First Look at Subaru’s New Modular Platform
Subaru has developed a new modular platform that promises improved levels of safety and a more engaging driving experience for its next-generation vehicles. The platform is called the Subaru Global platform and it will underpin virtually every next-gen model starting with the 2017 Impreza range. The only Subaru not to be based on the platform will be the replacement for the BRZ sports car.
The new platform is a key pillar of Subaru’s latest vehicle program which will run up to 2025. Other pillars include horizontally-opposed engines, symmetrical all-wheel-drive systems, electronic driver aids (labeled EyeSight by Subaru), and vehicle electrification. In regards to the latter, Subaru says its platform is fully compatible with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and even hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.
In the area of safety, the Subaru Global platform features a stronger, more rigid structure that also enables more efficient energy absorption in the event of collision, resulting in improved passive safety. On top of this, there is the EyeSight suite of electronic driver aids that in some cases may enable vehicles to completely avoid an accident, boosting the platform’s active safety credentials.
The extra rigidity, up 70-100 percent compared to current Subaru vehicles, also enables improved dynamics. This also has has the benefit of distributing the resonance and distortion further throughout the body, reducing vibrations from the steering wheel, floor, and seats and thus improve ride and comfort. Other dynamic improvements include a 5.0-millimeter lower center of gravity on average plus a new, more sophisticated suspension design. For example, my mounting the rear suspension directly to the body, the new platform reduces body roll by 50 percent compared to current Subarus.
“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,” Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, the President of Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, said in a statement. “We continue to work on designing ever-more attractive vehicles that offer the customer both enjoyment and peace-of-mind.”
As mentioned, the new platform will first appear in the 2017 Impreza, which goes on sale later this year. The new compact has been spied in prototype form and is expected to debut later this month at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Recent concepts like the Impreza 5-Door and Impreza Sedan hint at the styling we can expect.
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