Proof of Concept

Steve
Update by Steve Chryssos to the Subaru Legacy GTk project car
Jul 29, 2011

The suspension is soft, but it never felt overwhelmed.
schlep: v. (Slang): To haul or carry.
Instructor Adrian Amos PATIENTLY improved my driving.
AWD grip does a fair job of compensating for weak geometry.
The GTk absolutely dwarfs a Miata on track.

Potential buyers can haul the family and run errands during the week, then haul ass around a road course on weekends.

from the desk of Steve Chryssos

I’ve been planning my first NASA HPDE weekend for two years. Something (usually job-related) always gets in the way. When Chris Cobetto, NASA Mid-Atlantic director, invited me to sample the region’s DE program at VIR, I jumped at the chance. Reality set in after I hung up the phone: My track toy is still down. It’s close to being done, but not quite ready. Rather than miss another DE dream date, I stole the keys to my favorite long-term press car—the Subaru Legacy GTk.

As some of you already know, the Legacy GTk is a one-off show car. As a rule of thumb, show cars tend to fall apart in the real world. The Subaru Legacy GTk is the exception. The hotrod wagon performed flawlessly in an extremely hot environment. More importantly, the Legacy GTk serves as proof of concept for the car’s original intent. Potential buyers can haul the family and run errands during the week, then haul ass around a road course on weekends. The overall design calibration swings 60/40 in favor of family car over track day toy. As a true production car, that ratio would likely be diluted.

Some might argue that the GTk’s suspension is too soft for a track day car. In reality, springs and dampers are about right for a sport touring wagon. Better yet, when the chassis became unsettled on VIR’s uphill esses, the Subaru all-wheel drive simply bit down and grabbed asphalt. BF Goodrich g-Force T/A KDWs are not my favorite tire, but when working in conjunction with Subaru’s all-wheel drive, the tires never skipped a beat.

We ran our last DE session during a relatively strong thunderstorm. Under these circumstances, a softly sprung all-wheel-drive car such as the Legacy GTk becomes an absolute ball to drive.

As a car magazine dude, I’m supposed to get all critical. The Legacy GTk concept, however, is a good all-around enthusiast car. You won’t hear any nit-picking from me. I’m breaking Car Magazine Dude Rule No. 2 as well: Don’t get attached to press cars. I’ll be sad to see this car go—sad enough that I may just build my own Subaru AWD sport wagon.

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