Newengine for Subaru

The Forester gets a hi-tech unit un­der the bon­net, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

JUST as Subaru’s cur­rent boxer petr o l en­gine i s blow­ing out 21 can­dles, the Ja­panese com­pany has in­tro­duced a new pow­er­plant.

Fuji Heavy In­dus­tries, maker of Subaru cars, has launched its third­gen­er­a­tion boxer en­gine in 1995cc and 2498cc nat­u­rally as­pi­rated ver­sions, with lower CO emis­sions and 10 per cent bet­ter fuel econ­omy.

Subaru Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Nick Se­nior says the first all-new petrol boxer since 1989 will ar­rive early next year in the 2.5-litre Forester.

‘‘This is an ex­cit­ing en­gi­neer­ing devel­op­ment from FHI,’’ he says. ‘‘They’re renowned for the dura­bil­ity of their en­gines and this new unit will take the so­phis­ti­ca­tion to a whole new level.’’

Subaru Aus­tralia cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager David Row­ley says chang­ing emis­sion reg­u­la­tions is ‘‘one fac­tor in the devel­op­ment’’ of the new en­gine.

‘‘Sev­eral as­pects of technology have moved on con­sid­er­ably in the last two decades, in­clud­ing lighter-weight, high-strength ma­te­ri­als, so it’s log­i­cal to bring to­gether many of these ad­vances and ap­ply them to a sin­gle all­new en­gine.’’

Row­ley says the goals for the new en­gine were ‘‘the in­cor­po­ra­tion of new tech­nolo­gies and ma­te­ri­als, emis­sion and fuel-ef­fi­ciency gains, lighter weight and a com­pletely mod­ern plat­form on which to ap­ply fur­ther en­hance­ments as they be­come avail­able’’.

There will be no ef­fect on the turbo boxer en­gines ‘‘at this stage’’ and no plans for a smaller boxer petrol en­gine, he says.

‘‘FHI ad­vise the 2.0 and 2.5 ac­count for their largest per­cent­age of sales, hence the fo­cus on these rather than (smaller en­gines),’’ he says.

The en­gines fea­ture dif­fer­ent bore and stroke con­fig­u­ra­tions that in­crease dis­place­ment in the 2.0-litre model by a mere 1cc from 1994cc to 1995cc and in the 2.5-litre model from 2457cc to 2498cc. The new en­gines also use a chain-driven cam in­stead of belt, which has a longer life, but should make it slightly nois­ier.

Other changes in­clude a longer stroke, com­pact com­bus­tion cham­ber, lighter mov­ing parts, cooled ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem, in­take/ ex­haust Ac­tive Valve Con­trol Sys­tem, tum­ble generator valve and a com­pact oil pump.

Subaru claims power in the Ja­panese do­mes­tic mar­ket ver­sion of the 2.0-litre boxer is down 1kW to 109kW, but torque has been im­proved by 5Nm to 196Nm.

There are no power or torque fig- ures avail­able yet for the en­gine’s 2.5-litre ver­sion.

Row­ley says the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the en­gines to be used in Aus­tralian ve­hi­cles will be an­nounced when 2011 model Foresters are re­leased.

FHI has built a new fac­tory at its Gunma Oizumi plant in Ja­pan to pro­duce the new en­gine.

Subaru has not re­leased any plans for up­dates to its new boxer diesel en­gine, which Row­ley de­scribes as ‘‘go­ing gang­busters’’.

Se­nior re­ported at the re­cent WRX/ STI launch that diesel rep­re­sents 28 per cent of Out­back sales and 29 per cent of Forester since its launch.

Next gen­er­a­tion: the Subaru Forester (above) will be the first ve­hi­cle fit­ted with the all-new boxer en­gines (left) next year.

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