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SUBARU PHILOSOPHY

Fourth generation Sambar (1982~1989)

Monday, 8 Jul 2013

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四代目サンバー(1982年~1989年)

In 1982, the fourth generation Sambar series went on sale following the third full model change.

The new model lineup had a new addition – the light van “Sambar Try”, which was a highly individual recreational vehicle. Also, the first high-roof model (the “Hightra”) for the industry was added to the truck series. Following that, numerous special specification vehicles suited to owners’ hobbies and uses, for examples, the “Angler’s Try,” the “RV” and the “Field” were launched together with an LPG model and various limited production models. In September 1987, fulltime 4WD models were added to the truck and van classes. These vehicles were equipped with Subaru’s unique “Free-running Full Time 4WD” system. Image: 87vantry.eps. Moreover, at this time, the front suspension was switched from semi-trailing arm suspension to MacPherson struts in all but a few models.

In February 1988, the special specification “Sambar Try Stride 3V” went on sale to mark the 30th anniversary of Subaru sales.

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Fourth generation Sambar (September 1982)

Size: Length 3,195 mm x Width 1,395 mm x Height 1,615 mm
Wheelbase: 1,805 mm
Tread: (Front) 1,215 mm (Rear) 1,215 mm
Min. ground clearance: 185 mm
Vehicle weight: 590 kg
Riding capacity: Two persons

Engine: EK23
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, in-line two-cylinder OHC
Displacement: 544 cc
Max. output: 29PS/5,500 rpm
Max. torque: 4.4 kg·m/3,500 rpm

Suspension
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension
(Truck standard roof)

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Sambar Try (September 1982)

Size: Length 3,195 mm x Width 1,395 mm x Height 1,870 mm
Wheelbase: 1,805 mm
Tread: (Front) 1,205 mm (Rear) 1,205 mm
Min. ground clearance: 225 mm
Vehicle weight: 795 kg
Riding capacity: Four persons

Engine: EK23
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, in-line two-cylinder OHC
Displacement: 544 cc
Max. output: 29PS/5,500 rpm
Max. torque: 4.4 kg·m/3,500 rpm

Suspension
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension
(4WD High Roof)

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Sambar 4WD (September 1987)

Size: Length 3,195 mm x Width 1,395 mm x Height 1,680 mm
Wheelbase: 1,805 mm
Tread: (Front) 1,210 mm (Rear) 1,205 mm
Min. ground clearance: 215 mm
Vehicle weight: 670 kg
Riding capacity: Two persons

Engine: EK23
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, in-line two-cylinder OHC
Displacement: 544 cc
Max. output: 28PS/5,500 rpm
Max. torque: 4.3 kg·m/3,500 rpm

Suspension
Front: MacPherson strut independent suspension
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension
(4WD truck standard roof three-way opening STD)

The overseas success of the Domingo

Friday, 21 Jun 2013

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In the Attic named Pleiades

In addition to the domestic market in Japan, the SUBARU Domingo has been exported overseas and has acquired numerous fans due to its unique identity as a small 1,000 cc car for seven passengers. Here, we will introduce an article describing some of the overseas success of the Domingo.

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In the United Kingdom, the Domingo is called the “SUMO”
Good reputation as a practical micro van

Upon searching for a familiar Japanese word to reflect compactness with good performance and strength, the name “SUMO” was chosen. This was the U.K. name for Subaru’s one-box wagon the Domingo. The March edition of Cartopia reported on news of how the SUMO is used at Dublin Airport in the Republic of Ireland. The SUMO is also used a lot by florists, bakeries and so on in the U.K. for making deliveries.

True to its name, the “SUMO” has received the Best Microvan Award two years running in 1990 and 1991 in the Good Van Guide magazine, and it has a solid reputation as a high-performance and economic microvan.

As may be gathered from the fact that a sumo tournament was held in London last year, sumo is extremely popular in the United Kingdom. Being small and powerful, the “SUMO” is probably best symbolized by the sumo wrestler Mainoumi, who goes by the nickname “Mighty Mouse.” The “SUMO” is likely to play an active role in all parts of the United Kingdom from now on too.

(Extracted from Cartopia Vol. 242, issued in July 1992)

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Car Environment
Car Life

The “ELCAT” electric car is manufactured in Finland based on the Domingo. Its motor fits nicely into the original rear engine space. Since the freight compartment contains twelve 12V batteries, it is a two-passenger vehicle. The car has a maximum speed of 72 km/h and its running range on a single charging is 130 kilometers at a constant speed of 40 km/h and between 40 - 70 kilometers in city traffic with a lot of stopping and starting. Incidentally, charging is carried out from the socket (220 V) housed inside the front bumper, and it takes 12 hours to fully charge the vehicle. In Finland, this vehicle is used for delivering mail and newspapers and making various shop deliveries and the like. Incidentally, the ELCAT is not on sale in Japan.

(Extracted from the December 1992 edition of Cartopia).

