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    Drew Dowdell

    ...still several years away...

    Due to some stock dealings recently, Toyota now holds just over 20% of Subaru's stock. As the two companies grow closer together, we can expect more platform and engineering sharing to happen.  Case in point, the next WRX.
    The next WRX is still a few years away, however, Toyota and Subaru are already collaborating together on a shared platform the WRX would use. There is also a rumor that the pair are working on something new called "Super AWD", but it doesn't go into detail as to what the technology would be.  
    There is also the possibility of an AWD compact sports coupe that would have the same performance level as the WRX STI.   The current STI is fading out in Japan where production ends in December with the EJ20 Final Edition.  The WRX STI runs with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 304 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft of torque. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...time to buy some stock...

    Toyota is in plans to purchase additional shares of Subaru to raise its stake to over 20% from around 17% today. Subaru in kind will also invest back in Toyota via a similar stock purchase of Toyota. If the deal is approved by Toyota's board, it is a step towards making Subaru a whole owned subsidiary that would create a 'Mega Toyota'.  Toyota recently announced a similar purchase of Suzuki shares to form a new alliance for the Indian market. 
    Toyota and Subaru have worked together before on projects such as the Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 and Subaru for a time built Toyota Camrys at its plant in Indiana.
    Toyota sees Subaru as being strong in sport utility vehicles and in all-wheel drive technology. Toyota and Subaru have also announced plans to jointly build a platform for an electric SUV.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Modest price increase, more standard equipment...

    Subaru has announced pricing for the 2020 Subaru Legacy and 2020 Subaru Outback. Both get modest price increases, but also increases in base equipment.  The Legacy starting price is $200 more than last year at $24,995, and the Outback is $300 more at $26,645. 
    Some of the biggest equipment upgrades is that Subaru's Eyesight now features Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, a heads up monitoring system, LED headlights for low and high beam, and high beam assist. 
    Both cars are built on Subaru's new global platform that offers increased safety, and reductions in noise, vibration, and harshness. The base engine is a revised 2.5 liter boxer-four that produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. An upgraded 2.4T boxer engine is standard in Limited XT models and produces 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.  Both engines come with start-stop to improve fuel efficiency.  
    Fuel economy figures are as follows:
    Legacy 2.5 - 35 MPG highway
    Legacy XT - 32 MPG highway
    Outback 2.5 - 33 MPG highway
    Outback XT - 30 MPG highway
    The only transmission available is Subaru's Lineartronic CVT that now has an 8-speed manual shift mode via paddles on the steering wheel. 
    Six different trims are available on the Legacy and seven different trims available on the Outback. Inside, the infotainment system features dual 7.0 inch touch screens.  The upper screen controls the audio with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, while the lower screen controls climate control, controls for Eyesight, and other vehicle systems. 
    Both the Legacy and Outback are built in Lafayette, IN, and will go on sale this fall.
     
     

    William Maley

    Boasts an all-electric range of 25 miles

    Subaru's first plug-in hybrid is just around the corner. The 2019 Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid is expected to debut later this month at the LA Auto Show. As we reported back in February, Subaru would be using the electric powertrain from Toyota's Prius Prime, teamed with one of their boxer engines. We now have some new details on the Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid via a California Air Resources Board (CARB) filing.
    Autoblog obtained the document which reveals that the Crosstrek PHEV will utilize a 2.0L boxer-four engine (most likely the same engine found in standard Crosstrek). The document also lists an electric range at 25.650 miles based on the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule - replicates city driving conditions. That's very similar to the Toyota Prius Prime when it is put into EV mode.
    But this also prompts some questions. Is the Crosstrek PHEV using a larger battery than the Prius Prime? We would think the added weight of the all-wheel-drive system would bring the range down. Also, is the electric motor providing power to all four wheels or just to one of the axles?
    Hopefully, we'll some get answers in the near future.

    William Maley

    More that 67 percent of the company's revenues come from North America

    While the Trump administration is still deciding whether or not to put tariffs on imported vehicles, certain automakers are bracing for the worst.
    During a briefing in Tokyo, Subaru is predicting a "big impact" if the U.S. does put tariffs into place.
    “It’s a fact that there would be a big impact from a U.S. tariff increase. We’re studying what the impact might be but there are too many unknowns at this point, so we want to refrain from giving a specific figure,” said Toshiaki Okada, Subaru's Chief Financial Officer.
    Of the 670,900 vehicles it sold in the U.S. through the year that ended in March, about half were imported, including the Forester. The rest of the vehicles - Legacy,  Outback, and Ascent - are built in Indiana.
    According to data gathered by Bloomberg, Subaru would be the hardest hit by tariffs as over 67 percent of their revenues from North America. This is more than Honda (52.5 percent), Nissan (48.9 percent), and Toyota (35.2 percent).
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    Grow sales and regain trust

    Subaru has been on a roll in the U.S. with 79 months of steady month-over-month growth. But Subaru wants to spread that success to other markets and has a new five-year to try an achieve this.
    Today in Tokyo, Newly appointed Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura unveiled the plan known as STEP - speed, trust, engagement, and peace of mind.
    "The automotive industry is now in a tumultuous time. Subaru’s fast growth in recent years has come to highlight our challenges. The question is how we, as a small-scale company, will be able to survive in this big-changing area," said Nakamura.
    Subaru wants to increase global sales from the 1.1 million vehicles it expects to sell in the current fiscal year to 1.3 million vehicles in the fiscal year on March 31, 2026. To do this, Subaru is planning to launch a number of new products including a hybrid and a "global strategic SUV" in the early 2020s. Furthermore, Subaru will evolving their "Dynamic X Solid design language into a "bolder" expression" and "enhancing sporty models."
    On the technology front, Subaru is planning to offer Level 2 autonomous capability (i.e. Cadillac Super Cruise and Tesla's Autopilot) around 2020 and higher levels by 2024. It is also planning to offer some sort of connectivity in "80 percent of new vehicles in major markets" by 2022.
    STEP will also be focusing on regaining trust in Subaru's home market. Last year, Subaru admitted that it had uncertified workers carrying out tests on new cars for Japan for decades. Early this year, the scandal got worse as Subaru revealed that inspectors falsified fuel economy and emission data. It led Japan's transportation ministry to reprimand Subaru and 417,288 vehicles to be recalled in the country.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Subaru isn't planning to drop their car lineup anytime soon

    Ford's announcement of dropping most of their lineup of traditional cars likely caused a number of automakers to consider doing something similar. One automaker that will not be doing this is Subaru.
    Dominick Infante, Subaru’s national manager of product communications told Motor Trend one of the key reasons they keeping traditional cars is increasing gas prices.
    “Gas prices are starting to come up now. So a good hedge for better economy is having a sedan,” said Infante.
    “So we still make the Impreza and the Impreza hatchback. They do get better gas mileage than say a comparable CUV like the Crosstrek so we do sell those so if the market does change that’ll help sales of sedans.”
    Subaru's entry-level Impreza helps bring first-buyers in and performance models like the WRX/STI and BRZ draw in customers in their late 20s and early 30s.
    Still, Subaru's car lineup is taking it on the chin. Here are the sales numbers through April,
    Impreza: 22,287 (Down 16.3% YTD)
    Legacy: 14,730 (Down 13.9% YTD)
    WRX/STI: 9,854 (Down 8.2% YTD)
    BRZ: 1,286 (Down 10.1% YTD)
    Their crossover lineup is doing slightly better. Again, here are the sales numbers through April,
    Crosstrek: 45,728 (Up 66.6% YTD)
    Outback: 58,205 (Up 2% YTD)
    Forester: 50,783 (Down 9.7% YTD)
    Source: Motor Trend

    William Maley

    Good-bye Mr. Manual?

