By Mike Davey
Tokyo, Japan — March 9, 2016 — Fuji Heavy Industries has offered a glimpse into the future. Specifically, the company has unveiled an overview of the Subaru Global Platform.
Currently still under development, the company has indicated that the new platform will constitute the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Significantly, the new Subaru Global Platform will serve as a single design concept for development of all models.
This is an idea we first saw roll out with Volkswagen and its MQB program. The idea is that, rather than design every vehicle on a different platform, they can be built in essentially the same way. This means lower expenses for the OEM at the manufacturing stage, as one line can turn out multiple models. The single platform design concept also saves money on development personnel and facilities.
The new platform increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis as compared to current Subaru models. According to the company, this could mean an increase in rigidity of as much as 70 to 100 percent, depending on the model. There are also substantial improvements to the suspension and a lower centre of gravity. This helps to enhance straight-line stability which Subaru says looks head to the needs in “autonomous vehicles of the future.”
Subaru says it has also improved noise and vibration suppression. Great for driving, but what that means to you in the body shop is that you’re going to be dealing with stronger joins between parts. Combined with an “optimized” frame structure, the stronger joins up the overall torsional rigidity by 70 percent over current model Subarus. The new platform also mounts the rear stabilizer directly to the body.
The Subaru Global Platform will first be seen on the next-generation Impreza, due to hit the market later this year.