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This was the 3rd generation Leone. Until now Subarus had a barrock design with many senseless curves and looking (and being) fragile. But this was suddenly a very square car, much cleaner design, but somehow still looked like a Leone, still looked (and was) fragile. Despite the much different, much cleaner design, as explained with the previous Leone (group2), this 3rd generation Leone still failed to remove the farmers car image.
When in 1985 this new Leone model came and two years later groupB was banned, Subaru hoped to hit the scene big style. The car was certainly an improvement over the previous model as at least it had a turbo engine. While this was a 1.8 8v layout and even in groupA only had 190BHP, it was easy to underestimate the car. It seems boxer-turbo is a good combination. From the ease to develop pulling power, its torque, you would have thought the datasheet must be wrong, it must have more than that. The engine was a true stunner! But two things didn't change in Noriyuki Koseki's team: the effort to get top names into the car for selected events but as well the laughable reliability.
The car debuted on the Safari 1985 with one of the drivers being former Mercedes marathon specialist Tony Fowkes, but only 1 of the 6 new generation cars reached the finish - spot the similarities to earlier Leone stories? Still, as a flash to show things were on the up, the Leone Sedan in the hands of Mike Kirkland finished 6th overall and won groupA on the Safari 1986 and, although on an event with extremely low entry, Possum Bourne got Subaru's first podium ever with this car in NZ 1987. The most exciting program was pieced together for 1987 as well, when groupA became the top class and the Subaru was one of the very few cars combining 4x4 & turbo - a real chance to shine. For the very snowy Monte 1987 Germany's former Audi star Harald Demuth retired in the very first corner of the event losing all gears, but at least Per Eklund made it into 12th place. For the Safari Subaru changed to the Coupé version and had as drivers alongside local Frank Tundo none less than Ari Vatanen, Per Eklund and Possum Bourne, but the result was a disappointment. And on the RAC Rally the same year Possum Bourne on his first ever rally in Europe showed promising stage times but retired soon.
Interesting was that Subaru used the coupé version for this superb entry Safari 1987, on all other events the works team entered with this generation Leone they used the 4-door saloon. There seemed no particular reason behind this as in size and weight there was absolutely no difference between these cars. More interesting would have been to try the Alcyone XT Turbo. Because in this generation the Leone Coupé was basically just a 3-door Leone saloon with a flatter rear windscreen moved further into the boot and in one big piece of glass going round to the C-pillars, a bit like putting a Peugeot 309 tailgate onto a square saloon. The true coupé of this generation Leone was the Alcyone, which was far more radical, wedge shaped with fold down headlights, a very different car, which is why despite same platform and engine it got a different name. By some the Alcyone was labelled as coming from space, but still it somehow had a very square design. But this could not remove Subaru's farmers car image either as the Alcyone remained very rare as a road car and was never rallied. The Leone Coupé was far more successful with buyers, which is why Subaru saw the need to give the saloon car an add on sub-name, to be precise the Leone Sedan.
In names for the turbo versions an interesting note may be, that the Coupé never had any additional initials, just Leone Coupé Turbo, while the Sedan was called Leone Sedan RX Turbo and the extreme design the Alcyone XT Turbo. Come to think of it, the estate (called Station Wagon) in its turbo version also had only the Turbo added to its name. This however did not mean that RX or XT Turbos had anything special, like more power, different equipment or so. The Sedan RX Turbo may be where the later WRX name came from, even though it's immediate successor borrowed a different brand's tradition in being called Legacy RS (without a specific turbo badge). Well, please correct me if I'm wrong, as far as I am aware WRX (as RX, XT) is just made up without any meaning.
Model & Evo. (Activity)
|Leone 1800 Coupé Turbo (87-89)||190/6500||230/5200||4370.1660.1425||1060 (5.6)||4x4 (2465)|
|Leone 1800 Sedan RX Turbo (85-89)||190/6500||230/5200||4370.1660.1425||1060 (5.6)||4x4 (2465)|
Sorry, there are no photos.
This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.
