Subaru launches Global Platform as part of plan to meet

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 15, 2016

In 2014, Subaru announced its management vision, Prominence 2020. In line with this, the brand is launching the Subaru Global Platform as part of the six initiatives to fulfill its vision of enhancing the brand further.

Featuring horizontally-opposed engines, EyeSight technology, and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system, the new Subaru Global Platform will be all about the standard foundation of Subaru's next-generation models.

FHI President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga stated that the Subaru Global Platform brings Subaru's automotive system to a whole new level. It also marks a new milestone in the evolution of Subaru's offering value, "Enjoyment and Peace of Mind.” Moreover, the Subaru Global Platform is a culmination of the "know-how" that Subaru has developed through the years.

Yoshinaga claimed that the car brand is confident that the project will lead to the production of more vehicles that live up to Subaru's traditions and meet customers' expectations and satisfactions.

Dynamic Feel

The key features of the next-generation platform, which look ahead to 2025, includes a dramatic dynamic appeal that goes beyond high performance. Supported by new and innovative specifications, the new platform offers an entirely new driving experience that directly appeals to the senses and offers unquestionable smoothness.

Specifically, Subaru hopes to enhance the dynamic feel in terms of straight-line stability, noise and vibration suppression, and comfort.

Straight-Line Stability

With the Subaru Global Platform, rigidity is dramatically improved throughout the body and chassis. The improvement ranges from a 70 to 100 percent rigidity increase over present models.

There are also significant enhancements employed to the suspension while a lower center of gravity is achieved as well. This brings a highly responsive steering, allowing drivers to control the vehicle as precisely as possible.

The unnecessary handling movements have been eradicated to make the vehicle grip the road surface better. Subaru understands that there is a need for better straight-line stability in future models.

Noise and Vibration Suppression

The overall torsional rigidity is improved by 70 percent because of stronger joints and an optimized frame structure. It also distributed the resonance and distortion throughout the vehicle, reducing significantly the vibrations generated from the seats, floor, and steering wheel.

Comfort

With an increased suspension mounting rigidity, the Subaru Global Platform enhances the absorption of the suspension without warping the car's body. This provides a smooth and comfortable driving experience under all driving conditions.

The rear stabilizer is directly mounted to the body, reducing the overall body roll of the vehicle by 50 percent compared to current models.

Safety Features

The Subaru Global Platform also offers state-of-the-art safety features. It achieves a low center of gravity that is 5 mm below that of the present models. Along with the improved rigidity and suspension, the low center of gravity also leads to a more stable experience on the road as it demonstrates excellent danger avoidance capabilities similar to high-performance sports vehicles.

A frame structure also enables more efficient energy absorption during a collision. Together with the improved rigidity resulting from the use of more high-tensile steel plates, which include materials created using hot press method, the impact energy absorption is enhanced by 40 percent compared to existing models.

More improvements are expected in terms of materials and strength, heightening anticipations to continue to offer world-class collision safety specifications in the long run.

Subaru's Single Design Concept

The Single Design Concept for the development of new-generation vehicles makes them adaptable to future electrification. The main specifications of all models will be laid out all at once. These features will be adjusted to match the requirements of other models, strengthening the entire lineup of Subaru while allowing it to develop further models that complement one another's strengths.

Moreover, it allows a design concept to be adapted to gasoline engines, electric vehicles (EV), hybrid vehicles (HV), plug-in hybrids, and other alternative power types. Single Design Concept maximizes the use of limited development teams and facilities effectively to work on a diverse lineup.

This also drives savings into areas that make Subaru models more competitive in the market. With the Single Design Concept, more platform components for several models in the same production facility will be produced compared to manufacturing them in a number of plants.

While cutting costs, it also increases the production efficiency at both Subaru's factories and partner industries. The Single Design Concept will make it easier for the two factories in Japan and the Indiana Automotive plant in the US to perform the production of various models on a single assembly line, improving the overall flexibility of the production system worldwide.

