What is the Subaru Boxer Engine?

Subaru Boxer Engine

What is the Subaru Boxer Engine?

Throughout most of its storied history, Subaru has had a strong reputation for continually pushing the envelope in terms of innovative designs, eye-catching style and impressive technology. In fact, there is a whole lot that separates Subaru vehicles from virtually every other car, truck and SUV on the road. That being said, one of the biggest differences is definitely the innovative Subaru Boxer engine. This innovative flat engine has been powering a wide range of different Subaru vehicles for over 50 years and is still one of the main factors that separates Subaru cars and SUVs from the rest of the pack. In light of this, we’ll now present you with a full overview so you can learn exactly what makes the Subaru Boxer engine so special.

A Quick Introduction to the Subaru Boxer

Originally released on the 1966 Subaru 1000, the Boxer engine now forms the heart of every new Subaru vehicle. Compared to traditional inline and V-type engines, the Boxer is truly a revolutionary design that shifts the engine’s cylinders into a fully flat, horizontal position. Typically, an engine’s cylinders are in a vertical or mostly vertical position. This is true of both inline and V-type engines no matter whether they have four, six, eight or more cylinders. By shifting the cylinders into a flat position, Subaru engineers found they could achieve a number of major benefits without having to sacrifice anything in terms of power and performance—and thus the Boxer engine was born.

Available in both four-cylinder and six-cylinder configurations, the Boxer engine provides the ultimate combination of power, performance and efficiency. It is also one of the biggest things that makes Subaru vehicles so unique and part of the reason why Subaru is the only manufacturer to offer symmetric all-wheel drive. Despite all of these advantages, Porsche is the only other manufacturer that takes advantage of a Boxer-style engine and even it’s used on the higher end sports cars.

The Benefits Only a Subaru Boxer Engine Can Bring

With its flat, horizontal cylinder configuration, the Boxer engine is able to have a fully symmetrical design. This ensures that the weight is evenly distributed across the vehicle, which definitely isn’t the case with inline or V-type engines. Both of these engines are larger and heavier on one side, which has the result of shifting the vehicle's center of gravity slightly off to one side.

With its symmetrical design and even weight distribution, the Boxer engine is able to provide a number of important advantages over these other engines. The fact that the cylinders are evenly distributed helps to minimize engine vibration and the effect it has road behavior, which results in a smoother ride and better control. Further adding to the increased control, maneuverability and responsiveness is the fact that the flat engine results in a much lower and more even center of gravity.

The low-profile design of the Boxer engine also provides advantages in terms of engine fluids. The flat design allows the engine to more easily pump oil, which in turn ensures that the pistons stay better lubricated and the engine lasts longer. The biggest difference can be seen when starting the vehicle. Since the Boxer pistons are even with the level of the engine and thus the oil, it means that they are always lubricated when the engine is started. This isn’t the case with V-type or inline engines, and this increased friction when starting the vehicle is part of the reason why these engines wear out more quickly.

In truth, the Subaru Boxer engine provides far more advantages than we could possibly hope to explain here. In fact, it’s usually best to see it in action for yourself in order to fully understand all of the differences. For this reason, don’t hesitate to stop by our dealership or give us a call to learn more about the Subaru Boxer engine or any of the vehicles in the new 2019 Subaru lineup.

Categories: Service, Performance
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