Subaru has launched a third-generation version of its innovative boxer petrol engine.
The new four-cylinder, direct-injection boxer unit is the first from Subaru's parent firm Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd in 21 years and will again be available in 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre forms. No official power figures have been quoted by Subaru, but economy in both displacements is improved by 10 per cent.
The improvements have been made by revising the bore and stroke dimensions for optimised combustion and the use of use of lightweight, low friction internal parts including pistons and connector rods. The engine will initially be launched Subaru’s Forester model, but will find its way into other Subarus as well as Toyota’s FT-86 coupe.
The Subaru boxer engine is expected to be the FT-86’s core powertrain tuned to produce around 197bhp and will be mated to either a six-speed manual or CVT gearbox.
The engine is also tipped to form the basis of Subaru’s hybrid powertrain, previewed in the firm’s innovative Hybrid Tourer Concept. In this concept the engine was mated to two electric motors – a 10kw one at the front and a 20kw one at the rear - powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.
This hybrid powertrain is also said to be of interest to Toyota as it will offer a much more sporting driving experience for the rear-drive coupe, something its current hybrid powertrain cannot provide.