Subaru has long been known as a producer of quirky and capable all-weather vehicles, but fuel economy has never really been the automaker’s forte. With escalating gas prices and government fuel standards looming, though, Subaru will shift its focus to efficiency with a pair of new low-displacement turbocharged engines along with a host of other thrifty tactics.
The company is expanding its FB engine family with an upgraded version of the 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder from the upcoming Impreza, as well as a new 1.6 liter variant. Both motors will employ direct fuel injection and turbocharging in order to help Subaru achieve its goal of a 30 percent increase in fuel economy across its entire model range by 2015.
Subaru will also begin displacing torque-convertor automatics with a revised version of its Lineartronic CVT, seemingly believing that the latter transmission is the better way to meet its efficiency target. Furthermore, the company will try Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s tactic of “adding lightness” by building future vehicle platforms with lightweight, high-strength steel, a measure that should help to offset the weight burden of all-wheel drive carried by all Subaru models.
Finally, Subaru revealed that the automaker is deep into the development of its own hybrid system utilizing engines from the FB family. The system is slated to debut in Japan in 2013 before quickly spreading to other global markets.
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