RE: Subaru Legacy B4 S401 STI | Spotted

RE: Subaru Legacy B4 S401 STI | Spotted

Monday 9th September

Subaru Legacy B4 S401 STI | Spotted

Only 286 examples of STI's twin-turbocharged Legacy were ever made - and one of them is in Whitby



If 'sleeper' were added to the illustrated Oxford English Dictionary, PH would like to recommend a picture of the Subaru Legacy B4 to show what it means in the automotive world. To the casual onlooker, even the twin-turbocharged B4 has an unassuming four-door exterior design. But for those in the know, the bonnet scoop alone is enough to confirm this Legacy as the one powered by Subaru's 2.0-litre turbocharged boxer four; miss that and a start-up should confirm it.

Many components of the B4's boosted unit were, of course, shared with the Impreza WRX. But the Legacy's engine had a higher compression ratio for better low-down torque, and its turbos were set to provide effortless performance appropriate to a discreet family machine. They worked successively, with one boosting through the mid-range and the second, larger blower taking over to extend the reach of a factory listed maximum of 276hp.


That was for the sportiest variant, the limited-run B4 STI S401, and meant the car conformed to the JDM gentleman's agreement that was still adhered to (so they said) in the early noughties. The ranking earned the model a set of BBS alloy wheels and new power-flaunting bumpers. The sleeper title might have been somewhat lost, but with factory figures of 253lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds, it was undoubtedly appropriate.

Like many boxer-engined Subarus, Legacys of this sort have frequently been treated to aftermarket parts, with 300hp within easy reach. The boxer is considered to be extremely tough, with only the intercooler thought to be close to its limit in standard specification. Upgrade that and owners reckon only a freer breathing exhaust and remap are needed to surpass 300hp mark - with considerably more possible if the owner is prepared to fork out for it.

The seller of today's Spotted was ready to do just that with their B4, which was imported by them only a year ago and has one previous owner on the logbook. In fact, add Β£2k to the asking price and they'll throw the bits in required to take the car to 350hp; the list includes new hybrid upgraded turbos, a full manifold kit and a set of body braces, which are all ready to go.


But even if a buyer were to not request the extras, the car as it stands looks to be in excellent condition. It's had a long list of upgrades, and the engine was recently rebuilt following a common conrod issue that normally arises at 100,000 miles (this car was almost bang on that). The TLC has continued inside; those factory BBS wheels were recently repainted and given new boots, while the leather interior looks a tenth of its age. If you need more evidence that it's lived a cherished life, the fact it was running fine on its original clutch until the engine work backs the claim.

The seller doesn't even sound like they want to let go of the car; apparently the sale is entirely related to the fact they've got four cars now (perish the thought). Whether you think of this as a work in progress or a ready to roll 300hp+ four-door, it's got all the makings of a PH-worthy buy.


SPECIFICATION - SUBARU LEGACY B4 S401 STI

Engine: 1,994cc 4-cyl boxer twin turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 276@6,400rpm (now uprated beyond 300hp)
Torque (lb ft): 253@4,400-5,600rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2002
Recorded mileage: 100,000
Price new: (JDM only)
Yours for: Β£9,995

Click here for the full ad

Search for a Subaru Legacy here

Author
Discussion

GTiWILL

Original Poster:

199 posts

23 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Love these, however I wouldn’t say the engines are bulletproof if they often suffer from con rod issues at 100k.

Leon R

323 posts

41 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
GTiWILL said:
Love these, however I wouldn’t say the engines are bulletproof if they often suffer from con rod issues at 100k.
Article said:
It's had a long list of upgrades, and the engine was recently rebuilt following a common conrod issue that normally arises at 100,000 miles (this car was almost bang on that).
The article doesn't actually say the engine is bulletproof?

Edited by Leon R on Monday 9th September 16:34

foxhounduk

219 posts

125 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Now THIS is my sort of car. I have always loved these B4's. People who know, know. To everyone else it's a mundane, old 90's car.

Notanotherturbo

336 posts

152 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
I'd much prefer a Spec R with the 3.0 boxer. Not quite as quick but a much nicer package IMO - and half the price.