    Some recent comments made by Subaru UK's managing director, Chris Graham has some wondering if manual transmissions will become an endangered species for the company.
    According to Auto Express, Subaru has been putting more focus on their EyeSight driver-assist technology - comprised of stereo cameras on the windshield to provide adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. Subaru doesn't offer this on any model equipped with manual transmission and there doesn't appear to be any plans to engineer EyeSight for manuals.
    ”I’m not sure if it’s compatible at all with a manual gearbox. There are certainly no rumours we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual," said Graham.
    “My gut tells me it will be Eyesight with Lineartronic ongoing and long term. They want to steal the mantle of the safest car in the world. I think if they do that, then they say ‘here’s a manual without Eyesight’, they’ll just ruin that [message]."
    This decision could affect the next-generation STI. Graham said he would like to see the manual stay, but Subaru has the final say.
    "For me an STI has to be a manual in the guise it is today, however if you look at [auto-only] M-series BMWs, I don’t think this is the end and I’d be very excited if they had a hybrid petrol STI. That would be phenomenal in terms of its acceleration,” said Graham.
    Before you start getting out the pitchforks and torches, let us take a few steps back. The comments made by Graham could only be for European market vehicles. As an example, the Crosstrek in the UK is only offered with a CVT. In the U.S., Subaru offers both a CVT and manual transmission.
    Source: Auto Express

