Fuji Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its horizontally-opposed ‘Boxer’ engine, so called due to the engine’s pistons resembling the punch-counterpunch motion of a boxer’s fists.
Subaru’s signature Boxer engine was introduced on the Subaru 1000 compact passenger car on 14 May 1966. Since then, Subaru has sought to maximise the advantages of its Boxer engines and continuously enhanced them to power its vehicles to this day. Today, every vehicle sold by Subaru is fitted with a Boxer engine*, with total production over the last 50 years topping 16 million units.
With the horizontally-opposed design of Subaru’s Boxer engine, the opposing pistons work to cancel out the inertia force of each other, resulting in less vibration and superb rotational balance to provide smooth acceleration right up to the highest engine speeds. Its compact form also allows it to be fitted lower in the engine bay than a conventional four-in-line engine, lowering the centre of gravity.
The Boxer engine is one of the key components that comprise Subaru’s distinctive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system. Subaru Symmetrical AWD offers a combination of superior stability and traction, with the symmetrical layout of the drivetrain allowing a balanced weight distribution, aided by the longitudinally-mounted Boxer engine. This synergy between engine and drivetrain delivers excellent performance, both in terms of high speed stability and under cornering. Earlier this year, the Japanese brand announced the production of the 15 millionth Subaru vehicle equipped with its famous Symmetrical AWD system.