Gez79

87 posts

128 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.

Toffa69

4 posts

2 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Gez79 said:
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.
Or you could buy a 1.0 Ecoboost Fiesta for 17k, or maybe a 22b for 100k. Different strokes for different folks and all that...

Gez79

87 posts

128 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Toffa69 said:
Gez79 said:
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.
Or you could buy a 1.0 Ecoboost Fiesta for 17k, or maybe a 22b for 100k. Different strokes for 5different folks and all that...
I get that but a 335i is an identically sized small saloon, with sporting pretensions, with around the same power as the Subaru yet it's far far cheaper to buy, run and service. And if the motoring press are to be believed it's a better drive with a much nicer interior.

I accept the Subaru has rarity on its side and 4wd makes it a bit different but can't see how it's worth more than twice the price.

But horses for courses and all that!

Elatino1

341 posts

6 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Gez79 said:
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.
Indeed you could buy a ten a penny car which will cost a fortune to run but that would be boring.

FourWheelDrifter

30 posts

80 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Nice car, I wish the seller good luck selling it. Whoever buys it is recommended to change that STI V9 intercooler, the fins are mangled from too many workshop tools/car parts being placed on it. A new or low mileage replacement would significantly improve the cooling. I think the STI top engine brace should be included, it was standard fitment new on this model.

Toffa69

4 posts

2 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
FourWheelDrifter said:
Nice car, I wish the seller good luck selling it. Whoever buys it is recommended to change that STI V9 intercooler, the fins are mangled from too many workshop tools/car parts being placed on it. A new or low mileage replacement would significantly improve the cooling. I think the STI top engine brace should be included, it was standard fitment new on this model.
Believe it or not the fins are actually all straight, it took me god knows how long to straighten them with a toothpick! (Well near as damn it, they're wavy but not blocked as they were before) The paint on the STi logo just suffered for it, but they do there job. The strut brace is stored away, the cooler wouldn't allow it without some modification (which I didn't want to do, rare piece and all) so I considered having another one made up to replace it.


Toff


Edited by Toffa69 on Monday 9th September 21:30

fernando the frog

240 posts

13 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Gez79 said:
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.
not everyone wants a mundane car though

Krikkit

15,986 posts

126 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Toffa69 said:
Believe it or not the fins are actually all straight, it took me god knows how long to straighten them with a toothpick! (Well near as damn it, they're wavy but not blocked as they were before) The paint on the STi logo just suffered for it, but they do there job. The strut brace is stored away, the cooler wouldn't allow it without some modification (which I didn't want to do, rare piece and all) so I considered having another one made up to replace it.


Toff
Looks great to me, fingers crossed it goes quickly!

DaveCWK

1,100 posts

119 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
Nice. How many of these did they make?

s m

17,827 posts

148 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
DaveCWK said:
Nice. How many of these did they make?
Was it roughly 286?

Toffa69

4 posts

2 months

Monday 9th September
quotequote all
286 was the official figure, 60 in black.

Water Fairy

2,937 posts

100 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Just read the ad.............. 30mpg laughlaughlaugh

benzinbob

9 posts

1 month

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
Gez79 said:
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.
Or a new kitchen for £4K, right??

Toffa69

4 posts

2 months

Friday 13th September
quotequote all
Water Fairy said:
Just read the ad.............. 30mpg laughlaughlaugh
Its true! It got 32mpg recently on a trip to Windermere, past Ullswater and up and over kirkstone pass etc a few times. Mixed driving but steady steady on the motorway. It gets 29-30 around the north York Moors if I use it for work when it's nice smile
If you have a heavy foot and use the second turbo yeah it does drink, but absolutely does 30mpg using V-Power. Its better than my blob Impreza was with less power. Lack of wings etc perhaps help.

J4CKO

27,995 posts

145 months

Friday 13th September
quotequote all
Gez79 said:
Or for almost half the price you could get a 4 years newer 335i with 30 extra horses and a much nicer interior. Or for the same price a 335i with the more reliable n55 engine, less miles and 8 years newer.
You could, I have one, well an M135i, but this is more interesting and much rarer.