You may have heard of Subaru Symmetrical All-wheel Drive while shopping for a new car. The Japanese automaker has long been known for its all-wheel drive vehicles. In fact, every Subaru model except for the BRZ comes with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as a standard feature. So, what is Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and how does it work?

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Subaru AWD simplicity
While you’re shopping for new cars you’re probably comparing how different models handle. The Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system evenly distributes power to maximize traction. In order to do so, the engine is mounted in-line with the car’s drive train, transferring power to each wheel. Subaru claims that unlike other all-wheel drive vehicles, its cars equipped with the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system don’t need extra drivetrain components just to get power to each wheel. This cuts down on maintenance costs, the company claims.

Control and stability
Through the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system power doesn’t just get transferred evenly to each of the four wheels, but it’s balanced to provide more power to wheels with the most traction and less to those without it. That means you will have added control and stability as you drive in the dynamic conditions of real-world roads. This also means you avoid either oversteering or understeering the vehicle, the company says. What’s more? All that redistribution happens automatically.

Power transfers
The power transfers happen instantly and proactively, to prevent slippage and maintain control of the vehicle. As one Subaru dealership describes, this isn’t just about having more control in bad weather days. The Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive system does help pull power away from hydroplaning tires, the dealership explains. But it also works in dry conditions when drivers have to suddenly avoid accidents or if there’s a tire blowout (the sudden lack of traction will send power away from that wheel). All wheel drive also keeps torque better distributed while accelerating, so your Subaru can accelerate more quickly.

Subaru AWD history
According to the automotive blog Jalopnik, Subaru started its Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system 40 years ago on its coupes and family cars. The Subarmania blog notes that one of the key differences between Subaru’s system and other four-wheel-drive vehicles is that it doesn’t have to be manually selected while driving and its behavior is predictable. Another blog, Cnet, notes that the system can send as much as 80 percent of all of the vehicle’s power to one end of the car or another in the event of a slipping wheel.

Subaru’s corporate web site describes how the company turned to nature for inspiration in its Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive designs. The automaker says most wild creatures have symmetrical forms for agility and stability, so it was a “natural” choice for the company to place its Boxer engine level with the drive train. Aside from the handling advantages, it helps maintain a low center of gravity. Together, everything aims to give drivers more traction, more control and more ability to handle dynamic situations that arise while driving.

About the Author : Alex Gabriel is a writer at Reply! with several years of digital marketing and copywriting experience. A native of Portland and graduate of the University of Oregon, Alex has a passion for writing about new cars. For more help, see his Subaru article comparing the Outback vs. Forester here.

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