The specific engine changes include all-new, naturally aspirated 2.0- and 1.6-liter boxer-four engines. In the near future, Subaru plans to add direct injection (good for a 2 percent reduction in fuel consumption) and turbocharging to both. As many companies are doing nowadays, Subaru will replace more of its conventional automatic transmissions with the more efficient, though much bemoaned, continuously variable transmission (probably netting an additional 2 MPG).
However, nobody will be complaining about the use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel which will lighten various body and chassis components. Though it’s unclear exactly what impact this will have on overall weight, it will likely be significant since the body and chassis account for a large portion of any vehicle’s weight. Along with reducing its mass, Car and Driver says that Subaru is going to focus on decreasing aerodynamic drag.
Whether Subaru is responding to market conditions or the Obama administration’s 54.5 miles-per-gallon mandate, we can expect lightweight materials and hybrid powertrains to play big roles in the future.