achieved the highest rating ("Good") in IIHS frontal offset, side and rear impact tests. In addition, both the Legacy and Outback received 5-star ratings for the driver and front passenger and rear passengers in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests.

Legacy 3.0 R Limited: The Complete Grand Touring Sedan
The 2008 Legacy 3.0 R Limited Sedan takes its place above the 2.5 GT spec.B model as the model line's performance/luxury flagship sedan. The new 6-cylinder 3.0 R Limited, with a 245-hp 6-cylinder Boxer engine, shares a similar Bilstein Sport Suspension, but with different components and tuning. Overall, the Legacy 3.0 R Limited is designed to provide the refined, sophisticated, and exciting performance typically expected from premium European All-Wheel Drive sedans.

The Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B, equipped exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, will continue to emphasize exciting turbo performance, with blistering acceleration (0-60 mph in less than six seconds) and maximum driver involvement. Both of these high-performance models features 18-inch alloy wheels, each model distinguished by its own wheel design.

New Paddle-Shift Transmission
In the turbo and 6-cylinder Legacy and Outback models equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission (standard on 6-cylinder models), new steering wheel paddle shifters add a new dimension of driver involvement. The driver will be able to manually control gearshifts by using either the console shift or the paddle shifters. Adding to the driving excitement with this transmission is a new "downshift blipping control" that gives the rev-matching behavior of an expertly shifted manual transmission. This transmission also features improved shift quality and performance for 2008.

SI-DRIVE: Three Levels of Performance in One Car
The 2008 Legacy 3.0 R Limited shares its 3.0-liter DOHC 6-cylinder Boxer engine with the Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition. This smooth powerplant produces 245 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 215 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. The Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing system, in concert with Active Valve Lift System (AVLS) technology, helps optimize power at all engine speeds.

In the 2008 Legacy 3.0 R Limited and 6-cylinder Outback models, the driver will enjoy exercising more control over this turbine-smooth engine with the SI-DRIVE system. SI-DRIVE, which was first introduced for the 2007 model-year Legacy and Outback turbo models, allows the driver to maximize engine performance, control and efficiency by choosing from among three selectable modes – "Intelligent," "Sport" and "Sport Sharp." The driver selects the performance mode by using a rotary dial on the center console or, newly added for 2008, a button on the steering wheel.

SI-DRIVE enables three distinctively different modes of vehicle performance characteristics by regulating the engine control unit (ECU) – as well as the transmission control unit in the automatic transmission models – and by fine-tuning the electronically controlled throttle.

With "Intelligent" mode selected, the system reduces engine torque and maximum power and switches to a more relaxed throttle response curve and is an excellent choice for smoother response while commuting in traffic congestion, for example, where it can also help boost fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. In addition, "Intelligent" mode's more relaxed responses and lower torque output make it an ideal complement to the low-traction-surface driving capability provided by the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System.

The SI-DRIVE system's "Sport" mode yields quick throttle responses and powerful, linear acceleration. In "Sport Sharp" mode, the SI-DRIVE system modifies the engine's electronic throttle mapping to deliver quickest throttle response and more power earlier. Delivering maximum driving enjoyment, "Sport Sharp" mode is ideal for tackling twisty roads and for confidently merging or overtaking other vehicles on the highway.

With the 5-speed automatic transmission (standard on 6-cyl. models), SI-DRIVE affects the transmission's shift patterns with the performance mode selected and holds each gear longer, through the rpm range and downshift quicker under hard acceleration, making it an ideal performance partner for the new paddle-shift automatic transmission.

The SI-DRIVE system includes instrument panel displays that allow the driver to monitor performance. The multi-information display located in the tachometer face – in addition to providing trip computer functions – denotes the selected SI-DRIVE mode and provides an active torque curve display. When "Intelligent" mode is selected, an "ECO" gauge encourages efficient driving habits, and in vehicles with a manual transmission, a shift-up indicator blinks to signal the optimal shift point for maximum fuel efficiency.

