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Subaru cars are known for their use of a boxer engine layout in most vehicles above 1500 cc. The Symmetrical All Wheel Drive drive-train layout was introduced in 1972. The flat/boxer engine and all-wheel-drive became standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets by 1996, and is now standard in most North American market Subaru vehicles. The lone exception is the BRZ, introduced in 2012 via a partnership with Toyota, which uses the boxer engine but instead uses a rear-wheel-drive structure. Subaru also offers turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX and the Legacy GT.

Subaru is distinct from many of its Japanese competitors in that as of early 2016 it still made almost 75% of its cars sold internationally in Japan Subaru’s facilities designated to automotive manufacturing are located in Ōta, Gunma Prefecture, consisting of four locations. Subaru-chō is where the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 is built, having been re-purposed from kei car production, Yajima Plant is where all current Subaru cars are built, Otakita Plant is where commercial kei trucks are built (originally a factory location of Nakajima Aircraft Company), and Oizumi Plant in Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture, is where engines and transmissions are built.

Subaru in the United Kingdom

In 1974 Robert Edmiston was finance director at sports car manufacturer Jensen Motors. When the company went bankrupt, he used a £6,000 redundancy payout to set up International Motors, which acquired the UK franchise for Subaru and Isuzu. The Coleshill based company is still the parent for Subaru in the UK.

Subaru Motorsports

Subaru Impreza WRC

Modified versions of the Impreza WRX and WRX STi have been competing successfully in rallying. Drivers Colin McRae (1995), Richard Burns (2001) and Petter Solberg (2003) have won World Rally Championship drivers’ titles with the Subaru World Rally Team and Subaru took the manufacturers’ title three years in a row from 1995 to 1997. Subaru’s World Rally Championship cars are prepared and run by Prodrive, the highly successful British motorsport team. Several endurance records were set in the early and mid-nineties by the Subaru Legacy. The Subaru Justy also holds the world record for the fastest sub 1.0L car without a turbo: 123.224 mph average, it was set in 1989.

Technology

Diesel

The 2007 Frankfurt International Motor Show saw Subaru introduce a horizontally opposed, water-cooled, common rail turbodiesel using a variable geometry turbocharger called the Subaru EE engine, the first of its type to be fitted to a passenger car. Volkswagen had experimented with this idea during the 1950s and made two air-cooled boxer prototype diesel engines that were not turbocharged. VW installed one engine in a Type 1 and another in a Type 2.

The Subaru engine was rated at 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) and 350 N⋅m (260 ft⋅lbf) with a displacement of 2.0 litres. In March 2008 Subaru offered the Legacy sedan and wagon and the Outback wagon with 2.0 litre turbodiesel in the EU with a 5-speed manual transmission.

In September 2008 Subaru announced that the diesel Forester and diesel Impreza will be introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, with Forester sales to begin October 2008 and diesel Impreza sales to start January 2009. The Forester and Impreza will have a 6-speed manual transmission, whereas the Legacy and Outback have 5-speed manual transmissions.

Electric vehicles

In June 2006, Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc. (FHI) launched its Subaru Stella Plug-in electric vehicle which is a kei car equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack. The vehicle has a short range of 56 miles (90 km) but it actually costs more than the Mitsubishi iMiEV, at ¥4,380,000 (US$44,860), including Japanese Government consumption taxes with an exemption of $2,240. It will also qualify for a rebate from the Japanese Government of up to $14,200, bringing the price down to $30,660. The vehicle is much like the i-MiEV, with a 47-kilowatt motor and a quick-charge capability, but the two-door mini-car has a boxy shape. FHI plans to start delivery in late July and plans to sell 170 vehicles by March 2010.

Electronics

Since the 2005 model year, Subaru has adopted the CAN bus technology for the USA and Canada markets. Starting in the 2007 model year, all Subaru vehicles use the CAN technology. Typically, two CAN-buses are used on vehicles: a high-speed CAN running at 500 kbit/s for powertrain communication, and a low-speed CAN running at 125 kbit/s for body control functions and instrument panels. A body-integrated unit (BIU) is used between these two networks.

Subaru vehicle Models

  • Impreza WRX
  • Impreza WRX STI
  • Forester
  • BRZ
  • XV Crosstrek
  • Legacy
  • Outback
  • Levorg
  • WRX

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