    William Maley

    Subaru Prices 2019 Ascent

    By William Maley, in Subaru,

    Begins at $32,970*

    Before the Ascent arrives at dealers later this summer, Subaru has revealed the pricing. The new three-row crossover will begin at $32,970 (includes a $995 destination charge). That nets you a 260 horsepower, turbocharged 2.4L boxer-four; all-wheel drive, seating for eight people, 6.5-inch Starlink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; and Subaru's EyeSight suite of active safety features. 
    Next up is the Premium that begins at $35,170. It comes with the choice of seating for seven or eight people; windshield wiper de-icer, power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, rear climate controls, and a larger 8-inch Starlink system. 
    The Limited adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, proximity entry and push-button start; leather upholstery, and a power liftgate. Pricing starts at $39,970.
    Topping the Ascent lineup is the Touring which starts at $45,670. Standard equipment includes automatic wipers, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, 180-degree front camera, and rear-view mirror camera system.
    Source: Subaru
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Subaru of America Announces Pricing On All-New 2019 Ascent 3-Row SUV
    Largest Subaru ever with choice of 7- or 8- passenger configurations Pricing begins at $31,995 Standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-Mode EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology standard All-new turbocharged 260-hp BOXER® engine 5,000 lb. maximum towing capacity New 4G LTE™ Wi-Fi Ascent to be built in Lafayette, IN CHERRY HILL, N.J., Feb. 15, 2018 -- Subaru of America Inc., today announced pricing on the all-new Subaru Ascent. The highly anticipated three-row SUV is the biggest Subaru ever built. Expanding on renowned Subaru strengths, the Ascent delivers an unparalleled driving experience with a spacious interior, comfortable and flexible seating options and a host of new safety, driver assist and in-vehicle technologies. The Ascent is priced from $31,995 and arrives at retailers this Summer.
    The Ascent offers three rows of seating, with available bench or captain’s chairs in the second row. The SUV is built on a strengthened and extended version of the Subaru Global Platform. Powered by an all-new 2.4-liter BOXER engine, the Ascent comes with a new version of Subaru’s high-torque Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) and legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive– all wrapped in a stylish and rugged design with a commanding presence. Manufacturer’s estimated fuel economy for the base and Premium models with standard equipment is up to 21 city/ 27 highway/ 23 combined for a 500+ mile cruising range. Models equipped with 20” wheels achieve manufacturer’s estimated fuel economy of 20 city/ 26 highway/22 combined. The U.S.-built Ascent is available in base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim lines.
    The Family-focused SUV
    With a 113.8-in. wheelbase, the Ascent is the largest Subaru ever built and is the mobile headquarters for the entire family. With up to 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume and up to 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Ascent provides ample room for every passenger and their gear. Rear doors open 75-degrees for convenient access to the third row. With 19 standard cup and bottle holders, every passenger’s beverage is secure and close at hand.
    The new Subaru Global Platform integrates new framework with optimized cross sections and highly-stiffened joints between structures to enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration and harshness. The Ascent provides a refined, quiet ride thanks to comprehensive soundproofing measures, including an acoustic windshield and front door glass.
    The Ascent is the most versatile Subaru ever with up to nine unique seating configurations and two rows of 60/40 split flat-folding seats offering up to 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The Ascent comes standard with a second-row bench seat, providing room for up to 8 passengers. Premium option packages and Limited trim offer a choice of second row captain chairs at no additional charge to provide occupants with easier access to the third-row. The standard roof rails fit a number of accessories for carrying items such as cargo, bicycles and kayaks.
    Performance and Capability
    The 2019 Ascent offers the optimal blend of SUV capability and car-like ride and handling with standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring, 18- inch wheels and four-wheel independent suspension. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance for all models is greater than many SUVs, yet the Ascent maintains a comfortably low step-in height for both front and rear passenger entry.
    Ascent is powered by an all-new 2.4-liter BOXER engine that uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS), a twin-scroll turbocharger and an intercooler to achieve outstanding performance and high efficiency. The engine produces 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 277 lb.ft. over a 2,000-4,800-rpm engine speed range. All Ascents are paired with a high-torque Lineartronic CVT featuring an 8-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters as well as X-Mode® with Hill Descent Control. This powertrain allows up to 5,000-lb. towing capacity, the most of any Subaru in history. Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) helps to maintain vehicle stability while towing. The TSA system utilizes yaw sensors to monitor trailer sway and then can brake individual wheels to stabilize the vehicle and trailer.
    Available in-car Wi-Fi connectivity provides smooth internet access via high-speed 4G LTE communications, broadening the range of entertainment options available to occupants using smart devices.
    SUBARU STARLINK™ Connected Services now offers remote engine start from a cell phone (on models with push-button start); concierge service; anti-theft vehicle immobilizer with flashing vehicle security lights; child safety functions including geofencing, speed alert and curfew; and firmware updates over the air.
    Also available is the Safety Plus package that offers SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, maintenance notifications, monthly vehicle health report, and diagnostic alerts. The Safety Plus & Security Plus upgrade package adds stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle security alarm notification, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights and remote vehicle locator.
    Advanced Safety Features
    The 2019 Ascent comes standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology that includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, and new, available EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM) which provides a heads-up display of EyeSight system warnings and system status data on the windshield. Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. High Beam Assist automatically activates and deactivates the high beams when the system detects a vehicle ahead or an oncoming vehicle. The 2019 Ascent also offers available Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) that applies the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing.
    Inside, the Ascent fills out its safety roster with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage. In emergency braking, Brake Assist immediately applies pressure up to the ABS limit to help increase braking effectiveness. The Brake Override System ensures that the engine power will be cut when the brake pedal and accelerator are pressed simultaneously.
    Four Trim Levels
    The 2019 Subaru Ascent will be offered in four trim levels: base, Premium, Limited and Touring.
    The $31,995 base trim starts with an extensive list of standard features that includes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-Mode; EyeSight Driver Assist Technology; SUBARU STARLINK 6.5” Multimedia system with Android™ Auto and Apple CarPlay™; four USB ports; three zone automatic climate control; automatic power door locks and power side mirrors; raised roof rails; second-row bench seat (8 passengers); 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with silver finish: 19 cupholders; multi-function display; and security system with engine immobilizer. Standard on all models is Auto Vehicle Hold which keeps the vehicle in position at a stop so the driver does not need to continuously depress the brake pedal. For the first time in a Subaru, a convex cabin-view mirror that allows the driver and front passenger to view occupants in the second and third row is standard equipment.
    Priced from $34,195, Premium trim adds Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; towing capability up to 5,000 lb.; power driver seat; unique spill-repellent cloth upholstery; SUBARU STARLINK 8.0” Multimedia Plus system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; Wi-Fi connectivity; body-color side mirrors; privacy glass; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever handle; rear seat climate controls; 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with gray machine finish; and the All-Weather Package with heated exterior mirrors, 3-mode heated front seats and windshield wiper de-icer.
    Stepping up to the Premium trim also allows wider option availability, including second-row captain’s chairs; RAB; 20-inch wheels in dark gray with machine finish; and a power rear gate with height memory. Also available are Keyless Access with Push-Button Start; auto dimming rear view compass mirror with HomeLink; panoramic moonroof; SUBARU STARLINK 8.0” Multimedia Navigation system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; and a stowable cargo cover.
    The well-equipped $38,995 Limited includes all Premium trim features and adds leather-trimmed upholstery as well as second-row captain chairs or bench seating at no additional charge. Limited trims receive LED Steering Responsive Headlights with High Beam Assist, LED fog lights and new second-row retractable sunshades. Also, standard are 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in dark gray with machine finish. Additionally, lower door cladding with chrome accents and body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals; driver’s seat adjustable thigh support; RAB; power rear gate with height memory; and Keyless Access with Push-Button Start are included. Two additional USB ports are added to Limited, to bring the total number to six.
    The top of the line Touring model is distinguished by satin silver side mirrors with integrated turn signals, chrome door handles, chrome front underguard and rear bumper protector. The unique interior features luxurious Java Brown leather seats and upholstery; upgraded leather heated steering wheel and woodgrain-pattern matte finish accent trim. Standard three-mode ventilated driver and front passenger seats enhance the comfort in the Touring model. A 120-volt power outlet and up to 8 USB ports are available for charging tablets, phones and laptops. The Touring adds the 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation system, Harman Kardon Quantum Logic surround sound system with 14 speakers, panoramic power moonroof and rain-sensing wipers. To improve the driver’s view, a unique Smart Rear-View Mirror and a 180-degree front-view camera complete Touring’s comprehensive list of features. The Subaru Ascent Touring is priced at $44,695.
    The all-new Ascent is built in Subaru’s plant in Indiana along with the Outback, Legacy and Impreza.
    2019 SUBARU ASCENT
    Model/Trim
    Seating
    7-passenger
    8-passenger
    Transmission
    Applicable Option Code
    MSRP
    MSRP + Destination & Delivery
    Ascent
    8-p
    CVT
    ‘01
    $31,995
    $32,970
    Ascent Premium
    8-p
    CVT
    11
    12
    14
    $34,195
    $35,655
    $38,455
    $35,170
    $36,630
    $39,430
    Ascent Premium
    7-p
    CVT
    12
    14
    $$$35,655
    $38,455
    $36,630
    $39,430
    Ascent Limited
    8-p
    CVT
    21, 23
    $38,995
    $39,970
    Ascent Limited
    7-p
    CVT
    21, 23
    $38,995
    $39,970
    Ascent Touring
    7-p
    CVT
    31
    $44,695
    $45,670




     
    2019 SUBARU ASCENT OPTION PACKAGES
     
    CODE 01 Standard Model
    --
    CODE 11 Standard Model Premium
    --
    CODE 12 Power Rear Gate(PRG) + Keyless Access w/Push-Button Start (KAS) + Auto-Dimming Mirror (ADM) + Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) (available with choice of 8 or 7 passenger seating)
    $1,460
    CODE 14 (PRG) +(KAS) +(ADM) + (RAB) + 20” Wheels + Panoramic Power Moonroof + Navigation + Cargo Area Cover (available with choice of 8 or 7 passenger seating)
    $4,260
    CODE 21 Standard Model Limited
    --
    CODE 23 Harman Kardon Premium Audio System + Panoramic Power Moonroof + Navigation + Cargo Area Cover
    $2,950
    CODE 31 Standard Model Touring
    --
     
    Destination & Delivery is $975 and may vary in the following states: CT, HI, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI and VT. D&D is $1,125 for retailers in Alaska.

    William Maley

    Relying on some help from friends

    Subaru will be launching their first plug-in hybrid for the U.S. later this year and plans on offering a full electric vehicle in 2021. But to pull both of these off, Subaru is enlisting various automakers to help.
    Takeshi Tachimori, Subaru's chief technical officer said they are drawing heavily on partnerships with Daihatsu, Hino, Mazda, Suzuki, and Toyota to help with the upcoming plug-in hybrid and EV. The reason for using the expertise of other automakers is Subaru's r&d budget doesn't stretch to include in-house development of these models.
    "We can't engage in a large-scale development," he told Automotive News.
    As more stringent emission regulations come into effect around the world, Subaru is counting on this plan to meet them.
    Tachimori also talked about the upcoming plug-in hybrid. While he wouldn't reveal what model it will be based on, he did say the model would use the powertrain from the Toyota Prius Prime with a twist: the gas engine will be one of Subaru's boxer engines.
    "For our plug-in hybrid to be introduced this year, we have used Toyota's technologies as much as possible," said Tachimori.
    The plug-in hybrid will be sold initially in states that have adopted California's zero-emission vehicle regulations.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    What is happening in Japan?!

