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Levorg: Subaru’s blockbuster is coming soon

Atty. Karen V. Jimeno (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2015 - 10:00am

Blockbuster movies usually have that perfect mix of elements to appeal to wide audiences, such as the right combination of romance, action, drama or comedy.  

If Subaru was a movie company, its popular hits in the Philippines (i.e., the Forester and XV, both crossover SUVs) seem to reflect a successful connection with the adventurous or sporty audience.

Subaru’s newest addition to its line-up is as interestingly complex as the audience it seeks to relate with—adventurous yet practical, family-oriented yet sporty, stylish yet capable. 

As with a movie, the prospect of a car that can blend these diverse qualities excited me, enough to make me travel to Taipei for its regional premier.

Last October 14, Motor Image (the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Southeast Asian region) launched the Subaru “Levorg” in Nangang Exhibition Hall at Taipei, Taiwan. Glenn Tan, Executive Director of Tan Chong International Ltd., personally unveiled the Levorg. 

The unique name “Levorg” is a combination of the words ‘Legacy,’ ‘Revolution’ and ‘Touring,’ which sums up what this car is about. It’s a brand new model that combines the performance and practicality of a tourer with the stylish design and feel of a sports car. It’s also designed to be a luxurious and spacious car capable of long-distance driving.

While the Philippine market has been very receptive of Subaru’s taller crossovers, Tan said: “We believe that the Levorg will provide a competitive edge for a segment dominated by the continental brands (such as Volvo, Audi, and Volkswagen). Levorg merges the best of both worlds—for customers looking for performance and functionality. The Levorg provides that option for customers who are looking for performance without compromising on space and functionality, and vice versa.”

Inspired by the EJ25 (2.5L NA) found in the Subaru’s luxury sedan Legacy 2.5i, Subaru’s engineers aimed to develop a better engine with enhanced fuel economy and performance. The Levorg features a newly developed 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, Direct Injection Turbo (DIT) Boxer Engine with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The Levorg’s powerful engine offers fuel efficiency of 7.4-liter/100km. 

The exterior of the Levorg is relatively compact for a station wagon with a length of 4,690mm (which is 100mm smaller than the 5th-generation Legacy).  Yet, the Levorg has abundant cargo capacity at 522 liters.

A low center of gravity combined with an advanced Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system and Active Torque Vectoring (ATV) makes the Levorg’s handling agile and nimble. 

I drove the Levorg through different types of courses which included a track that forced me to take sharp turns and speed through narrow paths, and a track that allowed me to conduct slalom exercises (with three male passengers in tow). Here, I experienced the weight transfer, stability, and smooth handling of the Levorg’s Symmetrical AWD.

As I floored the Levorg from zero to around 85 km/h in a few seconds then abruptly slammed on its brakes, I felt the responsiveness of its Anti-Lock Braking System. It made me feel extra-safe to know that Levorg won the “Five Star Award” for earning the maximum five star overall rating in the 2014-2015 Japan New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP) crash safety evaluation tests. 

The ultimate testament to the Levorg’s safety and agility was when I witnessed world-famous British precision driver Russ Swift execute different types of stunts with it—including drifting and driving sideways with the whole Levorg balancing on only on its two wheels. 

A car that can be driven sideways safely… A car that has luggage space that every long-distance driver or grocery-trooping mother can dream of… A car that is stylish and sporty for the fashionably conscious… the Subaru Levorg seems to have the elements of a blockbuster movie for an audience that is looking for excitement, adventure, family-orientation, and practicality. 

As Glenn Tan amply puts its, “with a newly developed boxer engine, agile handling and an abundant load space, we feel that the Levorg will appeal to the functional, family orientated and adventurous customer who appreciates performance, touring capabilities and ample cargo space.”

The Levorg is expected to arrive in the Philippines in December 2015.  Like most anticipated movies, the Levorg will undoubtedly draw crowds. But unlike movies which necessarily have fixed stories and fixed endings, the Levorg offers open possibilities for the versatile characters that will choose to drive it.

 

 

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Karen Jimeno is a junior partner at Jimeno Cope & David Law Firm and a law professor.  She hosts LegalHD on CNN Philippines Tuesdays at 9:30PM. She graduated from UP Law School and Harvard Law School, and is licensed to practice law in the Philippines and in New York.

ACIRC CAR COM HTTP LEVORG NBSP PHILSTAR QUOT RUSS SWIFT STAR SUBARU
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