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Leone Debut

Wednesday, 25 Jul 2012

The Subaru Leone coupe 1400 and the new Subaru R-2 series were launched at the prestigious Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward on October 7th 1971. Several hundred journalists were crammed into the exhibition space where they got to see the famous singer perform the original commercial song for the vehicle. Two days later on October 9th, the pre-festival for the fourth annual Shinjuku music festival sponsored by Fuji Heavy Industries was held in Shinjuku Nishi park. At this festival, twenty emerging Japanese traditional and young popular singers participated in a parade through the streets of Shinjuku while riding on the newly-launched Leone.

In response to the diversification, individualization, and all-round higher quality of the popular car market, the Leone was designed with an advanced wedge-shaped exterior for aerodynamic performance and was given a sporty image with a luxurious interior. Its power was provided by the EA63 4-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. In addition to the single-carbureted standard models (GL and DL), the lineup was completed with the addition of the GSR and GS grade that were equipped with the sporty twin carburetor EA63S engine. This engine had a maximum output of 93 PS at 6,800 rpm and a maximum torque of 11.0 kg•m at 4,800 rpm.

The suspension consisted of MacPherson strut suspension in the front, and semi-trailing arm suspension in the rear to give the vehicle independent suspension on all four wheels and it was equipped with disc brakes in the front (the DL had duo-servo brakes) to make it a conventional outboard type. After the seeing the achievements of the dual radiator engine cooling system, radiators with electric cooling fans were also included for efficient cooling. The addition of electric fans to cross-flow radiators with bypass systems allowed a cooling system that automatically adjusted to the most efficient state according to driving conditions. The sashless door design that has become a common feature in Subaru vehicles also originated in the first generation Leone.