The Subaru brand is one of the younger car brands on the market, given that it came onto the scene in the early 1950s. However, despite that fact, Subaru is one of the most popular car brands among driving enthusiasts here in the US and also around the world. Subaru’s tendency to build vehicles that prioritize driver engagement has greatly contributed to that. This is evidenced by the fact that a Subaru car (the Subaru Impreza) holds the title of the ‘most ticketed car in America’. Subaru is also one of the most respected car brands in the global rally racing/motorsports industry.
Subaru owes its inception to Kenji Kita, CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries. It was the early 1950s, and Fuji Heavy Industries had just been formed as a result of a merger between five companies - Fuji Kogyo, Fuji Jidosha, Omiya Fuji Kogyo, Utsunomiya Sharyo, and Tokyo Fuji Sangyo. One of Kenji Kita first objectives for the newly formed company was to start a car manufacturing division, and he already had a name already set apart for it–Subaru. The name ‘Subaru’ is inspired by the Pleiades star cluster which consists of seven stars, also called the ‘Seven Sisters’ in Japan. One star in this star cluster is brighter than the others, and another is invisible; this is why the Subaru logo has one large star and five other smaller ones.
Subaru is known the world over for two things: boxer engines and all-wheel-drive. Subaru’s horizontally opposed engine, dubbed the boxer engine, has its pistons facing each other in a side-by-side layout. In this engine, the pistons move in opposite directions, cancelling out each other’s movements. The result is improved operational balance and fewer vibrations. The first Subaru boxer engine debuted in 1966 in the Subaru 1000. Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive drive-train layout has also been around since 1972. Undoubtedly, this drive train has evolved over the years. Its most recent versions do an excellent job of automatically regulating the distribution of power and torque to all the wheels to facilitate improved traction, stability, and control. By the late ‘90s, Subaru started equipping all its vehicles with boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel-drive drive-trains. Today, the Subaru BRZ sports car is the only Subaru vehicle in the North American market that does not have all-wheel-drive. It has rear-wheel-drive instead, but it uses a boxer engine.
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