The uniqueness of the Domingo is attracting popularity in Europe, where it has gone on advanced sale

An eco-friendly and rational car
The new Domingo went on advance sale in Europe last autumn and it has already caused quite a stir. Amidst growing awareness of environmental issues, the design philosophy of the Domingo has been recognized by rational-thinking Europeans and the car is gaining attention as an environmentally friendly vehicle. Despite its small size, it has abundant functions. Moreover, it realizes the safety of a 4WD car and fuel economy. This is the one and only Domingo.

Domingo owners’ club exploring broader ways of having fun in Germany
In Germany, the Subaru Libero Club, which is a group of owners who have a special attachment to the Domingo, has conducted special activities for the past seven years. Since the new version Domingo went on sale last autumn, the number of members driving the new model has increased and the club currently has membership of more than a hundred. The club started out as a local group of owners in the Dusseldorf area sharing stories about the Domingo in restaurants and beer halls, however, when the magazine issued by Subaru for owners in Germany carried a nationwide article inviting people to take part in an event of the Libero Club four years ago, it turned out to be a huge success with more than 90 vehicles taking part.

The club’s members range from young single people to retired persons aged 70 years or over. In its early days the club also conducted off-road running events, however, due to concerns over environmental problems and a growing number of families among the membership, it has come to concentrate on camping and other outdoor activities and it also holds a national convention once every year. In addition, it issues a regular club magazine and makes original stickers, sweatshirts and badges. This is indeed a unique club for the Domingo, where one can sense a special kind of attachment to the car among its members.

(Extracted from Cartopia Vol.268 issued July 1994)

Third Generation Sambar (1973 - 1982)

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013

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Having undergone a full model change, the third generation Sambar series went on sale on October 2, 1973. Equipped with a new type water-cooled two-cycle 360 cc engine, the new model earned the nickname “Goriki Sambar”.

In January 1976, the light car standards underwent revision and were expanded to length of 3.20 meters, width of 1.40 meters and displacement of 550 cc. In line with this, the new standard “Sambar 5” series went on sale in May 1976. The engine was upgraded from the conventional air-cooled two-cycle model to a water-cooled four-cycle two-cylinder 490 cc/28PS model. In May 1977, making full use of the new regulations, the “Sambar 550”, which had a larger body size and a new water-cooled two-cylinder 544 cc/28PS engine with much higher low- and medium-speed torque, went on sale.
The truck rear deck was expanded by 80 millimeters in width and 5 millimeters in floor length to become 1,330 millimeters wide x 2,010 millimeters floor length, giving it the largest capacity in the class (as of May 1977). Two years later in October 1979, a model having the first ever high-roof specifications in the light cab van class was added to the lineup.

This model had a cargo room height of 1,425 millimeters, which even exceeded that of a compact car high-roof. Then, in November 1980, the Sambar 4WD equipped with 2WD (RR) and 4WD changeover 4WD mechanism went on sale.

During the nine years in which the third generation Sambar was produced, not only did the Sambar enhance its performance for business uses but, exploiting the large cargo room volume of the van, it greatly extended its possibilities as a leisure vehicle.

Goriki Sambar (February 1973)

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Size: Length 2,995 mm x Width 1,295 mm x Height 1,610 mm 
Wheelbase: 1,730 mm 
Tread: (Front) 1,120 mm (Rear) 1,100 mm 
Min. ground clearance: 200 mm 
Vehicle weight: 545 kg 
Riding capacity: Two persons

Engine: EK34
Model: Water-cooled two-cycle, two-cylinder 
Displacement: 356 cc
Max. output: 28PS/5,500 rpm
Max. torque: 3.8 kg·m/5,000 rpm

Suspension
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension 
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension 
(Truck low-floor type)

Sambar 5 (May 1976)

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Size: Length 3,035 mm x Width 1,340 mm x Height 1,610 mm
Wheelbase: 1,730 mm
Tread: (Front) 1,120 mm (Rear) 1,100 mm
Min. ground clearance: 190 mm
Vehicle weight: 555 kg
Riding capacity: Two persons

Engine: EK22
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, in-line two-cylinder OHC
Displacement: 490 cc
Max. output: 28PS/6,000 rpm
Max. torque: 3.8 kg·m/4,000 rpm

Suspension
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension
(Truck low-floor type)

Sambar 550 (May 1977)

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Size: Length 3,195 mm x Width 1,395 mm x Height 1,655 mm
Wheelbase: 1,820 mm
Tread: (Front) 1,210 mm (Rear) 1,190 mm
Min. ground clearance: 185 mm
Vehicle weight: 590 kg
Riding capacity: Two persons

Engine: EK23
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, in-line two-cylinder OHC
Displacement: 544 cc
Max. output: 28PS/6,000 rpm
Max. torque: 4.2 kg·m/3,500 rpm

Suspension
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension
(Truck low-floor type)

Appearance of the Fulltime 4WD One-Box Domingo GX

Friday, 14 Jun 2013

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The fulltime 4WD Domingo GX that went on sale in August 1986 adopted a free-running fulltime 4WD system that used a one-way clutch. After that, when the model was changed to the second generation Domingo in 1994, ECVT was introduced and the system was changed to viscous fulltime 4WD. Having tried various 4WD mechanisms, just what was the free-running fulltime 4WD that Subaru came up with? The following reproduced article gives an idea of the mechanism.