Bilstein Sport Suspension
The Bilstein Sport Suspension equips the Legacy 3.0 R Limited with performance-tuned shock absorbers for improved cornering. Though similar to the Bilstein Sport Suspension used on the Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B, the system on the 3.0 R Limited differs in components and tuning and is configured for a ride-and-handling balance unique to this model.

On the 2008 Legacy 3.0 R Limited, standard 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with 215/45 R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE92 all-season tires (Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer performance tires in the same size on the 2.5 GT spec.B model). A 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard on all Legacy models. The 3.0 R Limited features the same 4-wheel vented disc brakes as the 2.5 GT Limited and 2.5 GT spec.B models.

Stealthy Design, Luxurious Interior
The Legacy 3.0 R Limited exterior is distinguished by subtle aerodynamic side ground-effects moldings with chrome trim. This model also features an exclusive 7-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheel design. This new, sophisticated performance model projects an even "stealthier" appearance than its 2.5 GT spec.B sibling, without that model's tell-tale functional hood scoop that is featured on all turbocharged Subaru models.

The Legacy 3.0 R Limited and 2.5 GT spec.B models also differ in interior design. The 3.0 R Limited emphasizes a more subtle, luxurious cabin with standard perforated leather seats. The Subaru Navigation System will also be standard on the 3.0 R Limited.

Standard luxury features in the 3.0 R Limited include performance-design power-adjustable front seats with 2-position memory system for the driver, dual-zone automatic climate control, power glass moonroof, 4-stage heated front seats, and heated exterior mirrors. The standard audio system includes an in-dash 6-disc CD changer and Satellite Radio capability.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Subaru All-Wheel Drive systems are organized under the "Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive" branding umbrella. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a total system that integrates a lightweight horizontally opposed (Boxer) engine and a full-time power distribution system.

Subaru will again offer three different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive in the 2008 Legacy and Outback models, each tailored to the type of transmission. The 2008 6-cylinder models (and the turbo Legacy and Outback models equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission) use a version of the system called Variable Torque Distribution (VTD). A planetary gear-type center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally directs more power to the rear wheels (45:55) to enhance handling agility, and it continuously adjusts the power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

Models with the VTD system are also equipped with the advanced Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction system. VDC is designed to help keep the vehicle going in the direction the driver is steering, especially in slippery road conditions. The VDC system can be deactivated for conditions that require some wheel slippage, such as extricating the car from deep snow. VDC will be available on additional Legacy and Outback models for 2008.

In all Legacy and Outback models with a manual transmission, a viscous-coupling locking center differential distributes the power 50:50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power to the opposite set of wheels. On 4-cylinder Legacy and Outback models equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission (standard on 2.5 i Limited models), an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively manages power distribution based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction, also transferring more power to the wheels with the best grip should slippage occur.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't understand why anyone would want this V6 over the 2.5 turbo; which is a fantastic engine.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Camry -vs- Legacy. Sigh.

      Camry is booring to drive. Legacy is not. Camry gets stuck in snow, Legacy does not. Legacy carves corners and pulls hard to redline, Camry owners don't know what carving a corner feels like or a redline is since the auto will never let them see it or do it.

      The Leagacy interior is nice, the power is pretty much perfect, but more is always better. Camry on the other hand? Huge wheel gap, skinny tires and a ride and interior that would please grandma. There is a place for the Camry but it's not in the garage of anyone who actually enjoys driving.

      It is too bad the Subaru just cannot seem to figure out what the Legacy should be and stay on message. In Japan and elsewhere they get uber cool high perf Legacy models. It'd be nice to see that here but I don't think Subaru of America could figure out how to sell them. They were going in the right direction with the Spec.b but then kind blew it. Oh well.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Appears that Outback Sedan (3.0R/LLBean) and Legacy Wagon are now history... Moment of silence observed.

