Published: March 09,2016| Tokyo
Subaru has revealed a new global platform which will form the underpinning of the next generation cars from the brand, says the company.
The new platform will be flexible to accommodate hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric and other types of alternative power units claims Subaru. The new generation Impreza will be the first car to be based on the SGP platform.
Details of the new technology were outlined by executives at the global headquarters of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s parent company. The platform is a key pillar of Fuji Heavy’s plan to achieve worldwide sales of 1.1 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
The carmaker claims that the new platform will offer better straight line stability due to an increase in rigidity, which is 70 to 100 per cent more than the existing models. Subaru has also worked on the dynamics of the vehicle by tweaking the suspension and the steering wheel setup. Additionally, the frame structure and the joints have been optimized to improve the overall torsional rigidity by 70 per cent. These updates have helped reduce vibrations from the steering wheel, floor and seats, says Subaru in a statement.
“Starting with the car coming out this year, we will advance the next level, using the new Subaru Global Platform to provide Subaru with more safety and fun every year,” said Naoto Muto, executive vice president for global engineering.
The new platform should be able to underpin Subaru vehicles through 2025 with regular improvements, executives 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,” said FHI president, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga.
The new platform will not only make Subaru cars safer and more fun to drive, it will make the cars less costly to engineer, said Tetsuo Onuki, vice president of global engineering.
That is because it will be possible to produce components for multiple models at one factory, instead of over multiple factories. This will increase efficiency and allow Subaru to more flexibly shift production between factories in the United States and Japan to quickly adjust to changing demand.
Finding new ways to boost efficiencies while improving its cars is key for Fuji Heavy in an era in which bigger rivals are increasingly able to leverage volume to slash costs.
Subaru channeled savings into upgrading the performance of the new platform, Onuki said. The goal is to enhance the product without raising sticker prices, he said. For ride and handling, Subaru aimed to surpass European brands, he added.