Subaru’s Boxer Engine Celebrates its 50th Birthday


The Subaru Boxer engine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Originally introduced on May 14, 1966 in the Subaru 1000 compact passenger car, the Japanese automaker has since produced more than 16 million units. Today, every vehicle sold by Subaru is powered by a Boxer engine, which features a horizontally opposed design with the pistons facing each other in a side-by-side symmetrical layout.

With the opposing pistons working to cancel out the inertia force of each other, the engine has less vibration and superb rotational balance to provide a smooth feel through the rpm band.

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Subaru considers its iconic Boxer engine to be one of the key components in the company’s distinctive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system. The symmetrically laid-out drivetrain helps provide balanced distribution of weight, so that the AWD system delivers excellent performance and stability at high speeds.

The Japanese automaker isn’t the only company that uses a horizontally opposed engine design. Porsche is also famous for having flat-four and flat-six engines in its lineup. The German automaker, however, doesn’t offer it on every vehicle in its lineup – something that Subaru does.

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