A legacy of adrenaline

by Andy Bryenton

Subaru has been turning heads with fire-breathing rally cars since the venerable Leone left the tarmac behind in the late 1970s.

Since ‘88, the sight of the bright neon pink STI badge on a tuned and aggressive Subaru has meant business, with legendary cars such as the WRX Impreza wearing it proudly.

Now there’s a new Subaru, sporting the three letters of power, and it’s part of a bloodline, which has its own performance pedigree. The Legacy 3.6 RS STI takes an already taut and performance orientated machine and adds a twist of sporting heritage and some practical upgrades to make it extra sharp. If you recall the twin turbo Blitzen version of the old B4, you’re thinking along the right lines.

The basics remain rock solid. The 2019 Legacy is a large car that handles like a smaller machine in the corners, thanks in part to the clever packaging of its 3.6-litre boxer six. The willing and smooth feel of Subarus of old is retained, with the rapid delivery of 256 horsepower at your command.

It all goes down to the road surface via Subaru’s Lineartronic transmission and a set of 255 wide Dunlop tyres; and remember, this car only weighs 1,600 kilograms.

However, this is just the factory standard Legacy. After that, they begin adding STI componentry, and unlike some Euro competitors, this is not just a lick of carbon for show.

Cross drilled rotors beef up the brakes, while rear sway bars and a flexible tower bar add rigidity in those tight corners. Air is inducted via a new carbon fibre intake and breathed out through sports exhausts.

There’s even a big red push button start that will prove irresistible to even the most restrained and grown up amongst us. In short, the STI package hasn’t changed the recipe much. Just added a splash of very zesty hot sauce.

Those who fondly recall the WRX ear-to-ear grin of youth will recognise the new Legacy as part of an interesting family tree.

Newcomers will receive a very practical and roomy four-door sedan, which delivers a rewarding drive — and never a boring one.