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Subaru Cars

MSU Subaru BRZ Plug-In

Students Build Subaru BRZ Plug-In Hybrid

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Mississippi State University students working in the Center of Advanced Vehicular Systems presented a plug-in hybrid version of a Subaru BRZ at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress event in Detroit last week. What they wanted to demonstrate is that plug-in hybrid cars can be created while maintaining driving performance. Jalopnik reporter, David Tracy, spoke with Matthew Doude, the “Car of the Future” project leader, and was told that the team of students initially stripped the BRZ down to the bare chassis so they could scan it into a computer-aided design software. They then packaged their components via CAD before installing parts in the car—just like the OEMs do it. They utilized a 850cc two-cylinder snowmobile engine with dual electric motors, as well as a range extender for the two rear-mounted electric motors. A 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from 123 Systems  takes the place where the transmission used to sit and allows the BRZ to drive 50 miles in fully-electric mode. The car only weighs around 80 lbs over the stock weight with an estimated 100 mpge.

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2017 Subaru Impreza

Subaru Unveils 2017 Subaru Impreza

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The New York Auto Show just started and Subaru has already debuted a new 2017 Subaru Impreza model over Periscope. This new Impreza is the first production model from Subaru to utilize the automakers newly developed Global Platform that will form the base for most of the upcoming new models. With an extended wheelbase by 1 inch, the overall length increased by 1.6 inches, and the width changed to 1.5 inches it is larger that the outgoing Impreza model. The height is slightly reduced by about half an inch. Not much about the model has changed, but the interior is slightly more modernized and the exterior has stronger lines that gives the car a younger look.

This comes with news that Subaru plans to incorporate a standard automatic emergency braking system on all it’s new models sold in the United States a full three years before a proposed government regulation. That means by 2022, the Japanese car manufacturer plans to add the safety system as standard in its line-up, being one of 20 automotive manufacturers committed to including this driver assist technology. The Abridged AEB (automatic emergency braking system) is a tech that can help prevent crashes by applying the brakes for the driver. It is currently an additional option, but the NHTSA and IIHS are urging automakers to make it a standard feature. The AEB reduces crashes by 40%.

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Subaru Outback Named Best Family Car

Subaru Outback Named Best Car for the Family

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Subaru has recently won in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Cars for the Family awards. The 2016 Subaru Outback has been named the Best Wagon for Families. The awards were chosen by looking at 256 new cars, SUVS, and minivans currently on sale and reviewing their automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and the availability of family-friendly features. Within each of the 21 automotive categories, the vehicle with the highest composite score is named the Best Car for Families in that category.

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Subaru XV Concept

Subaru Debuts New XV Concept

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Subaru has joined the excitement of the Geneva International Motor Show by debuting an exciting new XV concept, which is a design concept car that embodies Subaru’s next-generation DYNAMIC X SOLID design philosophy in a compact crossover model. This new DYNAMIC X SOLID design is featured prominently in the new XV model while still maintaining a three-dimensional and solid body that is a feature of Subaru styling. The color featured on the concept car is a new Subaru color called Glacier Khaki Silica, which is meant to evoke the color of glacier ice.  One of the most exciting updates is that the new XV will share a new modular platform with the redesigned and re-engineered Impreza compact car that goes on sale later this year. Although not much else is known about the new concept, the updated styling and shared Impreza platform sure has us excited.

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Consumer Reports Names Subaru Best Brand

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Consumer Reports recently released their 2016 Brand Report and named Subaru as the top mainstream brand with a score of 78. The Car Brand Report Card is determined by a variety of factors including, road-test performance, reliability, safety performance and active safety aids, and owner satisfaction. Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing says about the brand, “When you drive a Subaru, they actually drive extremely well. They ride well, they handle well, they are reliable, they do have a lot of the features including a lot of advanced safety features that you really only normally see in higher-priced cars.”

This comes with news that Subaru also is the Best Brand for Resale Value, according to Kelley Blue Book. In order to win this award, an automaker must offer consumer-appreciated vehicles across its entire model line and keep its production well-matched to demand. The brand that wins the award has the highest combined projected resale value of their entire product portfolio. While the brand placed number 1 for mainstream, specific models placed differently. The Subaru WRX placed 7th retaining 65.2% of its value after 36 months while the Subaru Forester placed 10th retaining 59.3% of its value after 36 months.

KBB also recently released their best buys list and the 2016 Subaru Impreza placed in the small car category. Experts at KBB explain, “Any car that comes with standard all-wheel drive is worth paying attention to. With one of the more impressive all-wheel-drive systems around, the 2016 Subaru Impreza offers superb cargo space under the rear hatch, as well as firm, comfortable seats over long distances and a very livable interior. Even the rear seats are decent for a compact car, and headroom feels limitless in every spot.”

