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First Look: 2015 Subaru Outback

by on Apr.17, 2014

The 2015 Subaru Outback was revealed today at the New York International Auto Show: 20 years after its initial debut at the same show.

Few vehicles have played a more important role in the transformation of a brand as has the Subaru Outback, so it’s no surprise the Japanese maker has so much riding on the all-new model making its debut at the New York International Auto Show.

The launch of the new 2015 Subaru Outback comes five generations and exactly 20 years after the original crossover was launched in the Big Apple. And much has changed over the years. The Legacy has gotten larger, roomier, more powerful and more lavishly equipped with each remake. That holds true this time around, noted Tom Doll, President and COO of the maker’s U.S. subsidiary.

Pedal to the Metal!

“The 2015 Outback hasn’t forgotten its roots,” he proclaimed, “but it’s reaching for the stars.” (more…)

Toyota Recalling 6.4 Mil Vehicles Worldwide

Nearly 30 different models impacted by a variety of problems.

by on Apr.09, 2014

The Toyota Highlander is one of many vehicles covered by the Japanese maker's huge new recall.

In one of the largest announcements in several years of major safety-related news, Toyota Motor Co. is recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles for a variety of problems worldwide.

Some of the vehicles are actually covered by more than one recall, and the announcement also impacts products sold by two other makers – Subaru and General Motors — that were produced by Toyota. Adding the Subaru Trezia and Pontiac Vibe to the list brings the total number of vehicles involved in the recall to 6.76 million worldwide.

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Toyota says it has no reports of crashes or injuries related to any of the recalls – though it did note two fires linked to one problem, a defective engine starter that can keep a motor running even if the motorist wants to shut the vehicle off.  That is not related to the defective engine switch problem that has led GM to recall more than 2.5 million vehicles since mid-February.

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Subaru Viziv 2 Hints at Maker’s Future Plans

A "future path" that may lead Subaru to the next CrossTrek.

by on Mar.05, 2014

The Subaru Viziv 2 plug-in concept.

Subaru may have tipped its hand, offering a glimpse of what it has coming in the not-too-distant future with the unveiling of the new Viziv 2 concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show.

The design of the plug-in hybrid vehicle is a likely forerunner of what we’ll be seeing with the next Subaru CrossTrek, according to company insiders.  The distinctive 4-motor hybrid-electric drive system, meanwhile, could indicate how the Japanese maker will adapt its signature all-wheel-drive systemto the demands for cleaner, more fuel-efficient technology.

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The Viziv 2 “signifies a future path” for Subaru, suggested Tomahiko Ikeda, a senior executive with Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries, during the concept vehicle’s Geneva debut.  “To progress, we must evolve. The Viziv 2 is an example.”

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Subaru to Show Viziv 2 Concept Hybrid in Geneva

by on Feb.24, 2014

Subaru teases the new Viziv 2 concept...but won't say what's inside.

Subaru may have some big news in store for the Geneva Motor Show next month, the maker offering up a teaser of the next-generation Viziv Concept vehicle and hinting that it’ll have more to say about its hybrid plans.

To confuse things a bit, the Subaru Viziv 2 Concept is actually the third show car to use that name, following the earlier Viziv Concept and Viziv Evolution Concept, the latter unveiled only last November at the Tokyo Motor Show.

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Subaru was slow to the hybrid game, only recently introducing its first model, a gas-electric version of the XV Crosstrek.  But it has hinted there’s more to come – and perhaps we’ll learn a bit when the Viziv 2 makes its debut at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center on March 4th.

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Subaru Reveals New 2015 Legacy (Finally!)

Smaller yet roomier, more fuel-efficient.

by on Feb.06, 2014

The 2015 Subaru Legacy picks up some cues from the Legacy Concept unveiled last November.

If you’re having a sense of déjà vu (all over again, as Yogi Berra liked to say), no surprise. We’ve been seeing a lot about the 2015 Subaru Legacy in recent months, including images that leaked out earlier this week, as well as the Subaru Legacy Coupe Concept that the Japanese maker introduced during the Los Angeles Auto Show just last November.

But, folks, this is the real deal. The actual 2015 Subaru Legacy has made its entrance into McCormick Place and will now be ready to meet its public during this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

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Finally, it seems, we have real specs to share, rather than endless rumors and speculation.

