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The island continent has a good thing going when it comes to the cars its citizens can buy. They get their own, highly-desirable, locally-produced products, as well as some of the great imported machinery we regularly pine for, such as the new Ford Mondeo and sport versions of the Euro Focus and Fiesta. It extends to the Japanese automakers, too, as evidenced by Subaru Australia's announcement that a limited run of 300 Liberty GT Tuned by STi cars will be offered. (The Liberty is the Australian Legacy.) In terms of visual and performance enhancements, the STi-enhanced Liberty is very similar to its JDM cousin.

The cars start as Liberty GT spec.B sedans or wagons, and they get a full workover from there. Engine output is 260 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 256 lb-ft of torque starting at 2,800 rpm. Manually-equipped cars receive a short-throw shifter, while autos benefit from a reprogrammed transmission control unit for a more sporting experience. An upgraded interior, high-end stereo, STi suspension components, STi/Brembo brakes, 18" Enkeis, a sport exhaust, and updated bodywork complete the transformation. Like the Japanese Legacy Tuned by STi we showed you last summer, the Liberty Tuned by STi is a looker that's not just all for show. Also like its Japanese-market counterpart, you can't get it here. Sigh.

Press release after the jump.

[Source: Subaru Australia]

PRESS RELEASE:
Liberty GT Tuned by STI Returns

Subaru's potent MY07 Liberty GT spec.B range is getting the STI treatment with a very limited number being released this month.

Available as sedan and wagon in both manual and automatic transmission they will be priced from $65,990.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia said: "Our tuned by STI special edition vehicles have been very well received by customers. This is reflected in both initial sales and, later on, in resale values for these premium sports vehicles.

"We've created a niche for locally tuned performance vehicles. This has been made possible through continued support from Fuji Heavy Industries and our local engineers who spend months testing and perfecting these vehicles for Australian conditions."

With a comprehensive list of mechanical and cosmetic enhancements, features include:

An upgraded ECU producing 194kW of power at 6000rpm, up 10kW.

Torque increased 11Nm to 350Nm, kicking in earlier at 2800rpm.

Manual variants feature a six-speed STI short shift gear lever, while automatics have a revised transmission control unit (TCU) producing a faster, sportier response.

18 inch STI ENKEI lightweight alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tyres, increase road feel and provide ultimate grip, particularly in wet conditions.

Bilstein sports tuned dampers matched to STI lowered springs, result in a firmer, sportier ride with improved handling.

Pillow-ball bush suspension components by STI improve steering response, ride and handling.

STI Brembo performance brake upgrade reduces brake fade and maximise stopping power.

Two STI twin tip sports mufflers enhance exhaust flow, providing better turbo response and a sportier sound.

Exterior upgrades include an STI front lip spoiler, with unique model badging.

Sedans also feature an STI rear boot spoiler.

Inside, supportive leather seats include an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat with dual memory settings.

Premium interior appointments also include a 14 speaker McIntosh sound system, with six stack in dash CD/MP3/WMA player.

Subaru Intelligent Drive and a factory fitted sunroof are standard.

Liberty GT tuned by STI is available in two colours: Obsidian Black - with a limited number featuring charcoal wheels - and Brilliant Silver with brushed silver wheels.

Only 300 of these individually numbered Libertys are being produced and will be on sale in April.

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