Subaru has long recognised the potential and advantages of all-wheel drive – even before it became commonplace. The unique symmetry afforded by the combination of a Boxer® engine with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ takes dynamic performance a step further. The low centre of gravity and perfectly-balanced weight distribution of this construction also enhances stability and responsiveness when cornering while also improving traction on rough and loose surfaces, for superior dynamic performance throughout a wide range of driving scenarios.
At the core of Subaru performance is a deep commitment to putting you in control. The Subaru Boxer® engines achieve this through their horizontally-opposed cylinder layout, which allows the engine to sit lower down to create an overall low centre of gravity, ultimately giving you better handling and stability. The design also allows the pistons to cancel out their own vibrations, allowing for smoother and more responsive power.
Subaru also developed the world’s first and so far only passenger-vehicle Boxer® diesel engine, which resulted in greater fuel efficiency and retention of typical Boxer® engine smoothness and performance.
A Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which uses a chain instead of the typical belt to manage its infinite transmission ratios, allows for a greater span of overall ratios for improved performance and efficiency as well as faster response to throttle input.
Lineartronic™ is longitudinally-paired with an active torque-split all-wheel drive system that responds to traction conditions, transmission and driver inputs by continuously controlling the torque distribution front to rear. Paddle shifters also provide either a six- or eight-step simulated manual mode for quick and sporty response on demand.
Switch between different pre-programmed engine and transmission maps to suit driving conditions or your driving mood with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE). Controlling the engine and transmission electronically, the SI-DRIVE switch can be easily used to change between three pre-programmed driving modes, ranging from gentle and efficient power delivery in Intelligent mode, sportier and more responsive Sport mode or high performance in Sport Sharp mode.
Sport Sharp Mode
Sport Sharp mode (S#) summons up the engine and transmission’s most performance-oriented profiles, offering quick acceleration and sharper response. Ideal for merging or overtaking on the highway, or when enjoying a stint of spirited driving, Sport Sharp unleashes the maximum potential of your Subaru.
The Multi-mode Driver-Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD) is a cutting-edge, electronically controlled all-wheel drive enhancement system that incorporates a 35:65 front to rear torque distribution planetary gear in the centre differential and an electronically controlled Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) mechanism that automatically limits different slip levels at the wheels. With Multi-mode DCCD, the control module can detect more precisely the driver’s intentions with regard to how much they want to turn the vehicle.
Whilst Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ is arguably the best AWD system in the world, with over 40 years of continuous perfection since introduction, the addition of X-Mode available exclusively in the Lineartronic™ versions of the Subaru Forester allows the driver to optimise the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ system for easier and safer navigation over wet or rough terrain, at the touch of a button. X-Mode centralises engine control to make optimal use of the centre differential, rear differential, brakes and traction control system to provide especially controlled descent over steep, low-grip terrain.
Available exclusively in the Subaru WRX and WRX STI, Active Torque Vectoring has unleashed advanced cornering control by using the traction control system and anti-lock brakes to enhance turn-in. By braking the inside front wheel and sending more torque to the outside front wheel, the vehicle is naturally pulled towards the apex as the Active Torque Vectoring assists in vehicle rotation and creates a more responsive and direct cornering experience.
Every Subaru model comes with Subaru’s legendary safety standards. Subaru’s strong obsession with safety has resulted in a long history of five-star ANCAP (Australia), Euro NCAP (Europe), JNCAP (Japan) and IIHS (USA) safety ratings. At their core, the combination of Subaru Boxer® engines and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ provide the highest levels of stability, control and balance for safer driving. For four years running, Subaru remains the only vehicle manufacturer whose entire product line-up carries the coveted ‘Top Safety Pick’ award from the IIHS.
For better safety and performance in the event of an accident, Subaru has implemented its own technical developments based on examinations of actual accidents. Ring-Shaped Reinforcement™ is one of the most significant crash impact absorbing implementations, joining each pillar, the body’s side frames and the floor cross members in a ring-shaped layout, creating a protective shell. This cage-like design firmly encompasses the driving area that is the cabin. Complementing this is the vehicle’s front area construction, a design which has been achieved thanks to the flat shape and longitudinally-mounted position of the Boxer® engine. The side frames extend straight from the cabin to the position of the bumpers in a symmetrical design to create a frame layout that absorbs energy from frontal impacts efficiently and effectively. These qualities all ensure that the Ring-Shaped Reinforcement™ shell provides a balance between protecting against collisions and controlling energy absorption from any direction. The results are some of the world’s leading safety credentials.
All Subaru vehicles are fitted as standard with seven airbags for maximum occupant protection. Dual front airbags are met by side airbags for each front seat, as well as curtain airbags which run the full length of the cabin, on each side of the vehicle. Elevating the safety of Subaru vehicles one step further, a crucial driver’s knee airbag is also included to minimise injury to the driver’s knees in the event of a frontal impact.
Subaru’s electronic driver assist system, named Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), features a range of stability and braking technologies which step in to help maintain safety in extreme conditions. Subaru VDC incorporates: