Subaru bring back the racing station wagon
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Prepare to drool, Subaru are launching a Levorg station wagon touring car
Few things in life are more beautiful than a station wagon race car, and it’s a point that’s been proven overnight as the covers have been taken off the latest addition to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) — the Subaru Levorg Sports Tourer touring car.
The Japanese marque will campaign two of the svelte, pumped-out racers for race team BMR, and former champion drivers Jason Plato and Colin Turkington. Get used to the look too, as the brand has signed a three-year deal with the team. The Scoob will be swapping out its all-wheel drive system for a rear-wheel drive one as per BTCC regulations, which means that its extra rearward heft may not be such a bad thing ...
The Levorg platform (as an aside, what a great name for a car — Levorg) will debut on Kiwi showroom floors later in 2016. Although it won’t look quite as deathly as the BTCC variant.
Of course, station wagons — or ‘estates’ as our English mates call them — are nothing new to the BTCC.
Photo / sourced
It started with the hallowed Volvo 850 estate in 1994. Driven by former Formula 1 driver Jan Lammers and former florist Rickard Rydell, the car came at a cross roads for the super touring formula.
At the time, all cars competing in the series had to run the panels from their road-going counterparts, which meant that everyone was doing everything they could to try and gain some kind of aerodynamic edge — some introducing small boot-spoilers on certain road cars then homologating them for use on the race track.
Volvo went the other way, supposedly electing to run the 850 estate following wind-tunnel testing that showed it had superior downforce than its saloon brethren due to its long roof.
But the rumoured findings didn’t help results, as the handsome wagon was winless — podiumless even — for the duration of the season.
Photo / Honda Yuasa Racing
Equally unsuccessful on the track was Hondas effort to bring back the wagon for the 2014 season with their admittedly less-handsome Civic Tourer.
Approaching the season having won the last three BTCC championships, the tourer was a far less successful car than the Civic hatch it replaced — claiming a paltry four wins in the season in the hands of its two main drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Sheddon, compared to the nine wins they had taken in the previous season, and the 13 wins in 2012.
Neither the 850 or Civic wagon would last more than a season, both replaced by their more obvious saloon and hatch cousins for the following season — both switches resulting in an immediate upswing in results.
But, for the sake of wagon-lovers worldwide, we hope that things are rosier with the Levorg.
Now, please make one in blue with gold wheels. Please …