by Brett Davis

Subaru’s new boxer engine details have just been released and the main result is better fuel economy than the existing models whilst maintaining plenty of power and torque.

The new Subaru normally-aspirated (non-turbo) engine is the third generation developed by Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s father company, and it’s the first brand new engine since 1989.

Subaru engines have always been robust, fairly powerful and very torquey especially when matched to high-geared ratios within Subaru’s all-wheel drive system. But the engines weak link has always been consumption and economy. It’s not that the engines are bad on fuel, they just consume a little more than the rivals.

Now though, Subaru and Fuji Heavy Industries have improved this area with indications noting a 10 percent increase in fuel economy. This was done through the use of lighter moving parts and an Active Valve Control system for the intake and exhaust.

The new 2.0-litre engine uses undersquare bore and stroke measurements too, meaning the pistons travel further than they are wide; 84mm bore and a 90mm stroke. This helps with torque and reduces the engine’s inclination to want to rev higher for more performance. Figures of 109kW and 196Nm are on offer.

Managing Director, Subaru Australia, Nick Senior said in a recent report,

“This is an exciting engineering development from FHI. They’re renowned for the durability of their engines and this new unit will take the sophistication to a whole new level that we’ll look forward to experiencing in some versions of our best-selling Forester next year.”

Subaru says the new engine will be available in both 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre capacities and will first go into the market with the Subaru Forester model year 2011, which will be launched early next year.

  • TomJ

    Power figures arn’t exactly impressive.

    • Bob

      Thats boxer engines for you. If it’s so great why don’t we all have one under the hood! Subaru are being left behind. Rubbish styling and antiquated mechanics.

      • Eureka

        I wouldn’t say boxer engines in general are rubbish/antiquated – after all, Porsche seems to do quite well with them…

        • Bob

          Not exactly in the same market though! Still rubbish to look at.

          • Sumpguard

            We owned an outback and it was brilliant a a touring car. Not everyone wants a traffic light winner. At highway speeds the overtaking ability was brilliant. I agree on the styling of the new ones but the engine is far from rubbish as you claim. I doubt you’ve ever driven one.

    • Saken

      Stone Age! People can never fully understand how the internal combustion engine. According to Pascal’s law – the gas pressure, the combustion of fuel in the cylinder, must act on all sides. So why do we need a bore if we can increase the length of the cylinder and engine power to get much more for the same fuel consumption?

  • ethan

    ummmm…. where’s the improvement exactly? when other manufacturers are coming up with engine updates that are significantly stronger subaru’s attempts are rather mediocre in my opinion… my honda 1.8L 4 cyl produces 103kw and drinks 7.2L/100km… has been for the last 3 years… sorry subaru, you need more impressive figures to keep me interested…

    • nasal explorer

      @ethan says “my honda 1.8L 4 cyl produces 103kw”

      Yeah, and a piddly 174Nm of torque.

      • Devil666

        196nm is also piddly, especially when a supposed “all new” engine only eclipses its’ fore bearer by 5nm?!

      • vti07

        170 – 180 Nm is about right for todays NA 1.8L non-performance engines.

        BTW, Honda S2000 produces either a “piddly” 177kw 207Nm or 184KW 218Nm (depending on market) from a NA 2L but that is the other extreme. (Anyway, there would be no low down torque though).

        We really should wait to drive a car with the new boxer engine before commenting.

        • Kaycy

          And what does a honda civic produce? Compare like for like, an S2000 is a sports car. That power comes at 8300rpm, somewhat useful I guess.

    • Stoney!

      My golf is 118kw and 240nm and only around 7 litres per hundred real life.


      • vti07

        For those who are saying Brand X engine is better than Brand Y, don’t just look at power and torque figures, see what the torque curve looks like. I’d rather have a more usable engine with low and mid range torque for everyday driving…

        I believe the Mazda SKY-D and SKY-G engines will set the banchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

      • yowza

        Max power and Max torque can be deceiving too.

        Whats important is when the MAX power and Torque occurs on the Rev meter.

        If a car can only get its 118kW at 6000rpm… then whats the point… you are close to RED LINING it and won’t be using it much at that power output.

        Most cars… if you actually look at the MOST USABLE rpm range… 2000rpm-4000rpm…. are VERY CLOSE.

