These latest photos from Death Valley capture a Subaru test car sporting a huge scoop in the center of its hood. For those who know Subaru's, a scoop on the hood means a turbocharged engine.

These latest photos from Death Valley capture a Subaru test car sporting a huge scoop in the center of its hood. For those who know Subaru’s, a scoop on the hood means a turbocharged engine, so one can safely predict this is a Turbo. But beyond that, it’s tough to know what we’ve got here.

Since the car is a Subaru Legacy, the natural assumption is that this will be a sportier, more powerful Legacy with a turbo engine, possibly even a turbo version of the Tribeca’s V6. But the Legacy is already available in turbo versions, and the top model, the Legacy Spec B, has plenty of power. More is hardly needed.

So this raises another possibility. This may be a mule, using a Legacy body, but testing the powertrain of the next generation Subaru Impreza WRX. The super-sized hood scoop is much more in keeping with the racy image of the WRX than of the more up-scale Legacy. And this would give Subaru engineers a chance to test out the WRX’s upgraded engine without revealing the new body styling of the next WRX. In any case, it’s easy to see that Subaru is planning something new and fast.

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SPY PHOTOS: Subaru Legacy Turbo