Published on October 25th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
How Subaru Improved the XV with Their New Global Architecture
The all-new Subaru XV was one of the most impressive cars of the year. Not only was it more economical and better tuned than its predecessor, it was also more comfortable and better to drive too. Most of this is down to the new Subaru Global Platform.
Subaru had a few goals with this new platform. It had to have better dynamics than typical American or European makes while still being as cost efficient and well packaged as a typical Japanese platform. To that end, they focused on improving maneuverability, reducing noise and vibrations and increasing comfort. This while lowering engineering costs by using one platform to serve their entire product portfolio going forward.
The first thing they did here was to increase the rigidity of the body. Everything from the cross member, to the rear subframe was redesigned and given more support to this end. As a result, the chassis is twice as rigid as the one it replaces in some places.
This is doubly important, as the car has an all-wheel drive system. With increased rigidity, the rear wheels more effectively deliver power in corners, making the car turn better.
Next, they worked on an improved steering system. By revising the dimensions of the gears in the electric power steering module, it is now more responsive to driver input and is more smoother in terms of how much force is needed to turn the wheel.
This in turn led to better straight line stability. The new car is less affected by crosswinds and more intuitive to keep on the intended path.
Finally, the Subaru Global Platform is also 5mm lower to the ground, which directly translates to better high speed emergency avoidance maneuvers.
Reducing Noise and Vibrations
In addition to making the car more drivable, increasing rigidity also has the benefit of reducing unpleasant vibrations in the cabin.
The car’s natural frequency has been increased to values more imperceivable by human senses.
The new framework of the platform sees improvements at every joint. Changing the way parts are affixed to each other has allowed Subaru to cut vibrations down further. Tougher engine mounts too, have helped cut down engine noise under acceleration by 1dB.
Comfortable Ride Quality and Safety
Better, stiffer suspension in optimised packages reduce the unpleasant flex that can compromise ride quality.
Furthermore, the new framework we mentioned earlier better absorbs and distributes energy during collisions. They’ve also used more high and ultra-high strength steel around the B-pillars and body of the cars. By utilising hot-stamped steel and better welding and joints, safety was improved without adding bulk to the final product.
You can test drive this new XV at any Subaru Showroom nationwide right now.