Motorsports, News&Reviews

Subaru And Sport – Where The Know-How Comes From

Few car makers rival Subaru’s motorsport heritage. Nowadays, its expertise can be seen in every one of its production vehicles.

Think of the greats of world rallying: Colin McRae. Ari Vatanen. Richard Burns. Petter Solberg.

Now picture them in their vehicles, helmet on and steering wheel clutched in gloved hands. Is the car you’re visualising bright blue? Thought so.

Every one of these legends drove for the Subaru team and notched up their biggest career successes while racing under the manufacturer’s banner.

There was Colin McRae’s drivers’ championship victory in 1995, which coincided with Subaru’s first manufacturers’ title.

It scored two more straight works championships in the following years, with McRae consistently finishing in the drivers’ top two.

In 2001 Burns steered Subaru to a second drivers’ championship, with Norway’s Solberg doing it again two years later.

Subaru’s dominance of world rallying lives long in the mind of enthusiasts, and the legacy of that period of high achievement is enjoyed by everyone who drives its production cars today. Why?

Because each one features technology that was honed in the pressured environment of competitive motorsport.

Winning technology

Consider Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) system. This is a feature of all of its world-beating rally cars, including the Legacy RS of the early 1990s and the much-admired Impreza 555 in which McRae became world champion.

Proven in the heat of competition, the setup sits at the heart of every model (except the BRZ sports coupe) in Subaru’s current line-up. It’s why vehicles like the Outback, Forester and XV deliver such a reassuring drive.

The SAWD works by driving every wheel, in contrast to the part-time four-wheel drive configurations favoured on many SUVs.

It then tweaks the precise power delivery in response to conditions, redirecting it from a wheel if slip is detected to facilitate a constant grip on the surface below.

As well as delivering astonishing road holding, SAWD translates to enviable go-anywhere ability, especially when allied to the enhanced ground clearance of the Forester, Outback and XV.

Whether you’re a rural dweller who traverses tricky country lanes in all weathers, a boating or caravan enthusiast in need of a tow car, or a lover of adventurous pursuits who needs a practical car to access out-of-the-way places, Subaru’s all-terrain credentials make the task of getting from A to B immeasurably more straightforward.

Crash resistance

Even better, the brand is regularly recognised for the safety of its vehicles, which is perhaps unsurprising when you consider its motorsport heritage.

The fact that the Forester, Outback and XV all received a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests enhances the sense of putting yourself and your passengers in good hands. These cars really are made of strong stuff.

It is not hard to see why so many motorsport greats signed up with Subaru during its World Rally Championship glory days. If you’re at the top of your game, you want to drive the very best.

And while the average motorist may not have the astonishing behind-the-wheel nous of a McRae or a Vatanen, it is reassuring to know that, in some small way, you are part of the same legend. The modern Subaru is the heir to their success.

What is ‘Subaru Sense’?

Subaru’s unique approach to engineering underpins everything they do. They put capability, safety and reliability before anything else – always have, always will. In this series for The Telegraph and Subaru, adventurous people talk about the vehicles and technologies that make sense to them.

Subaru has been making cars for more than 60 years. The combination of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Subaru’s famous Boxer engine form the basis of a range of technologies designed to give you the ultimate confidence on (and off) the road.


Automobiles, Car Technology, Featured, History

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Subaru

Subaru has a tremendous following among car enthusiasts. Selling cars with superior horsepower, excellent handling and low cost has given Subaru a phenomenal cult following. If you don’t believe that, ask any owner of one of these vehicles. They’re unlike any other car on the road for more than just those few reasons.

It’s car fans’ supreme love of the Subaru that sets the vehicles apart, but what else makes a Subaru a Subaru? Here are six fun facts about the brand and the cars.

1. Always a boxer engine

The innovative boxer engine has been the core of every Subaru model for the past 45 years. It’s a fundamental of the brand. Unlike a typical engine, the boxer engine is equipped with horizontal thrusting pistons, which allow the engine output to move directly into the transmission. The flat design allows for a lower center of gravity, which means better responsiveness and control. Better yet, in the event of a front-end collision, the flatter engine is designed to move under the passenger compartment, making it much safer than typical engine models.

2. Made for symmetrical all-wheel drive

While AWD is a luxury in some cars, every Subaru is made to be an AWD vehicle straight from the get-go. And while other cars offer the drive option, nobody does it like Subaru. That’s because Subaru vehicles are the only cars on the market with symmetrical all-wheel drive. This system allows a peerless balance of power to all four wheels while power from the engine moves in one simple straight line through the transmission and to the drive train such that both sides are symmetrical. Symmetrical AWD means better traction, balance and control. Not to mention, Subaru drivers tend to worry a lot less about driving through snow drifts during the unpredictable New England winters.

3. A rally racing legend

With so much focus on AWD and performance, it’s no wonder Subaru is one of the better known names in the world of rally racing. Subaru vehicles have been tearing down the dirt raceway for decades. In fact, Subaru has claimed 47 manufacturer wins in the World Rally Championships since 1973, according to Motorsports Etc.

RELATED: 10 of The Rarest Subarus Ever

4. Shooting for the stars

The six stars in the Subaru logo are a reference to the Taurus constellation, which is particularly easy to spot in the night sky above Japan, according to Business Insider. Moreover, the name of Taurus in Japanese is Subaru. The particular six-star cluster is called Pleiades.

5. The best cars in America?

Subaru vehicles don’t just have a reputation for high-performance driving and tearing up dirt roads. The brand’s vehicles have been called some of the most reliable, safe and value-packed choices in the American car market. Here are just some of the distinctions Subaru has achieved.

According to Fortune Magazine, Consumer Reports ranked Subaru above Mercedes-Benz, BMW and every other manufacturer in performance, comfort, reliability and utility. The organization said Subaru makes some of the best cars in America.
While some manufacturers have just one vehicle with a Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Award, every model vehicle in Subaru’s arsenal has the award.
Fortune Magazine also reported that ALG named Subaru as the industry leader in retained value when it comes to popular car brands.

6. Built to last

If you’re looking for a car that will deliver for years to come, there’s no option better than a Subaru. That’s because the boxer engine helps reduce vibration, which helps the car run more efficiently and smoothly. That can help boost the lifespan of the vehicle, too. According to the car manufacturing company, 96 percent of Subarus built within the last 12 years can still be found on the road to this day.