Published on March 8th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Subaru Unveils New 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.
Main Features of Subaru Global Platform
The next-generation platform is designed with the future in mind, and looks ahead to 2025. The main features include:
■ Subaru’s Biggest-ever Enhancement in Overall Vehicle Performance
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, noise and vibration suppression, and comfort.
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 achieve a lower center 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 seem to grip the road surface, achieving a traveling performance that looks ahead to the need for enhanced straight line stability in the autonomous vehicles of the future.
Noise and vibration suppression
Optimized 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. It achieves a quietness that goes beyond vehicle class.
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 stabilizer directly to the body, the new platform reduces the body roll of the vehicle by 50% compared to present models.
The world’s highest levels of 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.
Thanks to a frame structure that enables more efficient energy absorption in the event of collision and the enhanced body rigidity resulting from the 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.
■ 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 for which demand will increase further.
・ 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 our products more competitive.
・ It will also become possible to produce platform components for multiple models in the same one 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 our partner companies. The new unified design concept will also make it easier for our two factories in Japan and the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the United States to carry out bridge production of multiple different models on a single line, making our global production system more flexible.