    Japan's manufacturing industry has been rocked by a number of scandals through the past year. It has ranged from inflating fuel economy figures, fabrication of product data, and recently, improper inspections of Japanese market vehicles by Nissan and Subaru. Now a new scandal has come to light.
    Subaru has revealed that it is investigating whether or not mileage readings on their vehicles were falsified during final inspection. According to Reuters, the mileage readings are used as an indicator for fuel efficiency. The company is checking to see if this data affected its official mileage readings and whether exported models are involved.
    "At the moment we are trying to confirm whether data was indeed fabricated, and if so, how this happened and which models are affected," said Subaru spokeswoman Miyuki Yasuda.
    This revelation stems from a current investigation being done by external investigators into final inspections being done by uncertified workers for JDM vehicles. Some inspectors told the investigators "that mileage data had been altered on some sample vehicle models tested during final checks."
    “Coming on the heels of the certified inspection issue, this could be a sign of a bigger problem of how Subaru manages its manufacturing operations,” said Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities.
    Subaru's stock price fell as much as 8.5 percent during trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange when this news came to light.
    Source: Reuters, NHK World

    William Maley

    Will be based on one of their current models

    When Subaru launched their new modular global platform in the Impreza, they said the platform was designed to accept different powertrains such as hybrid and electric. According to a report from Autocar, Subaru's first electric model is just around the corner.
    Subaru's chief designer, Mamoru Ishii told the outlet that the electric vehicle would be a variant of one of their current models and will launch in 2020.
    “Subaru cars are designed to support people’s lifestyles, so it should not be a case of designing the car for the powertrain. If customers want change we’ll respond - our cars are about customers loving using them how they are designed - but we are not going to change our design focus just to highlight a new way of powering the car,” said Ishii.
    Ishii declined to say how far Subaru is in development of the EV, but sources tell Autocar that crash tests have started to determine if the battery location is safe.
    If we were to guess what model Subaru is using for their electric vehicle, the Impreza seems like a safe bet.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    The 2.5L turbo-four goes bye-bye, a hybrid powertrain could take its place

    When the next-generation Subaru WRX STI arrives sometime in 2020 or so, it will not have the turbocharged 2.5L boxer-four engine. Speaking with Dutch automotive site AutoRAI, Subaru Europe's General Manager of sales and marketing manager David Dello Stritto said the current engine would not be able to meet upcoming emission standards.
    "CO2 emissions are becoming increasingly important and the current 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo boxer engine simply can not continue to be used in the future. We do not say goodbye to the WRX STI, the car belongs to Subaru, but there will be a period where we will temporarily not run WRX STI," explained Dello Stritto.
    We've previously heard that Subaru is considering using a hybrid power for the next WRX and WRX STI. When asked by AutoRAI about this, Dello Stritto said it was "something we have to investigate."
    "Subaru is awaiting what the market developments are, and sets the concept for that."
    Source: AutoRAI

    William Maley

    Two new special editions amp up performance

    Subaru hasn't forgotten about their performance models if two new special editions are anything to go by. Today, Subaru unveiled the 2018 BRZ tS and WRX STI RA that will go on sale early next year.
    The BRZ tS (tuned by STI) is said to deliver "the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability." If you were hoping this would include more power, then we have some bad news for you as the tS doesn't see any increase in power. It's 2.0L Boxer-Four still only produces 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. What STI has done is a fair amount of work on the chassis. There are new SACHS dampers and coil springs for the front and rear, and flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. The tS ditches the low-rolling resistance tires for a set of sticky Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires with lightweight 18-inch wheels. A set of Brembo brakes finishes off the chassis.
    Visual changes include a new carbon fiber wing with manual adjustment, front and rear diffusers, STI fog light covers, and red accents on various trim pieces. The interior comes with a set of Recaro seats and red accent stitching. 
    As for the 2018 WRX STI RA - short for Record Attempt - Subaru is using this name for an upcoming attempt to set a lap record at the Nürburgring sometime this summer. Subaru has done a weight loss program for the WRX STI RA with a carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber rear spoiler, removing the spare tire, and equipping a set of lightweight BBS 19-inch forged alloy wheels. Power sees a slight bump from 305 to 310 thanks to a new cold air intake and new exhaust. A revised third-gear ratio is said to improve acceleration.
    Subaru only plans on building 500 of each model. Pricing is expected to be released later this year.
    Source: Subaru 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Subaru Debuts Limited Edition WRX STI Type RA And BRZ tS® With Higher Performance For Driving Enthusiasts
    Cherry Hill, N.J. -  Subaru of America, Inc. has announced two new performance models: the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA and 2018 Subaru BRZ tS. Both are performance focused derivatives engineered by Subaru Tecnica International, Inc. specifically for driving enthusiasts. Each vehicle is limited to 500 units and vehicles will arrive at Subaru retailers in early 2018.
    WRX STI Type RA
    The RA designation stands for “Record Attempt” and has been applied to various Subaru performance models. The original venture took place in 1989 when a competition version Subaru Legacy broke the FIA World Speed Endurance Record by clocking over 62,000 miles in 18 days and set a top speed record of 138 mph. Furthering this spirit of endeavor, a special race model WRX STI Type RA NBR Special will attempt a Nürburgring speed record this summer.
    In keeping with this tradition, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA delivers increased performance through weight reduction, suspension and engine upgrades. The new, numbered limited edition model comes standard with a carbon fiber roof panel, the removal of the spare tire, a carbon fiber pedestal wing and lightweight BBS® 19-in. forged alloy wheels shod with 245/35R19 Yokohama Advan Sports tires.
    Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the limited edition WRX STI Type RA increases horsepower to an estimated 310hp with the help of an STI-specified new cold air intake and high flow performance exhaust. A retuned ECU and stronger pistons also contribute to the increased engine performance. The six-speed transmission features a revised 3rd gear ratio paired with a short throw shifter. The weight reduction, additional horsepower and revised gearing all contribute to faster acceleration.
    Handling has been upgraded with inverted front struts and rear double wishbone suspension all with Bilstein® dampers. A modified multi-mode VDC gives the car better stability control to keep it on its intended path. The Brembo® brake system, with monoblock 6-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers, features an exclusive silver finish and is paired with cross-drilled rotors for better heat dissipation.
    The WRX STI Type RA is immediately identified by an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around both the front mesh grille and new rear bumper cover. An STI front underspoiler has also been added for better stability at high speeds. The exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a roof-mounted shark fin antenna and STI fender badges now come in a black finish. The rear deck lid displays the WRX STI Type RA badge.
    In addition to the eye-catching exterior, the WRX STI Type RA cabin features Recaro® performance design front seats with red bolsters and stitching as well as an embossed STI logo on the head restraints. The signature red stitching and accent trim is visible throughout the cabin. The steering wheel is wrapped in Ultrasuede® for better grip and has a black gloss-finish center spoke insert with STI logo. Push-button start with Keyless Access is also standard equipment. Each of the 500 WRX STI Type RA produced for retail sale has been individually numbered with a plaque mounted on the center console.
    BRZ tS
    The 2018 BRZ tS (tuned by STI) delivers the highest level of “fun to drive” and “pure handling delight” through greater flexibility, better control and stability.
    BRZ is renowned for its ultra-low center of gravity and precision handling, and the new BRZ tS adds STI-tuned front and rear SACHS® dampers and coil springs as well as flexible V-braces in the engine compartment. New draw stiffeners are added to the chassis and sub-frame to improve steering response. The BRZ tS is also equipped with 18-in. lightweight STI wheels (the first time that a BRZ has been offered with 18-inch wheels) mounted with 215/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot® Sport 4 tires for superior grip and quicker turn-in. Brembo® brakes at all four corners round-out the package.
    The exterior also adds a more aggressive look with an exclusive STI rear carbon fiber spoiler. The spoiler is manually adjustable to fine-tune rear downforce. The addition of STI front, rear and side underspoilers helps control airflow for better traction and stability.
    The BRZ tS is also adorned with an exclusive Cherry Blossom Red accent around the front grille and unique rear bumper cover. The rear hatch displays the official BRZ tS badge. The exterior foldable mirrors, roof-mounted shark fin antenna, BRZ and SUBARU badging all have a black finish. Also, the fog lights have been removed and replaced with STI fog light covers.
    The cabin features black leather and Alcantara® upholstery with contrasting red stitching and accents throughout the interior, including steering wheel, door and dash panels, knee pads, shifter and emergency brake boots. front seats have red leather bolsters and the seatbacks are embroidered with the tS logo. The visor over the gauge cluster is unique to this model, as is the interior door trim. The center console has been updated to a cast black finish. The BRZ tS also comes standard with red front seat belts and a frameless interior rear view mirror.
    Both the 2018 WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS will be available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica and Crystal White Pearl. Both models will be distributed throughout Subaru’s retailer network beginning in the first quarter of 2018.
    Exact specifications and pricing will be announced later this year.

