What makes the Subaru Boxer Engine Different

With pistons moving horizontally, the SUBARU BOXER engine has a flat, low profile and is almost perfectly symmetrical, for a well-balanced vehicle.  Its low profile provides a lower center of gravity than other designs, helping provide quick handling response and flat, confident corner. 

This is in contrast to traditional "V" engines, which are typically off-centered, less efficient, and create more engine vibration and noise. 

The Subaru Boxer Engine- How it Works

The horizontally-opposed pistons work like boxers throwing punches.  Without the vertical-diagonal opposition from a traditional V-type engine, the Boxer has less wasted motion.  The Boxer's side-to-side movement of any two corresponding pistons cancels out each other's vibrations caused by reciprocation and ignition forces in ways that inline and V-type engines never could without complicated crankshaft counterweight and dampening systems. 

The Boxer Engine in the 2016 Subaru WRX was named to the prestigious Wards 10 Best Engines list, the second straight year it has earned the honor.  The Subaru Boxer Engines are frequently named in these lists. 

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  • The Boxer Engine's flat layout allows engine output to flow directly into the transmission. This linear flow of power reduces engine components and inefficiencies, resulting in better fuel economy. Subarus are the most fuel efficient AWD vehicles in America, often getting better gas mileage than its FWD competitors.

  • By lowering the center of gravity of the engine, you also lower the center of gravity of the entire vehicle. A lower center of gravity = more responsive - particularly when cornering or doing evasive maneuvers.
  • Less vibration. The natural counter punch of the opposite piston cancels out unwanted vibration where inline and v-type engines require additional components to accomplish this.

  • Safety. In the event of a frontal accident, the boxer engine's low center of gravity allows the engine to drop "below" the passenger compartment instead of in it.