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The Subaru Chassis Anatomy Explained

The Subaru Chassis Anatomy

What is a vehicle chassis?

Just like a home or building has a foundation or a skyscraper has its substructure and even an exoskeleton, a car’s chassis is the vehicle’s frame — the underpart of every motor vehicle on which the body is mounted. A rolling chassis refers to a version of this whereby the running gear (such as the wheels and transmissions — and sometimes even the driver’s seat) are included in this framework.

What makes a Subaru chassis different from the rest?

It wasn’t that long ago that Subaru unveiled its next-generation vehicle Subaru chassis platforms, designed to improve safety and performance as part of a strategic plan that will keep Subaru competitive and relevant through to 2025 (by when new innovation will keep us there, naturally).

Long term strategy

The new vehicle chassis design contributes to our unwavering focus on safety while also making our models more economical to produce. This is driven through amortised strategic capacities that make use of our being able to produce components for multiple models at one factory, instead of over multiple factories. This will increase efficiency and allow Subaru to flexibly shift production between factories (in the United States and Japan) to quickly adjust to changing demand.

“The goal is to enhance the product without raising sticker prices,” says Tetsuo Onuki, Vice President of Global Engineering.

When it comes to the Subaru chassis, these are the most prominent improvements:

  • Body rigidity improved 70 percent to 100 percent
  • Centre of gravity lowered for better handling
  • Collision impact absorption improved by 40 percent
  • Noise and vibration reduced by 15 percent
Subaru Chassis

Subaru Chassis

How The Subaru Chassis Was Designed

How was the Subaru chassis designed?

The frame is the building block upon which all the key vehicle attributes are built. To deliver on our focus on utilizing each Subaru model’s performance in the best possible way, a highly rigid — but light — body is essential for increasing driving performance. The Subaru Ring Shaped Reinforcement Frame is the perfect platform for delivering unsurpassed driving confidence.

For an ideal balance of both of these qualities, Subaru has created a highly rigid and lightweight body by comprehensively using aluminum materials and high tensile steel plates throughout the vehicle. A degree of flexibility has also been incorporated to allow the Subaru’s vehicle chassis and suspension movements in particular, to perform better.

Compact and lightweight Horizontally-Opposed Engines are intrinsically smoother and more efficient than their V-shaped engine-counterparts. The flatter design also means the engine can sit much lower within the vehicle chassis and thereby guarantee a lower centre of gravity and total compatibility with the symmetrical All-Wheel Drive layout and Subaru’s suspension systems.

Beyond the aspect of vehicle chassis’ is the chassis number. This is like your car’s DNA or its very own ID number that links it to unique information regarding your vehicle’s exact origins, type (specifics), its engine and when it was built.

How to find a vehicle chassis number?

There are numerous ways to find your car’s chassis number, depending on the make and model:

  • On your registration certificate and paperwork
  • Listed within your car’s insurance paperwork
  • Printed on the driver side door and can be seen when the driver side door is opened
  • Under the bonnet in the engine compartment
  • In the boot underneath the spare wheel
  • On record at the dealership where you bought the car


If you would like to know more about the science and inspiration behind the Subaru chassis, why not visit your nearest dealership and chat to one of our helpful consultants. Better still, see what makes our vehicle chassis design impact your experience, and how that is in keeping with Subaru’s constant goal to achieve the best performance, safety and control to benefit you, the driver.

Call us on +27 11 608 0116 or email info@subaru.co.za and a skilled member of our team will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, use our store locator to find your nearest dealership, and experience any of our six incredible models first-hand by getting behind the wheel and booking your test drive today.

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