Currently reading: First pics: Subaru Legacy estate
Touring Wagon joins saloon and Outback models

These are the first official photos of the Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon, released to co-incide with the Legacy's launch in Japan.

The Touring Wagon shares flat-four mechanicals with the saloon, and fills out the customary three model range.

The message with this fifth generation Legacy is that Subaru’s decided to push its major breadwinner substantially upmarket.

The new cars are bigger all round, more plush and the main Boxer engine now spans 2.5 to 3.6-litres. Europe will be in line for an updated version of Subaru’s excellent 2.0-litre Boxer diesel but precise details on that, and the launch timing for the new Legacy in Europe are still under wraps. However, an appearance at September’s Frankfurt Show looks almost certain.

With their Boxer engines and Symmetrical 4WD, the new Legacy and Outback follow a hi-tech design path that’s been an essential part of Subaru’s DNA for years

For 2009, however, this is essentially a brand new package, packed with new technology including Lineartronic CVT transmission, a first for the Legacy, to help boost economy and lower C02 emissions.

Subaru has also spent the cash on a completely new platform with a substantial 80mm stretch in wheelbase (75mm for the Outback), plus wider tracks.

Dimensions grow in tandem. The new saloon and Touring Wagon are each 95mm longer and 50mm wider than outgoing versions.

The new uppercrust Outback grows 45mm in length and 50mm in width and rooflines in the new series push up by as much as 80mm.

Controversially, Subaru has dropped the lead-in 2.0-litre option, starting things off with a revised version of its long running 2.5 flat-four (170 ps). A turbo 2.5 pumps out 281bhp and replaces the former 3.0-litre sports model.

The new Outback kicks off with the atmo 2.5 but top versions get the creamy 3.6-litre flat-six from the Tribeca SUV.

Visually, the new looks might well divide opinion, but this is clearly this is the most sophisticated and ambitious Legacy yet.

Peter Nunn

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