    William Maley

    Electric Outback or Forester anyone?

    Subaru is one the few automakers that hasn't jumped on the electric vehicle bandwagon. But that could be changing as the company is considering building electric versions of their current models.
    Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told Bloomberg in an interview said the automaker is looking into installing electric powertrains in current models instead of building an all-new model. Yoshinaga said this would allow Subaru not to partner with another automaker and allow the electric versions to capitalize on the recognition of a model's name.
    “If there’s already an attractive Subaru model, for example the XV crossover, and if a customer in Beijing wants one but is only allowed to buy an electric vehicle, if there’s no electric version then he can’t buy it. Providing the choice of an EV means the customer can still desire the same Subaru,” said Yoshinaga. 
    Subaru has set aside $1.2 billion for R&D for the coming fiscal year, with the priority focusing on electric vehicles. The company is hoping to launch a plug-in hybrid next year with an electric vehicle to follow in 2021. It doesn't hurt that Subaru's new modular platform was engineered to handle various powertrains, including all-electric.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    A Subaru executive says there is the possibility of more power coming for the Impreza (PLEASE!)

    If you have read any review of the all-new Subaru Impreza, then you'll know there is one issue that many have pointed out - the anemic 2.0L four-cylinder. Masahiko Inoue, Subaru project general manager product and portfolio division told CarAdvice that he has been getting a lot of complaints with this engine.
    “Everybody is requesting from me a more powerful engine. Everybody thinks it needs more power. They are satisfied, they understand the Subaru Global Platform and the new 2.0-litre engine – but needing more power is a common complaint from everybody,” said Inoue.
    Inoue said the brand is looking at various options to solve this issue such as using a larger displacement engine (possibly the 2.5L from the Forester), turbocharging, or even a hybrid. But the final decision ultimately rests on how well the Impreza and sister model, the XV (Crosstrek for North America) sells. 
    “Of course, we are studying, and we are now studying one of the options: a 2.4- or 2.5-litre engine, downsized and turbocharged, and power supported by motor, a hybrid. Every way we are studying for the next model, or the future model," said Inoue.
    “But we cannot spend money on this vehicle, because this is an entry vehicle for Subaru. We have to keep competitive with the cost for the entry vehicles, so if the turbocharged model is requested, maybe it will go to the Forester, or the Levorg, or another vehicle.”
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    Three-Row Crossover for Subaru, Take 2

    It is no secret that Subaru is wanting to get back in the three-row crossover fight after the failure of the Tribeca. We got our first preview last year at the LA Auto Show with the Viziv-7 Concept and now we're getting some idea of what the production version will look like thanks to some spy shots.
    From all angles, the production version (possibly named Ascent) is heavily toned down from the Viziv-7 concept. The front end is reminiscent to the Outback with the large grille and smaller headlights. Around back, the Ascent loses the aggressive bumper design found on the concept but it looks like the design of the tailgate remains.
    It is expected that Subaru's upcoming crossover will use the new modular platform that underpins the Impreza. We still don't have any idea on what will power it, but it would be safe to assume a CVT and all-wheel drive will come standard.
    Subaru will reveal the Ascent sometime next year.
    Source: Left Lane News, Motor1

    William Maley

    Just the updates ma'am

    We're a few years out from the next-generation Subaru WRX and WRX STI. To help tide us over till then, Subaru has unveiled the refreshed 2018 WRX and WRX STI.
    Subaru has made some changes to the exterior, though it may be hard to notice at first since they look like the current model. There are new grilles and a set of larger air intakes. The Limited models of the WRX and WRX STI also get LED headlights that swivel when the steering wheel is turned. Inside, Subaru has both models a bit more bearable to live with thicker glass and added sound insulation to help reduce outside noise. Other improvements include better interior materials and larger infotainment systems for both models.
    Under the skin, both the WRX and STI see tweaks to the chassis and power steering. WRX models equipped with the six-speed manual feature a redesigned synchro design to improve feel and a new clutch that is smoother during gear changes. On STI models, the Driver’s Control Center Differential (DCCD) - vary the amount the torque being distributed - switches to a fully electronically controlled limited-slip differential. (The previous system used a combination of electronic and mechanical bits.) Subaru says the switch to an electronic system for the DCCD makes it smoother and quicker to respond. 
    Other changes of note:
    WRX Premium is now available with a Performance package that features eight-way power Recaro seats, Jurid brake pads, brake calipers painted red, and 18-inch wheels with a double-spoke design. WRX STI gets a set of Brembo brakes - 6-Piston calipers up front, 2-piston in the rear, and larger discs. 19-inch alloy wheels come standard on the STI Both WRX and STI get revised crash structures up front Pricing hasn't been announced, but the two are expected to arrive at Subaru dealers later this spring.
    Source: Subaru
    Press Release is on Page 2

