Subaru is finally succumbing to the turbo era. Well, returning to the turbo era. Today it has unveiled the all-new 2020 Subaru Legacy (known as the Liberty in Australia) at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, and it debuts a downsized, turbocharged engine.
Yep, gone is the 3.6-litre naturally aspirated flat-six and in is a brand new 2.4-litre turbo flat-four. It’s a touch more powerful, too. Flatten the throttle and it’ll create 194kW (260hp) at 5600rpm, and 376Nm between 2000-4800rpm.
This is good news as there’s more grunt than the outgoing ‘3.6R’ unit, which produced 191kW and 350Nm. The torque in particular is improved and covers a broader rev range, with the 3.6R offering its lower peak figure at 4400rpm on the dot.
Subaru estimates a 0-60mph (97km/h) acceleration run of 6.1 seconds. That’s decently quick, especially considering it still uses a CVT auto transmission. Subaru does say some changes are made to the transmission, with lower viscosity oil which apparently reduces power loss by 32 per cent.
Those not interested in power or speed can still take the 2.5-litre petrol. It produces 136kW and 239Nm, which is up from 129kW and 235Nm in the outgoing model. Subaru estimates a 0-60mph time of 8.4 seconds. This, again, is quicker than the outgoing model. Subaru says the engine is nearly 90 per cent new.
Also brand new for the 2020 Subaru Legacy is the Subaru Global Platform. With this, Subaru says the stiffness is increased by 70 per cent in terms of torsional and front suspension rigidity. Front lateral flex and rear subframe rigidity is increased by 100 per cent.
All of this stiffness should equate to a much sportier drive experience. Speaking of which, Subaru sys the chassis helps to provide more responsive steering and handling, a smoother and quieter ride, and better crash protection.
Some other interesting changes include a cool 11.6-inch tablet-style touch-screen for the dash, for the the high-end variants, or two 7.0-inch screens for the lower variants, as well as a slick new exterior design. We’re not going to go as far as saying it looks racy, but the new exterior definitely gives the conservative sedan a fresh new look.
At this stage it’s unknown when the 2020 Subaru Legacy will go on sale in Australia as the Liberty, but it will hit the North American market in the northern autumn.