What is Special About the Subaru Boxer Engine?

Subaru Boxer Engine

Automotive engines on the current market are available in several common designs. Nearly all four-cylinder engines have an inline layout. Most six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines have V-shaped configurations. Subaru prefers to use a horizontally opposed assembly under the hood. Since the 1960s, the patented Boxer engine has been installed in nearly all of the company's cars. Throughout the decades, this auto manufacturer has made significant improvements in the performance of this unique powertrain. Let's take a closer look at some of the distinct features of this signature mechanical installation that propels every Subaru car that's on the road today.

Design and Features of the Subaru Boxer Engine Block

The Boxer engine includes cylinders that face away from each other. During combustion, these essential mechanical components move with a relatively high range of motion. Consequently, there is an increased output of horsepower and torque for each full cycle of conventional combustion. The horizontal configuration also minimizes rotational and rolling movements under the hood. This type of design reduces the likelihood of a rollover when a vehicle navigates steep terrain. A lower center of gravity is another major benefit of the patented Boxer engine. In fact, this unit can be installed several inches lower than traditional engine blocks with I-4 and V6 shapes. During a head-on collision, the front section of a Subaru car experiences less damage compared to other makes and models. After absorbing energy from a harsh impact, the Boxer engine will less-likely push into the front passenger compartment of the cabin.

Subaru's signature powertrain is versatile enough to have an induction system with natural aspiration or a turbocharger. The Active Valve Control System is an advanced technology that manages the operation of the valvetrain. In some models, the Dual Active Valve Control System is in charge of handling the initial and last phases of combustion. When it comes to displacement, the Boxer engine is available with just a few standardized designs. A four-cylinder engine usually has a 2.5 L design, and a six-cylinder engine displaces 3.6 L. In recent years, the company has made some major innovations to the mechanical design of the powertrain. For example, the all-new 2019 Ascent crossover SUV is driven by a 2.4 L engine with the Direct Injection Turbocharged technology. You can extract up to 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque from this compact system. It's also impressive that such a small engine supports a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Subaru has also made some major innovations in the transmission systems and all-wheel drive systems that are optimized to work with the Boxer engine. Carrying the Lineartronic label, the continuously variable transmission includes several highly responsive features that aren't available in most passenger sedans and crossover SUVs. For instance, the Adaptive Control uses a computerized module to memorize your unique driving habits. This CVT also offers up to six manual settings that you can manage with paddle shifters. The Hill Holder is another industry-leading capability of the Lineartronic system. Subaru's engineers have precisely tuned the Symmetrical AWD to work exclusively with the Boxer powertrain and the CVT. In fact, this dynamic AWD is standard in the company's sedans, such as the Legacy. Some trims also carry the X-MODE for improved handling on asphalt, concrete and unpaved surfaces. In the last few decades, most of Subaru's mechanical innovations have revolved around the well-established Boxer engine.

Visit Reliable Subaru to get more details about the iconic Boxer engine. Whether it's the Legacy sedan, BRZ coupe or Crosstrek crossover SUV, every model in our inventory comes standard with this trademark engine block.

Categories: Performance
Tags: Boxer Engine

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