Subaru is known for two things: quirkiness and all-wheel drive. Marking an important milestone, the Japanese automaker just announced that it’s produced its 15 millionth vehicle equipped with four-corner traction.
This is a monumental accomplishment for such a small car company. Not surprisingly, it took a whopping 44 years to achieve this. A quick glance at the brand’s overall sales and it’s not hard to see why. In the U.S. last year Subaru sold fewer than 583,000 vehicles. For a little perspective, Toyota sold nearly 430,000 Camrys.
Still, all of this tremendous heritage started back in September of 1972 when the company’s Leone 4WD Estate Van went on sale. Over the last four and a half decades Subaru has continued to enhance its all-wheel-drive technology, transforming it into the industry leading system it is today.
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Globally, 98 percent of the company’s vehicles were sold with all-wheel drive last year. The same is true of Subaru’s horizontally opposed boxer engines, which are quite unique in the marketplace today. Very few automakers still use this cylinder-block configuration.
In America, the only model they offer that’s not equipped with all-wheel drive is the BRZ sports car; in everything else it’s standard.
With their unique drivetrain configurations, Subaru vehicles have abundant traction and low centers of gravity for enhanced road holding, traits that make them darlings in areas where the weather is nasty. Here’s to the next 15 million, Subaru!
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