      Forced induction H6 and Legacy STI are both wished for, but so far haven't materialized from the ether as of yet, any more than production of the Prodrive P2, or any other Subaru coupe.

      The H6 Legacy is a welcome addition, although a late arrival. Legacy Wagon a sad departure.

      Although LazerWizard is uninformed, as are most motorists, unfortunately.

      Who else offers a 250hp turbocharged, *real* AWD car, with practicality, room for four or five, and a manual transmission, for less than ~30K, and less than 3500lbs? Formerly as a sedan, wagon and tall wagon... now just sedan, and tall wagon. (Outback XT is turbocharged, as well...)

      The Legacy GT is hardly a tree-hugger-mobile. Believe me. I drive one, and few cars in the class, or even somewhat above it are as capable and effortlessly fast. If it has an achilles heel, it is the turbo's thirst for fuel. If Uncle Jed is who I am thinking he is, he can vouch for it, too. (IWSS)
      • 8 Years Ago
      I feel Subaru didn't really need to show their 2008 models, because they look just like the 2007's. I know the changes aren't really appearance-related but I don't believe their 2008 models were worth showing.

      The Legacy's styling is easily forgettable but pleasant. The car looks very well-finished inside and out, and I like the interior. However, the MPG gauge is an old touch, MPG gauges were found in many old 80's-era Chevy Caprices. Plus, the Legacy is snug inside and is overpriced for what it does.

      The Outback is really ugly to me, and I would rather just have an SUV if I wanted high ground clearance and four-wheel-drive. The LL Bean package is nice, but make an expensive car even steeper in price.

      Subaru in my eyes will always be a cult automaker. In addition to their vehicles having features that not everyone needs (not everyone needs cars with boxer engines and AWD), Subarus lack style and are too expensive to win new owners to the brand.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Legacy "needs more thought?" Where do you come up with this stuff?

      The Legacy makes perfect sense. Except for the special models a Legacy is no more expensive than a Camry or Accord, yet has all wheel drive, a better suspension, is a lot more fun to drive, and is a lot better looking, plus you won't lose it in a parking lot where every third car is a Accord/Camry. With BMW and Audi you get a lot less for your money and you're not likely to find an all wheel drive model for less than thirty grand, let alone a fully loaded one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Legacy actually fills a pretty good niche in the U.S. market nowadays. It's for people who need a good, reliable midsize, but also want something with reasonable power and good driving dynamics. They can't or don't want to spend the money on a comparable luxury sport sedan, so they take the step down in luxury and brand prestige and get a Legacy.

      Only those people who are dedicated to test driving every car in a class will shop a Legacy against a Camry.

      On topic, who cares? The turbo 2.5 is a better motor, and the restyle is barely noticeable. Basically, they took an excellent and competent car and added an engine option. Big whoop.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The non-Outback Legacy Wagon is history in the U.S.; All Legacy Wagons are now high-riding Outbacks.

      A moment of silence, please...

      I'd rather have a 6-speed M/T 2.5GT Spec B wagon, personally.
      • 8 Years Ago
      True but a legacy GT manual will hit 60mph in 5.3 sec versus 6.0 for the "more powerful" camry. Wasent even spec B trim either. See car and driver. I do agree with more HP they would kick even more ass. A 300hp legacy GT would out accelerate a Mustang GT.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pontiac meets Volkswagon. Zzzzzzz.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Im 18 and i have had a 1997 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT for 2 years and i love it when we go up north my parents would rather use my care over my moms new Lexus and im thinking about getting the new 2008 Model they finally came back with the aggressive look which is so much better.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What is Subaru doing as far as hybrid cars or green cars? My husband and I both drive Subarus and love our cars but were disappointed in the recent auto show in Detroit. Either Subaru is snoozing in this area or the PR guy is snoozing. We watched some footage on the Weather Channel where Subaru advertises frequently and yet no Subaru green cars mentioned!
    • Load More Comments