Much anticipation precedes the press conference tomorrow at the Los Angeles Motor Show. For a change Subaru will be hogging some of the limelight with its new Legacy Concept. It has a distinguished lineage behind it; the Legacy will be 25 in 2014 and for much of this period has amounted to a very familiar brew. The brand still majors, under the watchful umbrella of majority shareholder Toyota, on ‘safety,dependability and driving performance’. and the boxer engine remains the key feature hyped in the publicity blurb long after such things might be thought to be mainstream. Much plugged also is the ‘symmetrical all-wheel drive’. A glance at the tech-spec together with the helpful diagrams on the Subaru website reveal, to readers of a certain vintage, not a lot that is wholly new despite the engaging language in which the whole thing is presented. One wonders what part the majority shareholder plays in the wording of the blurb itself which focuses on the ‘dynamic, secure and practical’ aspects of Legacy Concept. Not much here to set the blood racing of the average blue Impreza fan.
The interior is certainly going to be something to shout about. Dominant is a smart phone style centre console and instrument panel extending fully fore and aft down the cabin area. Nevertheless show goers at LA will still be treated to a slightly downbeat brown tinged leather though a totally funereal black has perhaps been sensibly avoided. The whole thing looks up to the minute and when dust wrappers are raised at LA the US buying public will be able to register the grinning hexagonal grille seen first in Vizio Concept earlier this year at Geneva and to marvel once again at symmetrical all-wheel-drive. What Audi make of all this can only be imagined to say nothing of any remaining owners of that wonder of West Bromwich, the Jensen FF. Some think the Ferguson Formula presaged all this but we mustn’t be unduly churlish at LA. Readers remember the Colt ‘silent shaft’ which cribbed many of Frederick Lanchester’s ideas so we shouldn’t perhaps get unduly twitchy about Subaru constrained as their market image undoubtedly is by the diktat of Toyota.
‘Secure and practical’ may well be the phrasing suited to the overarching guidance of the majority shareholder but maybe, just maybe, those present at LA tomorrow will long for the dynamism and driving performance, long the hallmark of the enthusiasts’ Subaru ,to escape from the confines of its cage once again. ‘Secure, practical and dependable’ may not yet be enough though slightly academic for UK buyers who will have to wait, perhaps indefinitely for news of any appearance of Legacy Concept in this market. Will they ever see it in the metal? Tomorrow’s press conference should, we hope,reveal all.
Source: Newspress release of 16 Nov. much may be revealed by Subaru re their long term marketing intentions for Legacy Concept on 20 November. Watch this space!