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William Maley

Subaru News: Subaru Debuts A New Modular Platform

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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

  1. Emotionally engaging “Dynamic feel” that goes beyond high performance
  2. 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

  1. 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.


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I'm confused... what does the platform have to do with body roll?   Good that the center of gravity is lower, that should improve handling. Subaru is pretty much always the lowest center of gravity in their class already. 

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I'm confused... what does the platform have to do with body roll?   Good that the center of gravity is lower, that should improve handling. Subaru is pretty much always the lowest center of gravity in their class already. 

 

I'm assuming it deals with how the suspension is set up in the platform. From Subaru's press release:

 

 

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.

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Ah okay.  It allows them to improve body roll, rather than improving it directly.   

 

Body roll is nearly always a decision made at the suspension level, in this case, now they have something firmer to attach that suspension to. 

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This is the right move and my gut tells me all Auto makers over the next 18-24 months will move to a universal platform that can support petrol, Hybrid and EV auto's.

 

Makes sense to have a single platform rather than multiple.

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Interesting to see what Subaru does with this in the future.

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Toyota, Honda, and VW have already been using their own global modular platforms for compact and midsize vehicles with very well received product for a few years now, so it makes sense that others are doing the same..

 

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14 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Interesting to see what Subaru does with this in the future.

Wonder if since Toyota owns them if they are not using a Toyota Modular platform. @Drew Dowdell Do you know if they are?

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Toyota does still have a significant interest in Subaru, but I think they're reluctant to mess with success. Subaru is probably the fastest growing car brand in the US (didn't look it up), and Toyota seems to be very hands off. If they're sharing anything, it's probably the stuff we can't see like power window motors and alternators.

Subaru engines are not compatible with Toyota FWD platforms, so it is not likely that they will ever share that.

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6 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Toyota does still have a significant interest in Subaru, but I think they're reluctant to mess with success. Subaru is probably the fastest growing car brand in the US (didn't look it up), and Toyota seems to be very hands off. If they're sharing anything, it's probably the stuff we can't see like power window motors and alternators.

Subaru engines are not compatible with Toyota FWD platforms, so it is not likely that they will ever share that.

I had read somewhere that the Camry and one of the Subaru's was built on the same assembly line just like the 2 door coupe.

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2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I had read somewhere that the Camry and one of the Subaru's was built on the same assembly line just like the 2 door coupe.

Flex assembly allows for different cars and even different platforms being built on the same lines.  GM's SpringHill plant is apparently capable of building anything in their FWD/AWD portfolio.   Bolt and Sonic are different platforms but built in the same plant. 

The BR-Z and FR-S are the most badge engineered pair out there... even more so than the Canyon/Colorado. There is no mechanical difference between BRZ and FR-S. 

The Legacy shared a plant with some Camry production for part of one generation. 

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