     
    January 5, 2017
    SUBARU DEBUTS 2018 WRX® AND WRX STI® WITH PERFORMANCE, COMFORT AND SAFETY UPGRADES
    Revised front styling for a more aggressive look Suspension optimized for better handling and ride comfort New 19-inch wheels, upgraded Brembo® brakes and revised DCCD All-Wheel Drive give WRX STI wider performance envelope New available Recaro® power seats Performance Package option for WRX models New EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology safety features Upgraded interior materials and quieter cabin Cherry Hill, N.J. -  Subaru of America, Inc., which this month posted its eighth consecutive year of record-breaking sales, today introduced the 2018 WRX and WRX STI, each debuting performance, comfort, design and safety enhancements for a more rewarding driving experience. The new models reach Subaru retailers in spring.
     
    A restyled front fascia WRX and WRX STI shows a sportier attitude, highlighted by a more pronounced grille design, along with a larger lower grille opening. The WRX Limited and all STI feature redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights that help illuminate curves in nighttime driving. For greater versatility, all WRX and STI models now feature new roof rack mounting brackets.
     
    WRX for 2018
    With its 268-hp, 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine, Symmetrical All Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, the rally-bred WRX is a performance and value benchmark in the high-performance AWD sport-compact segment. The WRX comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and offers an optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode.
     
    The WRX features new front and rear suspension tuning for improved steering stability and ride comfort, while retaining the car’s high cornering performance capability. Subaru significantly enhanced shifter feel for the 6-speed manual transmission, with a new synchro design and reduced friction, along with smoother clutch take-up. The WRX electric power steering (EPS) was revised to provide an even smoother, more natural feel, while integrating the steering motor and electronic control unit reduces weight.
     
    A new optional Performance Package for the WRX Premium features Recaro 8-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded JURID brake pads, and deletes the moonroof to reduce weight. The standard 18-inch wheels feature a bold new double-spoke design.
     
    WRX STI for 2018
    A comprehensive handling enhancement for the 2018 STI includes the revised suspension tuning as featured on the WRX, plus a revised DCCD AWD system, significantly upgraded brakes and this model’s first-ever 19-inch wheels. The DCCD system, which previously used a combination of mechanical and electronic center limited slip differential control, now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response. The 19-inch alloy wheels feature a striking Y-shaped spoke design and carry 245/35R19 tires that help raise cornering performance while giving the STI an even more aggressive stance.
     
    The yellow-painted brake calipers identify a significantly upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System that now uses stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear and larger, drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation. New brake pads provide significantly greater surface area for improved braking feel and fade resistance. The STI also offers the Recaro seats (standard on STI Limited, optional for base trim).
     
    Powered by a 305-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the WRX STI brings rally-bred performance technology to the road with Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Standard handling technologies include Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control.
     
    Improved Usability with a Sporting Edge
    The everyday usability that has contributed to WRX and STI popularity gets even better for 2018. All models feature upgraded interior materials, rear seat armrest with cup holders, redesigned interior door grips and faster remote trunk opening.
     
    New measures that reduce unwanted noise include thicker door glass, revised door sealing and a foam-filled windshield header beam. A new, larger high-definition multi-function display (5.9-inch vs. 4.3-inch before) makes it easier to see vehicle functions at a glance. WRX Limited models feature power driver’s seat lumbar adjustment. The standard WRX adds heated exterior mirrors (already standard on others), while the WRX Premium upgrades to a SUBARU STARLINK™ 7.0” multimedia unit from the previous STARLINK 6.2” unit.
     
    Safety
    Subaru revised the front structure of the WRX and WRX STI for enhanced frontal collision performance. The WRX Limited, when equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology now features Vehicle Hold (AVH), and a new EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM). The EAM uses LED indicators to display EyeSight status and alerts on the windshield, allowing the driver to see them without diverting eyes from the road ahead. The AVH feature replaces the Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions and offers greater functionality, holding the vehicle on all road grades, not only inclines. For example, AVH can help reduce driver fatigue by holding the car at traffic lights, and then can seamlessly transition to acceleration.

    William Maley

    You'll be waiting sometime for the next WRX

    The Subaru Impreza is beginning to hit dealers and that is causing everyone to wonder when the next WRX and STI are coming.
    Motoring spoke with a senior Subaru engineer who revealed that the next-generation WRX/STI will not arrive till 2020. 
    “The WRX will have a facelift soon, not a full model cycle, because the new model just launched in 2015,” said the engineer.
    “The full model cycle will be about four or five years, and that’s when you’ll see a full model. We would love to have the WRX on the new platform, because the car would be a lot better … but the 2018 will be a facelift only.”
    Rumor has it that the next WRX will adopt some sort of hybrid powertrain that will increase power and reduce emissions.
    Source: Motoring
    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers and Gears

    William Maley

    How much will Subaru's compact set you back?

    Subaru has announced pricing for the upcoming 2017 Impreza sedan and hatchback. The sedan kicks off at $19,215 and the hatchback starts at $19,715 (prices include an $820 destination charge). Compared to the outgoing model, the 2017 Impreza is about $100 more expensive.
    The Impreza features a revised version of the 2.0L boxer-four engine producing 152 horsepower. A five-speed manual is standard on the base and new Sport trim, while a CVT is standard on the Premium and Limited models. The base and Sport can get a CVT for an additional $1,000.
    Standard equipment on all Imprezas includes a touchscreen system (6.5-inches for base and Premium, 8-inches for Sport and Limited), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; power locks and windows, backup camera, and tilt and telescoping steering column. Higher trims get larger wheels, windshield wiper de-icer, LED headlights, push-button start, automatic climate control, and more.
    The Sport lives up to its name as it will feature different suspension tuning and active torque vectoring.
    The 2017 Impreza arrives at dealers later this year. If you want a manual, you'll need to wait till early next year.
    Source: Subaru
    Press Release is on Page 2
    October 18, 2016
    Subaru Announces Pricing on All-New 2017 Impreza Models
    First Impreza built in the U.S. Sedan and 5-door Models offering up to 38mpg New Subaru Global Platform 2.0-liter Boxer Engine with Direct Injection Enhanced Safety, Comfort and Agility, priced $100 over previous model Cherry Hill, N.J. -  Subaru of America, Inc. today announced pricing on the all-new 2017 Impreza sedan and 5-door models. The Impreza debuts the new Subaru Global Platform that is designed to deliver significantly higher levels of driving engagement, interior refinement, crash protection and ride comfort. As with previous generations, every Impreza is equipped standard with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a SUBARU BOXER® engine. Pricing begins just $100 over previous model year at $18,395.
     
