System Components


Starting with the SUBARU BOXER engine and all along the drivetrain, every part of the Symmetrical AWD system has efficiencies built into it that contribute to control.


The entire system lies along the centerline of the vehicle, balancing weight distribution between the two sides.


The engine’s horizontal rather than vertical shape helps to lower the vehicle’s center of gravity.


The self-contained transmission and transfer case are completely enclosed.


The propeller shaft has two sections – it’s not all one piece. That allows the engine/transmission/transfer case to be as low as possible without making ground clearance too low at the center of the vehicle. That helps to lower the center of gravity, which contributes to improved control.


Components are balanced side to side and front to rear. Also, the weight of the drivetrain components is spread out from front to rear. This prevents the vehicle from being excessively heavy in the nose or tail – once again, improving balance.




The SUBARU BOXER engine is itself a study in symmetry. Yes, other types of engines have to have a certain amount of balance or they’d shake themselves apart. However, the horizontally opposed layout of a Subaru engine has inherent advantages.


With cylinders directly opposite one another, piston movement is in a line all the way across. Power is distributed evenly on either side of the crankshaft.


In an in-line engine, all the cylinders are laid out on only one side of the crankshaft. Power drives against it from only one direction.


V-type engines have cylinders connected to the crankshaft from both sides of the V. However, instead of having the balance of direct opposition, piston movement in either bank tends to push the crankshaft off-center.


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