Is Subaru close to ditching 6-cylinder engines?

  • Image Credit: Jeremy Korzeniewski
Despite niche outliers like the 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 and 7.0-liter V8 in the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, we live in an era where small-displacement, turbocharged engines are becoming the norm. In many model lineups, a boosted four-cylinder now holds the place that a six might have just a few short years ago. At least in some markets, Subaru could be the next automaker to follow this path by axing its 3.6-liter boxer six-cylinder.

Granted, that's not as much of a leap for Subie as some other automakers because the Japanese brand is already closely associated with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The company's six-pot boxer is currently only offered in the Legacy and Outback in the US.

Australian website CarAdvice spoke with Subaru deputy general manager of engineering Yoichi Hori about the company's future powertrain plans at least for Down Under. "Our research said the six-cylinder model is decreasing in the world. So that's why probably the future, many companies take the smaller displacement with a turbocharger, or diesel, or hybrid," said Hori to CarAdvice. He was also specific about which engine he had in mind. "In terms of the body size, a 2.0-liter with a turbocharger is enough, I think," he said. Hori said that the automaker stuck with the boxer-six for so long because of the turbocharged four-cylinder's higher maintenance costs.

Slotting Subaru's 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder into the Legacy and Outback seems easy to imagine. After all, the mill already does duty in different tunes in the Forester and WRX in the US. Keep in mind, though, that Hori's words are aimed at the Aussie market. A rumor from earlier this year speculated the company's midsize models might get a smaller displacement six and the turbo four for some trims.

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