Subaru's New zealand line-up has just gotten better with the arrival of a limited shipment of high-performance Legacy STis.
It's the first time in three years that the hit Legacy has been amrketed here officially.
Based on the Legacy GT, the Legacy STI has received further fine tuning from Subaru's high performance arm, Subaru Tecnica International (STi). Subaru NZ already markets STi versions of the Impreza WRX sports sedan and Forester compact SUV.
In early 2003 a limited number of the previous model Legacy with STi enhancements was available here. Before that, the last time a Legacy STi had been produced was in 1993. In the intervening decade, STi had devoted all its efforts to the Impreza.
The new Legacy STi is available both as a sedan and wagon and comes with unique front and rear spoilers and 12-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels. All five of the limited edition models for New Zealand are in the World Rally Blue colour - the shade that adorns Subaru's works rally Impreza WRCs.
The Legacy has subtle STi badging on the boot, front splitter and the leather and suede upholstered sport's seats.
A dual muffler and quad tailpipe sports exhaust system also set the STi apart from the standard Legacy GT.
The bottom arms in the front and rear suspension are made from alloy to reduce unsprung weight, and a tower brace for the front suspension struts is standard.
The suspension has specially rated STi springs, with Bilstein dampers. The car has a Brembo braking system is with four pot front callipers.
Available either with a five speed manual gearbox, or five speed automatic transmission with Sportshift manual change controls on the steering wheel, the Legacy STi is rated at 206kW at 6400rpm with the manual geaerbox and 191kW at 6000rpm for the automatic.
Both powertrains develop peak torque of 343Nm at 2400rpm for strong mid-range driveability and instant response from the electronic throttle control.
The active safety package includes ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution, and Subaru's symmetrical All-wheel Drive transmission for fine handling, road holding and grip in all driving conditions.
Dual front airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, side anti-intrusion beams and ring shaped reinforcement frames in the body structure make up the passive safety package.
There is a premium sound system with six stack Compact Disc player, climate-control air-conditioning, and eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel, gear shift knob and hand brake lever. There are alloy pedals and foot rest, electro luminescent gauges, and silver trim on the centre console.
Standard equipment also includes power steering, mirrors and windows and front foglights.
Other features include an alarm system which is combined with the remote central locking and engine immobiliser, DataDot security marking of all major components and a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
The Legacy STi is priced at $64,990 irrespective of gearbox option.
New Zealand is the only country outside Japan to get the Legacy STi, of which only 600 have been produced. The five New Zealand cars have all been pre-sold.