By the end of 2010, Subaru intends to launch a next-generation, horizontally opposed engine, according to Japan’s Nikkei Sangyo business daily. The engine will first be used in the Forester crossover and will be expanded to other models. Soon after the powerplant debuts in the US and Japanese versions of the Forester, it will then be used to power the Legacy sedan, Impreza compact and Exiga, a minivan offered in Japan.
The new engine offers a 10% improvement in mileage. Masashi Uemura, who is a spokesman for Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company), confirmed that the carmaker would launch a new engine by the end of the year. However, Uemura declined to provide specifications or indicate which models will have these models.
According to the Nikkei Sangyo, the engine will be a four-cylinder, horizontally opposed “boxer,” which ranges from 2.0 to 2.5 liters. This engine will be partnered with a continuously variable transmission for improved mileage.
This engine marks the first major overhaul of Subaru’s trademark boxer engine in the last 20 years. During last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Subaru showcased a Hybrid Tourer Concept that was foreseen to feature what the company dubbed as its next-generation power system.
Subaru said that the powertrain would be a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed gasoline engine that would produce mileage gains because of the use of direct fuel injection and turbocharging. The powertrain also has a stop-start function that turns off the engine when the vehicle stops and would be mated to a continuously variable transmission.
Subaru’s sales in the US rose by 30% through July compared with the same seven-month period last year. It has said that it will add a hybrid powertrain to an existing model in 2012.
In order to comply with stricter US fuel economy and emissions rules that start in the 2016 model year, Subaru would have to come up with more efficient drivetrain technologies. [via autonews - sub. required]