The sports-car and all-wheel-drive fiends at Subaru had a couple of interesting intros at the 2006 New York International Auto Show. First up is an even-more-special version of the Legacy sports sedan that’s won so many hearts and minds lately-the spec.B. A limited run of 500 units will be built-at first at least-with a new six-seed manual transmission, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and advanced Vehicle Dynamics Control. The turbo 2.5 makes 243 horsepower and 241 lb.-ft.
Most intriguing about the new spec.B is the new SI-Drive system, which supposedly provides the feel of three engines in one. A rotary knob can be moved to any of three positions-Intelligent, Sport, or Sport Sharp. Intelligent provides moderate acceleration and a bump in fuel economy of up to ten percent, Sport gives better acceleration, and Sport Sharp is crisper yet. The system works this magic by controlling things like throttle response, engine management, and (in non-spec.B models) automatic transmission shift points.