    The 2017 Subaru Impreza will be offered in four trim levels: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Sport and 2.0i Limited when it arrives at Subaru retailers. Models equipped with Subaru’s Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission will arrive late 2016 while 5-speed manual models will be available in early 2017.
     
    The 2.0i starts with an extensive roster of standard features including a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen; Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ compatibility, power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides; 60/40-split fold-down rear seat; power door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; tilt and telescoping steering column; security system with engine immobilizer; carpeted floor mats; and more.
     
    The $21,195  Premium trim adds SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety and Security features, 16-inch alloy wheels, the All-Weather Package featuring heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer, and heated exterior mirrors as well as automatic headlights. Premium 5-door Imprezas also feature standard roof rails (not available on 2.0i or 5-door Impreza 2.0i Sport). Stepping up to the Premium trim also brings wider option availability, including a power moonroof and driver assist technology systems.
    The new Subaru Global Platform, together with the SUBARU BOXER® engine; Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD); and EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, represent the brand’s core technologies and constitutes the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Impreza’s new platform incorporates a redesigned structure with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between sections to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness to a degree not seen in the compact class. Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent.
    Taking full advantage of the new stiffer platform and more powerful engine, the Impreza 2.0i Sport, available in sedan and 5-door, delivers a more fun-to-drive performance feel thanks to exclusive suspension tuning, 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels and Active Torque Vectoring. Subaru aimed for a new ride/handling balance benchmark in the compact segment. Sport models are priced from $21,995.
     
    Exclusive exterior styling and features setting the Impreza Sport apart include standard LED daytime running lights (DRL), black-finish front grille, body-color rocker panels, and turn signal side mirrors. The Impreza Sport 5-Door features gloss black rear gate trim, while the Sport Sedan has a rear trunk spoiler. Inside the Sport, unique black cloth upholstery is trimmed with red stitching, a motif that repeats for the steering wheel, gear shift, instrument panel, and door trim. The instrument panel incorporates exclusive Sport gauges and a Multi-Function Display.
     
    The Sport comes well equipped, with upgrades over the Impreza Premium that include the SUBARU STARLINK™ 8.0-inch Multimedia system, and a new Harman/Kardon® premium audio system is available. Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, aluminum pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle, and a CVT shift boot round out the Sport’s enhanced standard when equipped with CVT.
     
    A revised version of the FB 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance (now 152-hp vs. 148 before) and drivability. In highline trims, the Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) features a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via seven pre-set ratios. The new Impreza continues to be one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive compact sedans in America offering up to 38mpg highway on CVT models. Manual transmission model and mpg will be available in early 2017.
    Impreza Model City Highway Combined 2.0i Sedan CVT 28 38 32 2.0i Sport Sedan CVT 27 36 30 2.0i 5-Door CVT 28 37 31 2.0i Sport 5-Door 27 35 30 Subaru designed the 2017 Impreza to provide even higher levels of safety than the outgoing model, which was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ (when equipped with available EyeSight). The new platform underpinning the 2017 Impreza improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent over present models.
     
    The EyeSight system includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lane Departure and Sway Warning.  Blind Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. Also new are available Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them, and High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. All 2017 Impreza models include, as standard equipment, front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.
     
    The 2017 Impreza adds additional driver-assist technologies, including Reverse Automatic Braking and the display of steering lines for the standard rear vision camera. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing. A new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System can detect pressure drops at individual wheels.
     
    Subaru has elevated the Limited trim for the 2017 Impreza into more luxurious territory. The exterior looks more upscale with LED headlights and distinctive “Konoji” LED daytime running lights (DRL) and standard 17-inch machine finished alloy wheels. Judicious use of exterior chrome trim and turn signal side mirrors add a touch of elegance. Limited trim Imprezas begin at $24,095.
     
    The Limited’s leather trimmed interior features contrast stitching on the door armrests and instrument panel, and the 6-way power driver’s seat is the first ever in an Impreza. Standard amenities include an automatic climate control system, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start and 8-inch STARLINK Multimedia audio unit. The exclusive instrument panel features white gauge cluster illumination, and new Harman/Kardon® premium audio is available in the Impreza for the first time. Models equipped with EyeSight also include High Beam Assist.  Lastly, the available navigation system now features maps provided by TomTom.
     
    SUBARU STARLINK™ Multimedia systems offer the latest in digital music playing, Bluetooth® wireless capability, iPod® control, smartphone integration and more. The display screen acts as the display for the standard rear vision camera, and the top-level system includes navigation.
    SUBARU STARLINK™ Connected Services comes with the Safety Plus package that offers SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report, and Diagnostic Alerts. This package can be upgraded to the Safety Plus & Security Plus package that adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

    William Maley

    There's talk about an electric Subaru coming in 2021

    Subaru's green credentials aren't the best as it only sells one hybrid in the U.S. (XV Crosstrek Hybrid) and one in Japan (Impreza Sport Hybrid). But that could be changing in 2021.
     
    Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reports that Subaru plans on launching an electric crossover in the U.S. by 2021. This crossover is expected to use Subaru's new modular platform that was revealed earlier this year. The report doesn't say anything about power or possible range, nor does it say how it got this information.
     
    When asked by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Fuji Heavy spokesman Masato Saito said the company hasn't made any decision on introducing an electric vehicle. Saito went on to say that if Subaru did go forward with an EV, it would likely target the North American marketplace.
     
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun

    William Maley

    Something is lurking at Subaru's proving grounds

    Subaru and mid-engine sports car? It seems like a fantasy that someone has dreamed up, but a report says such a thing does exist.
     
    Car and Driver has learned that Subaru is playing around with an experimental mid-engine coupe prototype. It is said to be a modified BRZ with a different all-wheel system - electric motors powering the front wheels and a turbocharged Boxer engine powering the rear wheels. The prototype is also said to use Subaru's new modular platform.
     
    “Whether the end result will be a two-door sports coupe or some kind of sports crossover/CUV is still in the evaluation stage,” the source said.
     
    “A coupe seems more likely, though.”
     
    Why is Subaru working on this? Word has it that Subaru dealers in the U.S. - the company's biggest market - want something special. The home office listened and is working on this.
     
    The report goes on to say that a concept of this mid-engine vehicle will debut in about two years to gauge reaction from the press and public.
     
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    A new modular platform from Subaru is just around the corner

    The latest automaker to announce they're joining the modular platform craze is Subaru. This week, the Japanese automaker announced the Subaru Global Platform that will underpin their future models starting with the next-generation Impreza later this year.
     