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Subaru Starlink at Wilde Subaru in Waukesha

5 Everyday Uses for Your Subaru Starlink Technology

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Are you new to the Subaru Family and wondering what all the fuss about the Starlink technology is? Check out this official Subaru video about all the uses for your Subaru Starlink program, including reporting when its stolen, automatic collision notification, non-collision emergencies (like medical or flat tires), service updates and finding it when its lost.

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Subaru BRZ at Wilde Subaru in Waukesha

The Subaru BRZ Sets Guinness World Record For Tightest 360° Spin

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Alastair Moffat, a British stunt driver, has set a Guinness World Record for the Tightest 360° spin at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, England. He drove the BRZ at about 30 mph and did a complete 360 degree spin with only 2.25 meters (7.4 feet) of clearance. Moffat said about the World Record, “The Subaru BRZ was the perfect car in which to do it; light, highly maneuverable and easy to control. It’s great to have another record to my name.” This must be true since the previous record for 2.5 meters of clearance was also performed using a Subaru BRZ.  The only modifications done to the vehicle was turning off the traction control and disengaging the ABS. Check out this incredible feat below:

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Subaru Not Making Autonomous Cars but Demand is Increasing

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Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the parent company of Subaru, has made it clear that Subaru won’t be creating autonomous cars any time soon, but will instead focus on increasing driver technology. One of the technologies Subaru is working on would allow the car to overtake another car on the highway, while other features in testing would surround the driver with helpful and supportive safety technologies. This Eye-Sight based technology is being produced with their partner, Hitachi, a global company producing safety systems for the automotive industry, with hopes of it being road-ready in 2020. The current technology is in testing at their test driving facility in Japan. Yoshinaga says, “We don’t use the word “autonomous” driving. That typically implies there is no driver. That means something like Google. We’re not doing that at all.”

This comes with news that Subaru needs to expand in order to meet their production needs. As we recently reported Subaru has broken their US record sales, perhaps due to the change in their current lineup or due to driver safety features, but whatever the reason, over the past few years this brand has exploded. Subaru beat its production goal five years ahead of schedule and is finding it difficult to meet supply demands. The brand plans to increase production at its Indiana plant (its only plant outside of Japan) from 200,000 to 394,000 and will stop manufacturing vehicles for Toyota at this location by fall of 2016. “If we use the current lines, we can increase capacity a little,” Yoshinaga said. “But if we build a new assembly line, we can have huge production capacity. If we have to increase production capacity, it will be in the U.S. because that is where the demand is.”

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Subaru Named Best Mainstream Brand for Resale Value

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Five years after purchasing a new car, statistics show you may only retain 35% of the car’s initial value when you resell it. This makes choosing a car with high resale value more pertinent. The experts at Kelley Blue Book have named Subaru as the best mainstream brand for resale value. Eric Ibara, director of residual values for Kelley Blue Book, said in a statement, “After previously winning the brand award in 2011 and 2015, Subaru is back on top once again for 2016 as the best mainstream brand for resale value across its entire lineup.” Four specific models have won in various categories. For the Sedan category, the Subaru Legacy won for mid-size sedan and the Subaru Impreza won best resale value for compact cars. The Subaru WRX and Subaru Forrester were named in the top ten for best resale value across the board. In the performance category, the Subaru WRX won for Sporty Compact. Kelley Blue Book creates projections for the resale value on those earning the highest five-year resale values as a percentage of the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price). Low-volume vehicles and those with a price tag of more than $60,000 are excluded except in the plug-in, luxury and high-performance categories.

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Could Subaru Be Working On A Hybrid?

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Recent reports around the web are claiming that Subaru may be adding a hybrid to their line-up in 2017. According to a report from Australia’s MotoringSubaru is working on creating more fuel efficient cars and is even working on a “radical new Impreza-based STI hybrid” plug-in model that will show at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2018. Although the speculation comes based on an unnamed source, it would seem plausible, with the popularity of fuel-efficient and hybrid cars as well as the work by big companies like Honda and Toyota to bring about hydrogen fuel cell cars, that Subaru would release something of similar caliber in order to compete.

In an interview with Torque News, Tom Doll, COO of Subaru, cleared up the confusion saying, “We are working on our engine technology and plug-in-hybrids and we’ll have the technology and products with the new fuel regulations coming with the California zero emissions mandate. We believe the new products we have in the pipeline will be competitive. We are watching what’s going on in the market and we can’t “bet wrong” being a small company. The bets we have to make we have to make sure they are right. We will need pug-ins, zero emission vehicles and new drivetrain technologies.” He further implied that parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, will begin working on a new plug-in hybrid technology.

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