Subaru is launching a station wagon that draws on rally-bred experience to appeal to buyers who don’t want to park a sports utility vehicle in the driveway. It has the heart of a Subaru WRX sedan, and all the family appeal of a sporty, conventional load lugger with room for a dog. Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about it.
- Subaru’s Levorg is aimed at a group of buyers the carmaker has labelled the “SUV rejectors”. These are all the new-car buyers who would prefer to have a conventional station wagon over a jacked-up, faux off-roading one.
- It has a special Australian suspension tune that is very different from those used in Europe and the US — two of Subaru’s other major markets.
- The name “Levorg” is made up from the words “Legacy Evolution Touring”. Why “Legacy” and not “Liberty”? It’s the name given to Subaru’s small sedan and wagon in markets outside Australia. We call it the Liberty.
- There is no manual gearbox option because the Levorg has to sell to women, who tend to want instant acceleration. The best way to deliver that is with a continuously variable transmission (CVT)
- The transmission is “stepless”, meaning there’s an infinite number of gear ratios available. They allow the engine to always sit in its optimal rev range for whatever you happen to be doing. A manual mode tricks the gearbox into thinking it has six gears in the Levorg’s normal driving mode, and eight gears in the two more spirited driving modes.
- Subaru’s decision to fit the Levorg with an automatic transmission leaves WRX, STi and Outback diesel as the brand’s only cars to still offer the option of a manual gearbox option.
- Smartphone friendliness is a priority. The Levorg has three USB slots: One in between the front seats, and two that are accessible via the rear seats.
- Levorg sales start at the same time as a mid-lifecycle model update arrives for the Subaru WRX, which shares the same engine as Levorg.
- You’re not going to see too many other Levorgs out on the road; Subaru plans to sell about 200 a month, making them more rare than …
- Levorg is rated to tow 1200kg — the equivalent of a small boat, a couple of power skis, a camper trailer or small caravan. That’s what wagons are for, Subaru says.
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