Subaru has become a behemoth in the U.S., although it had very humble beginnings here. Malcom Bricklin started importing the tiny 360 starting in 1968, but the vehicles were hilariously unsuited to American tastes, not to mention roads. It didn't take long for Subaru to get with the program. The first step was adopting the horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine format, a flat-four, keeping weight down low in the car. The second was four-wheel drive, introduced on the Leone (although it wasn't called that here). The third-generation Leone, eventually called the Loyale, and the introduction of the significantly more civilized Impreza and Legacy in the early 1990s cemented the company's role here: simple, rugged vehicles with outstanding traction in bad conditions. Add in some rally success, and finally, the Outback version of the Legacy to capitalize on the SUV craze, and Subaru was a certified success. The Forester and upcoming Ascent will finally provide the company with two crossovers to do battle with its competition in America, and the WRX, STI and BRZ cater to enthusiasts.
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