Posts Tagged ‘concept’

Refined 2015 Subaru Legacy Unveiled at the 2014 Chicago Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

When most automakers find themselves with a failing vehicle in their lineup, their first goal is to make the car appear more exciting. You can just imagine the conversation that some higher-up would have with a designer: “I really want you to make this car stick out; we want a car that’s exciting to drive.”

Subaru has a different approach. Instead of exciting, they want refined, and that’s exactly what they showed us with their 2015 Subaru Legacy, unveiled this week at the Chicago Motor Show:

Subaru Legacy 2015

Sales for the Subaru Legacy fell by a little more than 10% in 2013, and the mid-size sedan was never really at the top of the pack to begin with. So, with the latest redesign of their flagship sedan, Subaru has gone in a different direction. Where the current Subaru Legacy is/was bulbous and curvy, the 2015 Subaru Legacy will be crisp and linear.

Best of all?

If you compare the production-version of the Subaru Legacy unveiled yesterday in Chicago to the Legacy Concept we saw last fall in LA – guess what? They’re almost identical! That’s the sort of thing that makes an automotive journalist happy; we hate being misled by exceedingly over-the-top concept cars, and the Legacy turned out as nothing of the sort. Check out the Subaru Legacy Concept from last year:

Subaru Legacy concept

The biggest differences lie in the interior design and the absence of air vents from the front and rear. The Legacy Concept had a much more futuristic interior, but you can’t fault Subaru for dressing up its show car.

But, enough about old concepts, let’s talk about what lies beneath that luxurious redesign of the new Subaru Legacy.

The 2015 Subaru legacy will keep the same powertrain options as the outgoing model, with the exception of its manual transmissions. Instead, Subaru has mandated that a Lineartronic CVT shall be the transmission of choice for all Legacies. The engines will remain with the same displacement, but the 2.5L boxer will get a tune-up to 175bhp from 173. However, both the 2.5L and the 3.6L will get an extra 3mpg on average, putting the car’s fuel efficiency at the top of the AWD mid-size sedan class.

You wouldn’t be able to tell it from the picture, but the 2015 Subaru legacy has also been stretched out by approximately 2 inches, which equals more space for rear passengers, and a little extra volume in the trunk. According to Subaru, this is the roomiest Legacy ever with the largest-size passenger cabin of any vehicle in the midsize segment. It’s also apparently the quietest Legacy ever, with much special attention paid to interior comfort and refinement. That interior comfort also includes entertainment, with the sedan featuring a brand-new infotainment system and 12-speaker “premium audio”.

The sedan also gets a plethora of new safety technologies, including EyeSight driver assist, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

All in all, the 2015 Subaru Legacy looks primed and ready to break the downward spiral of its predecessor. The only question left is pricing, which we will learn more about closer to the car’s unspecified launch date sometime in the latter half of 2014.

Until then, thanks for reading, and come back next week for more Japanese car news!

The New Toyota-BMW Codeveloped Supra Edges Ever Closer

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, June 15th, 2013

For at least the past three years, we’ve heard rumors that Toyota will bring back the Supra sports car with the help of BMW. Finally, in January of this year we got official word that Toyota and BMW signed a contractual partnership in order to, among other things, develop a new midsize sports car. This mysterious sports car, of course, sounds eerily similar to the Supra of old.

Toyota Supra concept

BMW & Toyota: A 4-Point Agreement

Before we go into recent news regarding the Toyota Supra, let’s take a moment to rehash the basics of the Toyota-BMW agreement. The alliance aims at accomplishing four specific goals:

1. Make progress towards a viable hydrogen fuel-cell car
2. Develop a shared platform for a new midsize sports car, very similar to the Supra
3. Research denser lithium-ion battery solutions
4. Integrate new light-weight materials into their vehicles

In effect, this agreement gives you a basic rundown of both BMW’s and Toyota’s intentions for the future. This is especially relevant for Toyota who has repeatedly stated they don’t believe all-electric vehicles are where the market’s going. It appears that light-weight materials, fuel-cells and improved batteries are where Toyota wants to go instead.

The Toyota Supra Comeback (Probably)

With the partnership between Toyota and BMW clearly defined, let’s talk a bit about this “midsize sports car” they keep talking about. Obviously, it’s a pretty vague reference. So, how do we know that they’re looking at a Supra revival and not a brand new vehicle?

Well, the short answer is we don’t. Or rather, we didn’t until earlier this week when Bloomberg let us in on the intentions of a certain Takeshi Uchiyamada – incoming chairman for Toyota and head of negotiations with BMW.

According to Uchiyamada, the Supra is the perfect car for allied development. “[The Supra is] what I want but it’s not me who makes the decision. It’s futile if we make something similar to the ’86.” In other words, because Toyota already has a successful sports car, the Supra becomes all that much more favorable since it wouldn’t overlap at all with who the GT-86 is trying to target.

We don’t know much else about the upcoming Toyota Supra, but we do know when we’ll learn more. Rumor has it that Toyota will have a Supra concept – or whatever midsize sports car they end up developing – prepared by the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show.