From now on, the Subaru Global Platform will be employed in producing Subaru cars— starting off with the all-new Subaru Impreza that is due by late 2016. FHI stays true to its philosophy of becoming "a compelling company with a strong market presence" as it upholds a customer-first policy.

Press Release

FHI UNVEILS THE ‘SUBARU GLOBAL PLATFORM’

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, has unveiled an overview of the Subaru Global Platform, which is currently under development as the architecture to be used for all the company’s next-generation vehicles.

The Subaru Global Platform is part of the six initiatives to enhance the Subaru brand described in the company’s mid-term management vision, ‘Prominence 2020’, announced in 2014. Together with the horizontally-opposed engines, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and EyeSight that represent Subaru’s core technologies, the new platform will constitute the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles.

Marking the launch of the new concept, FHI President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said, “The Subaru Global Platform lifts Subaru’s automotive technology to new heights, and marks the next step in the evolution of ‘Enjoyment and Peace of Mind’, the value that Subaru offers to its customers. 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. We continue to work on designing ever-more attractive vehicles that offer the customer both enjoyment and peace of mind.”

The next-generation platform looks ahead to 2025. The main features include:

1. Emotionally engaging ‘Dynamic feel’ that goes beyond high performance

The new platform will make possible a new type of driving experience, appealing directly to the senses and offering unparalleled smoothness and comfort – all backed up by excellent performance and specifications. Specifically, the new platform will further refine Subaru’s dynamic feel in the following areas:

Straight-line stability

The new platform dramatically increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (a 70% to 100% increase over present models) and incorporates substantial improvements to the suspension system and achieves a lower centre of gravity, bringing about highly responsive steering that allows drivers to control the vehicle precisely as they want. The eradication of unnecessary movement in handling makes the car better grip the road surface, anticipating the need for enhanced straight-line stability in the autonomous vehicles of the future.

Noise and vibration suppression

Optimised frame structure and stronger joints between parts allow the new platform to improve overall torsional rigidity by 70% over present models. This distributes the resonance and distortion throughout the body, greatly reducing vibrations from the steering wheel, floor, and seats.

Comfort

The new platform increases the rigidity of the suspension mounting, improving the absorption of the suspension without warping the body of the car, and providing a smooth and comfortable drive whatever the irregularities in the road surface. By mounting the rear stabiliser directly to the body, the new platform reduces the body roll of the vehicle by 50% compared to present models.

2. The world’s highest levels of safety

Active safety

The new platform achieves a center of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower center of gravity makes possible a more stable driving experience than ever before, and offers outstanding danger avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car.

Passive safety

Thanks to a frame structure that enables more efficient energy absorption in the event of collision, and enhanced body rigidity resulting from increased use of high-tensile steel plates (including materials formed by the hot press method), impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models. The platform anticipates further improvements in strength and new materials and has the potential to continue to offer the world’s highest levels of collision safety even in 2025.

3. Single Design Concept for development of all models, adaptable to electrification in the future

The new platform will offer a single unified design concept for all Subaru models. Planning the main specifications of all vehicle types at one time and flexibly adjusting these basic specifications to match with the requirements of different models will strengthen the entire Subaru lineup, while still allowing the company to develop models that take advantage of each model’s strengths.
The new concept allows one design concept to be adapted not only to gasoline engines but also to hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and other types of alternative power units.
Development based on a single design concept makes it possible to use limited development personnel and facilities efficiently to develop a diverse range of models and to direct the resulting savings into areas that can make Subaru products more competitive.
It will also become possible to produce platform components for multiple models in the same production facility, rather than manufacturing them in different factories as has been the case in the past. This will increase production efficiency at Subaru’s factories and at partner companies. The new unified design concept will also make it easier for Subaru’s two factories in Japan and the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the United States to carry out production of multiple different models on a single line, making the company’s global production system more flexible.
The Subaru Global Platform will be used in the development of all Subaru vehicles from now on, beginning with the next-generation Impreza, due later in 2016.

FHI remains true to its management philosophy – to become ‘a compelling company with a strong market presence’ on the basis of a ‘customer-first’ policy.

 

Topics: subaru, platform

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