Back in 1966, the Subaru 1000 was the first model to get flat motor.
What’s your first association with the word Boxer? If it’s not the medium-sized, short-haired breed of dog, but the horizontally-opposed combustion engine of Subaru, then we’ve got some news for you – it’s turning 50!
The first model to get the so-called Boxer motor was the Subaru 1000 compact passenger car on May 14, 1966. Today, exactly 50 years later, every vehicle sold by the Japanese manufacturer, except for some mini vehicles in Japan, is equipped with a Boxer engine. Its total production over the past five decades tops 16 million units.
But why do they call them Boxer engines? It’s just because the movement of the engine’s pistons, which face each other in a side-to-side symmetrical layout, resembles the movement of a boxer’s fists. Physics says the opposing pistons work to cancel out the inertia force of each other, resulting in less vibration and superb rotational balance. This provides a smooth feel right up to the high rev range.
Nowadays, the Boxer engine is a main part of Subaru’s signature Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system that “offers a combination of superior stability and traction intrinsic to AWD and balanced distribution of weight.” Currently, just like Porsche, Subaru is selling both four- and six-cylinder Boxers, depending on the market.