The Subaru Boxer engine sits at the heart of every Subaru vehicle. The intelligent engineering behind the Boxer engine provides the get-up and go you expect from a Subaru, and provides plenty of power for Subaru's symmetrical AWD system. The flat laying engine design provides the perfect combination of balance, power and efficiency. The Subaru Boxer engine is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

Subaru Boxer Engine Design

How the Boxer Engine Works

The horizontally opposed Subaru Boxer engine gets its name from the way that the pistons move. The pistons move horizontally, in a side-to-side manner like two boxers punching. This unique design to Subaru and certain Porsche models creates a lower center of gravity, perfect symmetrical balance, better handling and a more efficient AWD system . The pistons in typical V-shaped engines move vertically in a "V" shape, or up and down at a slant. This creates wear and tear, reduces fuel efficiency on AWD vehicles and requires more parts for an AWD system.

Why the Subaru Boxer Engine is Efficient

Notice the graphic on the left; did you see punch-counterpunch movements of the Boxer engines pistons? The opposing pistons cancel out each other's movement, with creates a smoother running engine without the need for additional hardware that most V-shaped engines require.

What Engine Types Does Subaru Offer?

When asked about engine type, most people are familiar with the term V-6 or 4-cylinder, or perhaps V-8. The "V" stands for the style of the engine, while the number after stands for the number of cylinders. On traditional engine designs, typically the more cylinders mean more power, but also less fuel economy. However, Subaru's Boxer engine uses advanced engineering to get the most power and fuel economy out of smaller engine designs.

Subaru carries the flat-4 or flat-6, which refers to the engine design and number of cylinders. Subaru's efficient engine design is best highlighted by the Subaru WRX STI , which carries a turbocharged flat-4 engine that cranks out 305HP and goes 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Because the Boxer engine has a low center of gravity, the engine does not weigh the car down and utilizes power efficiently. The STI reaches high-performance car speeds with a fraction of the engine size. Come check out our Boxer engine, standard in all Subaru vehicles, at Subaru of Keene .


The Performance Advantages of the Subaru Boxer Engine

Lower Center of Gravity

The horizontal design of the Subaru Boxer engine is more than just good looks under the hood. The nearly perfectly symmetrical engine sits flat and low to the ground. This creates superb handling around tight corners, better balance and makes for a safer vehicle. Typical V-shaped engines don't have a perfectly balanced design, which reduces efficiency and safety. Check out our Subaru Safety Center to learn why Subaru is one of the safest vehicle manufacturers.

Fuel Economy

The efficient design of Subaru's Boxer engine and meticulously crafted symmetrical AWD system provides our Subaru vehicles with excellent fuel economy. In fact, Subaru carries the most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive vehicle lineup in America.


The Subaru Boxer engine cranks out 170HP on the nimble Impreza base, and goes up to 305HP on the Impreza WRX STI. All Subaru vehicles come with plenty of horsepower and torque for the get-up and go that driving enthusiast's value. The efficient and powerful Boxer engine will never make you feel underpowered in your Subaru. Come down to Subaru of Keene to try our powerful engines for yourself.

Subaru Boxer Engine Safety Advantages

Subaru Engine Accident Dismount

No one expect an accident to occur, but if it does let Subaru protect you and your family. In the event of an accident, the Subaru Boxer engine disconnects and slides underneath the vehicle, away from the driver and passengers. A safety concern of typical V-shaped engines is engine penetration inside the vehicle, which can cause injury and death. The safe engine design is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

Handling and Balance

Preventing an accident is part of Subaru's commitment to our numerous active safety features. The flat and balanced engine design along with the standard AWD system helps keep the vehicle on the road, regardless of conditions. A balanced engine is a safer engine because it allows for easier avoidance of road obstacles and handling, without the engine weighing one side of the vehicle down.