Tuesday, January 21

Subaru Reveals Plans to Improve Its All-Wheel Drive System and Offers Details on New Engine


At a technology briefing in Japan, Subaru Corporation laid down their future plans including one where their entire global line-up will be electrified in one form or another by the first half of 2030.


We’ve delivered the gist of Subaru’s technology road map for the next decade, but since we’ve happened to get hold of their technical presentation too, we’ve uncovered more stuff that weren’t mentioned in the summarized press statement.
  • Moving into the new decade, Subaru wants to achieve a deeper bond with their customers. In their words, they want to transform from “a company that makes things to a company that makes its owners smile.”
  • With that in mind, Subaru thinks that the strength of its brand doesn’t lie in its functionality, but rather, being able to speak in a way that’s relatable to its customers. Thus, they want to focus on three core aspects: Safety, Longevity, and Adventure/Versatility.
  • In the coming years, Subaru will be enhancing its Subaru Global Platform (SGP) to maximize the potential of its driver. Using a human-centric design, they’ve realized that a driver’s input vis-à-vis the car’s response is delayed by as much as 65 percent. To counter this, they’re working to reduce the friction in the steering system, analyzed and improved the body rigidity, and optimized the joining method on the body.
  • Moreover, they are set to improve the high-speed stability of their vehicles that by 2022, they will use a 2.74-kilometer running wind tunnel in the United Kingdom as part of their design validation process.
  • Subaru is also keen to improve its trademark all-wheel drive system. This evolved system will vary the torque split between the front and rear wheels by monitoring the difference in wheel speed and the amount of driving force so that it will “offer All-Wheel Drive stability with rear-wheel drive turning performance.”
  • As part of their plan to reduce their CO2 emissions taken from a Well-to-Wheel perspective, Subaru will launch their brand-new 1.8-liter Boxer 4-cylinder engine this year. It’s confirmed on the next-generation Levorg, and likely, it’ll be the same one used in the upcoming WRX. It offers less friction than their current engine line, and will also introduce a new proprietary spark technology to improve efficiency. This is how the engine looks like:
  • Aside from this new downsized turbo engine, Subaru will expand the use of its Mild Hybrid (e-BOXER) system while also collaborating with Toyota for their first “Strong Hybrid” vehicle which debuts before 2025. Despite using the THS or Toyota Hybrid System, it’s placement along the vehicle’s central access makes it unique and will thereby result in good handling.
  • Subaru says that vehicles equipped with this “Strong Hybrid” system will feature a direct drive All-Wheel Drive system. This means the front wheels will be powered by the internal combustion engine, while the rear wheels will be driven by the electric motor.
  • Finally, Subaru also revealed how their first battery electric vehicle (BEV) looks like (see lead photo). This compact crossover is developed in cooperation with Toyota and will feature a high-response motor and all-wheel drive that “improves traction performance and provide stability in all driving environments.”

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