        An example, Honda Type Rs have comparable Max power to some of the hot hatches, but some of the hot hatches get their MAX out at lower rpm range… hence having that “zippier” feeling. Honda loves the HIGH rpm range…. in normal conditions, you only get to this range at the highway and at speeds of 120kmph+

      • freddo

        But its a golf so who cares

  • Ricky

    I agree that 109 kW from a 2.0L is nothing special. My 2000 model CR-V had a 2.0L engine (non-VTEC, by the way), which produced 108 kW. That was 10 years ago.

    • http://caradvice OSU811

      Subaru had a 2.0l naturally aspirated engine in the libety in 2006 that had 121kw!!!
      problem is it was not overly torque down low, and not
      very efficient (comparitavely) for a 2.0l engine,
      as it says in the review the new engine is about
      low down (useable) torque and fuel efficiency not
      overall or high revving power!!!!!!

  • Kris

    Pretty disappointing figures, it’s good that Subaru have finally improved the fuel economy of their engines, but it’s still far from ground breaking. Mazda will blow them out of the water when their Sky-G and Sky-D engines are released, that’s what Subaru should have been striving for.

    Still no details on power and torque for the 2.5 engine?

    • F1MotoGP

      In Germany the 2.5L engine is 123kW at 5600 rpm and 229Nm at 4000 rpm

  • Justin

    The thing with the 2.0ltr engine is it designed to be higher revving that the 2.5ltr which was perfect for the turbo where the power came from. Look at the competition with 2.0ltr turbo engines and you will see why these engines are great

  • Shak

    This doesnt seem like any sort of advancement. I guess it has good torque, but if its tied to a 4spd auto again, the gain is really worthless. What they should do is go the VW route, and stick their brilliant CVT’s on instead of their antiquated 4spd auto.

    • davie

      Selling advanced transmissions is not the Subaru way,

      Subaru has better transmissions like 6 speed manuals (since 1998)and 5 speed autos (since 2000) available but they don’t actually let anyone buy them.

      Apparently they would rather let their development dollars go to waste and sell these transmissions only in top shelf cars like the 6 cyl models and STI’s

      1980’s 4-speed auto all the way baby, for Impreza and Forester!

  • Stoney!

    Subaru need a small capacity boxer turbo, in the way of a 1,6t or something. Add direct injection and it should be a little econorocket.


  • Nick K

    As a current Liberty owner I won’t be coming back for more. Need CVT, turbo 1.6 P, diesel and better styling (oh, and yes no hard cabin plastics). Subaru are going down fast. Nick Seniors operation is also stingy with warranty… How’s this… Squeaks and rattles are not covered after 12mths and service intervals are 6 monthly when in the UK they are 12 months.

  • Qikturbo

    “The new 2.0-litre engine uses undersquare bore and stroke measurements too……..84mm bore and a 90mm stroke. This helps with torque and reduces the engine’s inclination to want to rev higher for more performance.”

    In other words Subaru don’t want you to hold any performance expectations about the new engine.
    It’s an engine that should be driven as the proverbial ‘little old lady’would drive it.
    Right,I catch you drift Subaru.

  • Ray

    Does this mean upcoming engine upgrade for MY12 WRX Sti?

  • Blitzkrieg

    I used to own a 1992 SSS 2Ltr pulsar, it had 105kw which was awesome power back then.Now 18yrs later subaru come up with a lousy 109kw,who are they kidding?not me,get your act together subaru and stop building ugly underpowered normally aspirated cars.

    • vti07

      For some strange reason, I can’t think of a cheap everyday car (with a NA 2L engine) these days that will out accelerate the SSS Pulsar. Must be the addition of safety equipment that is making cars heavier.

    • Kaycy

      I think Nissan has not improved since 1992 then, because the current 2.0 l in Dualis puts out about the same power.

  • yowza

    (1) 100-115kW and 170-200Nm is sufficient for a daily driver car that transport 1-2 people.

    People who just wants a work car that is efficient and cheap to maintain, this is fine.

    (2) 150kW-200kW and 250-300Nm is sufficient for family cars or light vehicles that transport 4-5 people regularly.

    Fuel efficieny isnt as good as (1) but for the weight it carries, the power is more than sufficient.

    (3) 200+ kW and 300+ Nm cars are performance oriented cars. Fuel Efficiency is not a top priority. Can be set for coupes, sedans, SUVs etc that require towing/load capacity, fast acceleration/top speed etc. These cars have low priority for affordable maintanenance and efficiency.