|9th.||1989 WRC Safari Rally||J. Heather-Hayes||A. Levitan||#19||[UNKNOWN]||11:08:07|
|10th.||1989 WRC Rally Australia (WA)||P. Bourne||R. Freeth||#13||[UNKNOWN]||6:15:19|
|6th.||1988 WRC Safari Rally||I. Duncan||I. Munro||#15||[UNKNOWN]||4:28:34|
|9th.||1988 WRC Safari Rally||P. Bourne||R. Freeth||#9||[UNKNOWN]||7:23:50|
|5th.||1988 WRC Rally Argentina||J. Celsi||E. Olave||#8||[UNKNOWN]||8:10:57|
|12th.||1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo||P. Eklund||D. Whittock||#16||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
|5th.||1987 WRC Safari Rally||P. Eklund||D. Whittock||#15||[UNKNOWN]||6:00:42|
|10th.||1987 WRC Safari Rally||A. Vatanen||C. Tilber||#1||[UNKNOWN]||9:06:17|
|11th.||1987 WRC Safari Rally||P. Bourne||K. Lancaster||#21||[UNKNOWN]||9:10:10|
|13th.||1987 WRC Safari Rally||F. Tundo||Q. Thomson||#27||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
|3rd.||1987 WRC Rally New Zealand||P. Bourne||M. Eggleton||#5||[UNKNOWN]||7:04:25|
|10th.||1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain||R. Ericsson||P. Rosendahl||#35||[UNKNOWN]||5:58:36|
|8th.||1986 WRC Swedish Rally||R. Ericsson||P. Rosendahl||#19||[UNKNOWN]||5:38:01|
|6th.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||M. Kirkland||R. Nixon||#5||[UNKNOWN]||7:37:00|
|7th.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||F. Tundo||Q. Thomson||#19||[UNKNOWN]||8:11:00|
|8th.||1986 WRC Rally Argentina||J. Celsi||. UNKNOWN||#12||[UNKNOWN]||7:48:44|
|8th.||1986 WRC USA Olympus Rally||P. Bourne||J. Scott||#10||[UNKNOWN]||6:20:27|
|10th.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||C. Vitulli||R. Nixon||#29||[UNKNOWN]||15:28:00|
|11th.||1985 WRC Rally New Zealand||M. Kirkland||A. Levitan||#8||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
|8th.||1985 WRC Rally New Zealand||P. Bourne||M. Eggleton||#18||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
|12th.||1985 WRC Rally New Zealand||F. Tundo||. UNKNOWN||#34||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.
|Ret.||1989 WRC Rally Argentina||P. Bourne||R. Freeth||#4||[UNKNOWN]||SS7 crash|
|Ret.||1989 WRC Rally Argentina||J. Celsi||E. Olave||#6||[UNKNOWN]||SS31 crash|
|Ret.||1989 WRC Rally New Zealand||P. Bourne||R. Freeth||#9||[UNKNOWN]||SS3 disqualified|
|Ret.||1989 WRC Safari Rally||J. Heather-Hayes||A. Levitan||#19||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 ?|
|Ret.||1989 WRC Safari Rally||P. Njiru||A. Khan||#16||[UNKNOWN]||SS31 withdrawn|
|Ret.||1988 WRC Rally New Zealand||P. Bourne||R. Freeth||#1||[UNKNOWN]||SS24 crash|
|Ret.||1988 WRC USA Olympus Rally||C. di Marco||. UNKNOWN||#11||[UNKNOWN]||SS8 engine|
|Ret.||1988 WRC Swedish Rally||R. Ericsson||P. Rosendahl||#29||[UNKNOWN]||SS27 gearbox|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain||P. Bourne||R. Freeth||#11||[UNKNOWN]||SS38 suspension|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Bandama Rallye||J. Niemi||C. Wrede||#19||[UNKNOWN]||SS1 transmission|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Rally Argentina||J. Celsi||E. Olave||#6||[UNKNOWN]||SS8 gearbox|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Acropolis Rally||P. Meylan||. UNKNOWN||#15||[UNKNOWN]||SS11 ?|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Safari Rally||R. Khoda||. UNKNOWN||#31||[UNKNOWN]||SS33 gearbox|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Swedish Rally||R. Ericsson||P. Rosendahl||#19||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo||H. Demuth||C. Fellinger||#21||[UNKNOWN]||SS1 gearbox|
|Ret.||1986 WRC USA Olympus Rally||C. di Marco||K. Gormley||#15||[UNKNOWN]||SS9 gearbox|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Rally of Great Britain||J. Morton||D. Rogers||#81||[UNKNOWN]||SS31 gearbox|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Rally New Zealand||P. Bourne||J. Scott||#10||[UNKNOWN]||SS12 given up|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Rally New Zealand||M. Kirkland||R. Nixon||#5||[UNKNOWN]||SS12 given up|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Rally New Zealand||F. Tundo||M. Doughty||#14||[UNKNOWN]||SS12 given up|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||P. Bourne||M. Fletcher||#15||[UNKNOWN]||SS35 suspension|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||P. Njiru||. UNKNOWN||#39||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 crash|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||A. Molino||. UNKNOWN||#16||[UNKNOWN]||SS10 gearbox|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||. Saito||D. Macharia||#74||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Safari Rally||C. Vitulli||P. Tilbury||#28||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1986 WRC Swedish Rally||B. Danielsson||A. Eklind||#23||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 ?|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Rally of Great Britain||J. Morton||. UNKNOWN||#61||[UNKNOWN]||SS20 gearbox|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Rally of Great Britain||P. Geitel||K. Häkkinen||#53||[UNKNOWN]||SS15 engine|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Rally of Great Britain||E. Pitkänen||. UNKNOWN||#34||[UNKNOWN]||SS8 engine|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Rally New Zealand||C. Vitulli||R. Nixon||#30||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Rally New Zealand||T. Teesdale||B. Haldane||#25||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||P. Njiru||D. Macharia||#54||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||F. Tundo||Q. Thomson||#28||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 transmission|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||. Ciaraldi||. UNKNOWN||#33||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 suspension|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||T. Fowkes||. UNKNOWN||#32||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 gearbox|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||. Saito||. UNKNOWN||#55||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 transmission|
|Ret.||1985 WRC Safari Rally||F. Takahashi||A. Khan||#27||[UNKNOWN]||SS99 ?|