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Subaru's first diesel shown

Thu, 08 Mar 2007

By Ben Barry

First Official Pictures

08 March 2007 08:32

Hold on, where’s the rally car?

Subaru may have transformed its reputation from builder of dull-but-sturdy farmermobiles to maker of fast-and-furious racers with a little help from Burns and McRae, but the game’s moved on and not everyone’s impressed by sub-20mpg Imprezas anymore. Besides, Subaru’s WRC outfit isn’t exactly competitive these days. So Ikuo Mori’s speech – the man in charge of Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries – focused on the environment as an ‘essential concern’. And Subaru unveiled this, their first diesel boxer engine.

No, a diesel. The Japanese weren’t exactly early adopters of diesel technology, and Subaru has only just announced plans to couple its famous symmetrical four-wheel drive system to an oil-burning boxer engine from early next year – the world’s first flat-four diesel. The 2.0-litre turbo will produce 163bhp and 251lb ft of torque. The Legacy (above) and Outback will be first with the engine, which is expected to arrive in January or February 2008. The Forester and Impreza will follow on, the UK on-sale dates as yet unconfirmed. Subaru hopes the extra powerplant will help increase European sales by a hugely ambitious 40 percent over the next three years – that’s a theoretical 100,000 units per annum by 2009.

By Ben Barry