Subaru Celebrates 50 Years Of Boxer Engines

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Subaru’s iconic horizontally-opposed boxer engine.

The Japanese company introduced their signature technology back in 1966 when the 1000 compact used for the first time a boxer engine.

Today, every model Subaru makes is fitted with a horizontally-opposed unit with the company having sold 16 million cars in total with an engine of this type since 1966. The benefits of this design are obvious: opposing pistons work to cancel out the inertia force of each other, decreasing the amount of vibrations compared to a traditional inline engine and offering exceptional rotational balance and smooth acceleration even at the highest engine speeds.

Not to mention the compact footprint of the unit which allows it to be fitted lower in the engine bay, benefiting the center of gravity. Combine this with Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD and the result is a balanced weight distribution which in turn aids the stability and traction of the Japanese models on offer.

And of course Subaru’s boxer engines are responsible for one of the most characteristic sound signatures out there, offering an unmistakable burble that petrolheads recognize instantly and fans of the brand just love.

The legacy is expected to continue with the launch of the 2017 Subaru Impreza which is based on the company’s all-new architecture.


  • xDRAN0x

    So they just celebrate and don’t announce anything special to go with it? Like DSG transmission, adaptive dampers, 2.0DIT engine in the STI, etc.

  • Harlan McCartney

    While the rest of the world celebrated the 120th anniversary of the “Boxer” engine. Mr Benz’s innovations live on.

    • Exposing B-LIES-Matter


  • Ellz

    Pretty soon, the STI’s 2.5 Boxer Engine will celebrate it’s own milestone.

  • Exposing B-LIES-Matter

    VW Had the boxer engine first, which Subaru then copied.