    Subaru says the new platform is about 70 to 100 percent more rigid than their current platforms. The center of gravity has been lowered and body roll has been reduced by 50 percent due to how the suspension is set up. This results in improved levels of comfort and handling. The new platform will also improve overall safety as there is an increase in the amount of high-tensile strength steel.
     
    A key feature of the Subaru Global Platform is the ability to accommodate different drivetrains such as hybrid and electric. This means we could be seeing Subaru offering a wide range of powertrains on future models.
     
    Source: Subaru
     
    Press Release is on Page 2

     
    FHI Unveils the “Subaru Global Platform” - Subaru’s next-generation platform to achieve significant enhancement in overall vehicle performance
     

    Tokyo, March 7, 2016 ― Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, has unveiled an overview of the Subaru Global Platform, which is currently under development as the architecture to be used for all the Company’s next-generation vehicles.
    The Subaru Global Platform is part of the six initiatives to enhance the Subaru brand described in the Company’s mid-term management vision, “Prominence 2020,” announced in 2014. Together with the horizontally-opposed engines, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and EyeSight that represent Subaru’s core technologies, the new platform will constitute the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles.
    Marking the launch of the new concept, FHI President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said, “The Subaru Global Platform lifts Subaru’s automotive technology to new heights, and marks the next step in the evolution of “Enjoyment and Peace of Mind,” the value that Subaru offers to its customers. This new platform represents the culmination of the know-how we have developed over many years, and we are confident that it will allow us to produce vehicles that live up to our proud traditions and meet the high expectations customers have of Subaru. We continue to work on designing ever-more attractive vehicles that offer the customer both enjoyment and peace of mind.”
     
    Main Features of Subaru Global Platform
    The next-generation platform is designed with the future in mind, and looks ahead to 2025. The main features include:
    Subaru’s biggest-ever enhancement in overall vehicle performance

    Emotionally engaging “Dynamic feel” that goes beyond high performance The world’s highest levels of safety

    Single design concept for development of all models, adaptable to electrification in the future

    Subaru’s Biggest-ever Enhancement in Overall Vehicle Performance

    Emotionally engaging “Dynamic feel” that goes beyond high performance

    The new platform will make possible a new type of driving experience, appealing directly to the senses and offering unparalleled smoothness and comfort―all backed up by excellent performance and specifications. Specifically, the new platform will further refine Subaru’s dynamic feel in the following areas: (1) straight line stability, (2) noise and vibration suppression, and (3) comfort.
     

    (1) Straight line stability
    The new platform dramatically increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (a 70% to 100% increase over present models) and incorporates substantial improvements to the suspension system and achieve a lower center of gravity, bringing about highly responsive steering that allows drivers to control the vehicle precisely as they want. The eradication of unnecessary movement in handling makes the car seem to grip the road surface, achieving a traveling performance that looks ahead to the need for enhanced straight line stability in the autonomous vehicles of the future.
     
    (2) Noise and vibration suppression
    Optimized frame structure and stronger joints between parts allow the new platform to improve overall torsional rigidity by 70% over present models. This distributes the resonance and distortion throughout the body, greatly reducing vibrations from the steering wheel, floor, and seats. It achieves a quietness that goes beyond vehicle class.
     
    (3) Comfort
    The new platform increases the rigidity of the suspension mounting, improving the absorption of the suspension without warping the body of the car, and providing a smooth and comfortable drive whatever the irregularities in the road surface. By mounting the rear stabilizer directly to the body, the new platform reduces the body roll of the vehicle by 50% compared to present models.
     


    2. The world’s highest levels of safety
     

    Active safety
    The new platform achieves a center of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower center of gravity makes possible a more stable driving experience than ever before, and offers outstanding danger avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car.
     
    Passive safety
    Thanks to a frame structure that enables more efficient energy absorption in the event of collision and the enhanced body rigidity resulting from the increased use of high-tensile steel plates including materials formed by the hot press method, impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models. The platform anticipates further improvements in strength and new materials and has the potential to continue to offer the world’s highest levels of collision safety even in 2025.
    Single Design Concept for Development of All Models, Adaptable to Electrification in the Future The new platform will offer a single unified design concept for all Subaru models. Planning the main specifications of all vehicle types at one time and flexibly adjusting these basic specifications to match with the requirements of different models will strengthen the entire Subaru lineup while still allowing the Company to develop models that take advantage of each model’s strengths. The new concept allows one design concept to be adapted not only to gasoline engines but also to hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and other types of alternative power units for which demand will increase further. Development based on a single design concept makes it possible to use limited development personnel and facilities efficiently to develop a diverse range of models and to direct the resulting savings into areas that can make our products more competitive. It will also become possible to produce platform components for multiple models in the same one production facility, rather than manufacturing them in different factories as has been the case in the past. This will increase production efficiency at Subaru’s factories and at our partner companies. The new unified design concept will also make it easier for our two factories in Japan and the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the United States to carry out bridge production of multiple different models on a single line, making our global production system more flexible.

    The Subaru Global Platform that offers these benefits will be used in the development of all Subaru vehicles from now on, beginning with the next-generation Impreza, due to hit the market in 2016.
     

    FHI remains true to its management philosophy?to become “a compelling company with a strong market presence” on the basis of “customer-first” policy. The Company will continue to pursue engineering excellence and offer its customers “Enjoyment and Peace of Mind” to achieve FHI/Subaru distinctive presence.

    William Maley

    Hybrid Power Could Be Coming To the Next-Generation STI

    Now for something completely out of left field. A report from Motoring.com.au says the next-generation Subaru WRX STI could go hybrid.
     
    A source tells the Australian website that the Japanese automaker has two hybrid systems under development as a way to increase performance while improving fuel economy and emission levels.
     
    The first system pairs a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four with an electric motor and six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Total output of this stands at 321 horsepower, about 20 horsepower more than the current STI. The other system is a plug-in hybrid that would have the turbocharged engine powering the front wheels, while the back wheels will be solely powered by an electric motor on the rear axle.
     
    The report says we could be seeing the hybrid STI next year, followed by the plug-in a year later.
     
    Source: Motoring.com.au

    William Maley

    A New Patent Filing Reveals A Hardcore Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 Could Be Coming

    AutoGuide recently found patent filing in Japan for a possible hardcore version of the Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GT86. The filing features renderings of a coupe with a new front end, large rear wing, and a new set of wheels. This looks similar to the Subaru STI Performance Concept shown at the New York Auto Show earlier this year.
     
    Now the filing has Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries - Subaru's parent company - listed as the creators. Not surprising since both have been working together on this coupe.
     
    One of the big questions lingering over this filing aside from when we could actual see this, is how much performance could this coupe have. The STI Performance Concept boasted around 300 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four.
     
    Source: AutoGuide

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