    (1) – 40-50% of the vehicle market
    (2) – 20-40% of the vehicle market
    (3) – 5-10% of the vehicle market

    And with the introduction of Hybrid/Electric vehicles, (3) is going to dwindle in size.

    Considering Subaru are expanding and trying to capture market they are doing fine with the decisions they are making.

  • greenroom

    one day subaru will bring us something that re – inspires all us once dedicated, now unimpressed former suby owners. i guess you’ve got your sales figures up subaru but i’m sure your fan base has diminished. good luck with this new tractor engine.

    • Kaycy

      You have it all wrong.

  • Trump

    Subaru trying to emulate Toyota = A+ for boring!

  • Kaycy

    Guys, stop lambasting subaru for a 2.0 l engine power and torque. It is nearly the same specs as a BMW 320i and Mercedes 2.0l engines. Why all the negativity? It’s an improvement and we should not forget that the subaru’s are AWD therefore heavier in general.

    There’s WRX and WRX STI if you want more power and torque.

    • Jonty

      Agree, most people are happy to make negative comments…hardly ever see anything psoitive anymore.


    2010 engine of the year from 1.8-litre to 2-litre

    1. BMW 2-litre Twin Turbo Diesel (123d, X1 23d) 293

    2. Audi 2-litre four-cylinder TFSI (Audi A4, A4 Allroad, A5,
    A5 Sportback, A6, Q5, S3, VW Scirocco, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan,
    Golf, Seat Leon, Cupra R, Exeo, Skoda Octavia RS) 215

    3. Audi 2-litre four-cylinder TFSI (Audi TT, VW Eos, Golf, Seat Leon, FR/Cupra, Seat Altea/XL/Freetrack) 156

    4. Honda 2-litre four-cylinder i-VTEC (Civic Type-R) 150

    5. Mitsubishi 2-litre Turbo (Evo, Lancer) 73

    6. Subaru 2-litre Diesel (Impreza, Outlook, Forester, Legacy) 71

    • ABMPSV

      and from 2-litre to 2.5-litre

      1. Audi 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo (Audi TT RS) 269

      2. Mercedes-Benz Diesel 2.1-litre (C-Class, E-Class) 185

      3. Subaru 2.5-litre flat-four turbo (Forester, Impreza, Legacy) 123

      4. Ford 2.5-litre Hybrid (Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid) 110

      5. BMW 2.5-litre DI six-cylinder (Z4 23i) 101

      6. Honda Diesel 2.2-litre DTEC (Accord, Accord Type S, CR-V) 82

  • Save it for the track

    How strange. Not a Hyundai motor to be seen….

  • Bail

    Have owned 2 Foresters, Engines no where near reliable as people commenting. Repair costs are on par with BMW. Style and performance very average. Our Holden and Ford need kick up backside for making gas gusling 1850Kg steel tanks.
    Get onto USA web sites and Subaru spare parts are one-third of what we pay here. Subaru Australia ripping Aussies off blind.

    • Blitzkrieg

      Yes they are ripping off Aussies,try a quote of $916 for one 17″ 1 piece cast alloy wheel for my 2004 Liberty.My eyes fell out of my head.Bought 4 aftermarket 18″ wheels for $1000 instead.

  • svd

    “Subaru engines have always been robust, fairly powerful and very torquey especially when matched to high-geared ratios within Subaru’s all-wheel drive system. But the engines weak link has always been consumption and economy. It’s not that the engines are bad on fuel, they just consume a little more than the rivals”
    This statement is not true. Subaru had heaps of trouble with there early engines blowing head gaskets etc. Maybe you should modify the statement to Subaru in recent years have been robust. They are an engine which MUST have regular oil changes as they don’t have gravity to assist the oilo back to the sump which means that the oil runs hotter and is prone to carbonising if left too long between changes. As regards performance the cylinders are space a long way from each other and it is difficult to make a tuned exhaust system to enhance performance. The same applies to a tuned intake system where you have to treat each bank separate you cannot make use of the induction from the previous cylinder to enhance the filling of the next cylinder easily. Until the current series of vehicles the interiors were pretty pokey and I think a Toyota Corolla probably had more room. Last comment not about the engine obviously so I will save all my other comments about Subarus for another time.

  • Steven

    Crap seats. That’s all :)

  • Dennis Marinos

    How about 231Kw from a 2.5 Litre boxer in the STI enough power for you dickheads?

    Some of you are so retarded i wonder how you even use a computer to type these stupid comments.