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Little Classics News: 18 February 2015

Nearly 50 Years and 15 Million Subaru Boxer Engines

Subaru 1000

Production of Subaru’s horizontally-opposed ‘Boxer’ engine has now reached 15 million units since the engine was first developed 49 years ago.

The Boxer engine has become synonymous with Subaru vehicles all over the world, and remains one the hallmarks of a marque which continues to tread its own path when it comes to engineering.

In the UK, few people associate Subaru with classic cars, but they have been producing cars since the mid ‘50s and the first Subaru model equipped with a Boxer engine was the Subaru 1000 (above), introduced in 1966 with a horizontally-opposed, water-cooled, four-cylinder aluminium engine. Since then, the engine – famed for its ‘punch, counterpunch’ layout – has powered almost every single Subaru production car sold around the globe. The latest Boxer engine can be found in the all-new Subaru Outback, which goes on sale in the UK from April 2015.

Subaru’s Boxer engines are renowned for their smooth power delivery and the benefits that are derived from its compact dimensions. Pistons are laid out symmetrically to cancel out the inertia force of each other, resulting in less vibration, greater rotational balance and a smoother, free-revving power delivery than many four-cylinder in-line engine.

The horizontally-opposed design allows the engine to be fitted lower in the engine bay, helping to lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity to improve driving stability and handling performance.

14 million All-Wheel Drive vehicles

Classic Subaru Leone Estate

Subaru has also just achieved another significant milestone with the production of its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, which has now been fitted to over 14 million cars since its introduction in 1972.

First fitted to the Subaru Leone Estate Van (above), Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system remains central to the appeal and capabilities of much of its model range, contributing to class-leading stability – and much hooniganism!

The result of this famous engine and all-wheel drive system will see many of the more recent cars of Subaru become modern classics very soon. In fact, it’s already happening. We predict this will only continue.


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