So, what do we have to reveal? For one thing, the production car is clearly not quite as aggressive as the concept vehicle – nothing surprising there, of course. And the 2015 Legacy gets two more doors than the LA show car.

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2015 Subaru Legacy Images Leak Out

by on Feb.04, 2014

Images of the 2015 Subaru Legacy have leaked out.

Just last week we were showing readers a teaser image of the 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan scheduled to make its world debut at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show.  Now, just a couple days before the Legacy’s formal unveiling some undisguised shots of the sedan have begun to leak out on the web.

While Subaru so far has no comment on the images we’ve been advised that these are the real deal, and you can see the clear evolution from the Subaru Legacy Concept that the Japanese maker revealed at the L.A. Auto Show last November.

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The production car isn’t quite as dynamic and aggressive but it does pick on the the concept’s more distinctive elements, starting with the more aggressive “hawkeye” headlamps and revised hexagonal grille.

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Subaru Offers Tease of 2015 Legacy Sedan

Official Debut in Chicago on February 6th.

by on Jan.31, 2014

Subaru will bring out a new Legacy for 2015.

With just a week left until the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru is trying to drum up some interest in the upcoming launch of its fifth-generation Legacy sedan.

The maker has already rolled out a show car, the concept model revealed at the L.A. Auto Show last November offering a strong hint of what the production model will deliver to showrooms later this year.  So, what are the likely differences?

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A terse statement accompanying this teaser image suggests, “The all-new Legacy offers a sleeker, more coupe-like profile with a faster windshield rake angle and narrower A-pillars that create a sporty and modern sedan.”

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Subaru Fights Legacy of Staid Styling with New Concept

Show car provides glimpse into future design of sedan.

by on Nov.21, 2013

Subaru is looking generate some excitement about the Legacy with the concept it recently introduced.

Subaru celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Legacy sedan by unveiling a new Legacy “concept” vehicle that, as expected, distances the stalwart from its sedate styling of the past, but is also closer to production than pure concept.

Tomohiko Ikeda, executive vice president of product development at Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industry, said that the concept “demonstrated the future” of where the Legacy sedan will be going.

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It was a sentiment later seconded by Michael McHale, Subaru’s chief spokesman, described the aggressive new design as “indicative” of the styling expected of next generation Legacy. (more…)

Subaru’s 2015 WRX Lives up to Pocket Rocket Reputation

Rally car-inspired beast gets more horses, better handling.

by on Nov.20, 2013

Subaru's 2015 WRX gets a spate of improvements that helps its "most bang for the buck" persona.

Subaru took the wraps off its perennial favorite, the WRX, today at the L.A. Auto Show revealing a vehicle that features a variety of improvements resulting in a car that retains its “most bang for the buck” persona.

The new rally rocket is powered by a new 268-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo Boxer engine, the 2015 WRX debuts the model’s first six-speed manual transmission and a new, optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic CVT with two manual modes: six-speed and eight-speed. Both versions use paddle shifters to get through the gears.

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The eight-speed is tied to Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), which allows the driver to select one of three performance modes: intelligent, sport and sport sharp. (more…)

Toyota to Pull out of Indiana Alliance with Subaru

Smaller maker doesn’t expect to lose jobs.

by on Nov.14, 2013

Toyota plans to stop using partner Subaru to help it meet demand for the Camry.

The manufacturing alliance between Japanese giant Toyota and little Subaru is apparently coming to an end.

Toyota has notified its partner that it will stop producing its long-popular Camry model at the assembly plant Subaru operates in Lafayette, Indiana once their five-year contract expires in late 2016.  The move is not expected to end other joint ventures, however, such as the one that led to the development of the sports car sold in the U.S. as both the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.

And Subaru officials are saying they’re optimistic the Indiana plant not only will be able to maintain but even increase its current staffing levels.

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“Based on changes in Toyota’s production plans, they have decided that the award-winning Camry production contract will not be renewed,” said Tom Easterday, executive vice president at Subaru of Indiana.

The plant was originally opened in 1989 as part of an earlier joint venture pairing Subaru and Isuzu. The latter maker abandoned the venture in 2001 and subsequently pulled out of the American market, leaving the facility entirely to Subaru.

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