Japanese manufacturer Subaru has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ engine this week.
A signature feature of its vehicles, the company’s boxer engine design first debuted in the Subaru 1000 on May 16, 1966. Half a century on, every car Subaru sells outside Japan today is fitted with a boxer engine.
The boxer name comes from the engine’s horizontally-opposed design, where the pistons face each other in a side-to-side symmetrical layout. The movement of the engine’s pistons resemble the movement of a boxing fighter’s fists.
Subaru says that the opposing pistons work to cancel out each other’s inertia force, resulting in less vibration and increased rotational balance.
Currently in Australia, Subaru offers a range of vehicles equipped with naturally-aspirated petrol, turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines in horizontally-opposed four- and six-cylinder configurations. Almost all of its vehicles combine the boxer engine with its signature symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
Above: Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system