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Old 12-08-1999, 10:09 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 105
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Fremont, CA 94538
2000 Legacy GT Ltd

Post It's Good to be a European

Quote from Motor Trend,

"the Legacy's 2.5-liter SOHC 16-valve flat four still comes across as a slight underachiever."

another quote from Motor Trend,
"But even paired with a slick-shifting standard five-speed manual gearbox, it needed 9.1 seconds to propel this 360-pound four-door to 60 mph and 16.6 ticks to reach 82.0 mph in the quarter mile. "

I was reading the current or a month old Motor Trend in bookstore, I found that the similar output Volvo V40, 1.9L turbo, 170hp w/165 lb/ft torque (kinda guessing) got a A- on the engine rating.

I didn't read the fine print myself, but I had drove both V40, S40, Legacy GT w/ AT, w/MT. I will say Legacy is not any slower than the Volvos, both sprint run and around town driving.

From my observation, Japanese cars usually need to have significant higher output to "impress" the editors while European cars won't get pick out from the line.

Won't you feel bad that European auto can usually get aways with less engine output while magazines editors keep screaming "NO POWER" from Japanese car makers?
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Old 12-08-1999, 11:03 PM   #2
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Member#: 502
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

It does sound a bit strange. This is not a phenomenon I've noticed anywhere in Europe, although every single U.S. report I ever read felt all the 4-cylinder BMWs and Mercs were underpowered, and many of them slammed the cars just for that slight (practically branding them "un-American"). No wonder Audi never exported the A4 1.6 to the States.

What does surprise me is the inferior performance of e.g. the U.S.-market Legacy *compared to* the UK/European ones with 11 less horses (note: 165 hp (SAE) translates to ~167 bhp (DIN)). Back in June, UK rag Autocar got a '99 2.5 GX - basically a '00 2.5 GT released a year earlier - to 60 in 8.1 sec, making it a pretty quick car considering its weight. Of course Subaru UK charges yer average Brit US$38,000 for the privilege of owning one, so maybe it should be quick.

Perhaps, therefore, it is a case of Japanese cars having inferior performance in the US as a result of poor adaptation to stringent emissions requirements. After all, European cars are closer to the US in this respect (cars sold on both continents have to be able to run on lower - 91 RON/87 AKI - octane petrol).

I don't know how home-market Subarus are tuned, by the way - this is just speculative food for thought.

Andy T

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