NEW MODEL
Appearance of the Fulltime 4WD One-Box Domingo GX

The long-awaited fulltime 4WD model “GX” has now joined the Domingo series. Combining a quiet and powerful 1.2 liter OHC engine and the unique Subaru free-running fulltime 4WD system, this car lets you enjoy easy and safe 4WD driving.

The smooth and powerful running of the free-running fulltime 4WD is made possible by the one-way clutch inside the transfer case. One-way clutch is a mechanism that conveys power in one direction only, and this clutch absorbs the rotating differential between the front wheels and the rear wheels.

The engine power is conveyed to the rear wheels from the transmission, and at the same time it is conveyed to the one-way clutch inside the transfer case. When running straight, the front wheels and rear wheels rotate at the same speed, and the engine power is also conveyed to the front wheels via the one-way clutch so all four wheels are driven. In this state, the front wheels and rear wheels are directly linked so the drive force of 4WD is fully exhibited. During cornering at low speeds, because the front wheel tracks pass outside of the rear wheel tracks, the front wheels sometimes turn faster than the rear wheels. In this state, free running of the one-way clutch temporarily separates the front and rear wheels and there is no tight cornering.

The free-running fulltime 4WD displays the excellent running characteristics of coupled 4WD and enables safe running on slippery surfaces such as snowy roads, mud, sand and grassland. Furthermore, when running on very slippery frozen roads and compacted snow roads, a “snow switch” is provided for drivers who are not accustomed to snow driving. By turning the dashboard switch to the “SNOW” position, the one-way clutch is mechanically locked in the coupled 4WD state, thereby enabling more definite running.

Operation of the one-way clutch generates no vibration, shock or noise at all. Drivers can enjoy the smooth and powerful running of 4WD simply by conducting the usual operations and without worrying about switch and lever operations. This mechanism is simple and compact and has excellent durability and reliability.

(Extracted from Cartopia Vol.171, issued in September 1986)

our smooth running performance and balance

Friday, 7 Jun 2013

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In this corner, we pick up old materials and documents in order to give you a taste of the atmosphere and car life of past times. Here, we will introduce an interview from Cartopia Vol. 140 (February 1984) with a development engineer who worked on the EF10 engine.

The Engineers’ Saloon

We have confidence in our smooth running performance and balance. 
Shunji Itoh (Chief, No. 2 Design Section, No. 1 Motor Engineering Department, Subaru Engineering Headquarters)

After resolving each challenge such as making the engine lighter and quieter, we came up with the F10, which was also more than enough in terms of output performance. Moreover, fuel economy is an important issue when designing a 1,000 cc engine, and I think we also reached a good level in terms of data as a one-box car.

As you know, the 1,000 cc engine car market is dominated by two-box cars, so the approach to fuel economy is different when it comes to the Domingo, which is a one-box car. In the case of the EF10, rather than adding a new system for enhancing the fuel economy data, we aim to improve fuel economy and contribute to greater power through reducing friction. We have aimed for general performance that also includes running performance; therefore, balance is important and we have tried to design an engine that promises smooth running as well as good fuel economy. As a result, we are confident that we have achieved extremely smooth performance and a smooth running engine. A smooth running engine refers to the torque, however, in order to run well on high-speed roads, we cannot afford to drop the power. In the EF10, the torque is applied in the low zone and maximum power is outputted at higher speeds, so the engine offers good power extension from low speeds to high. Since the Domingo has a large body for a 1,000 cc car, people tend to think that there is no power without torque, however, if we try to resolve that through gear ratio, issues of noise and poor fuel economy start to appear. Moreover, since the torque is almost proportional to displacement, one wonders whether 1,000 cc is sufficient or not. However, I think users will find that the EF10 offers excellent running and good balance if they try driving the vehicle. The engine offers good bite, power and torque matching and response. We have confidence regarding all aspects.

I have driven cars ever since I entered the company, although I almost only ever drive for commuting purposes. However, my philosophy is that one should drive when one wants to taste the fun of driving. I also think that people will more and more demand a relaxing and comfortable space when they drive from now on. I think people basically want to have a quiet and economical ride with low running costs as well as to experience the joy of driving, and we aim to make this a reality. Concerning the mini-size cars of today, since there is little point in building cars simply for Japan alone, and demands concerning high-speed performance and safety are becoming more and more stringent especially in Europe, we aim to build cars that can perform all over the world.

Speaking of engines, I think the engines made by Subaru today have reached a fairly high level. However, I still think we have to overcome numerous issues in order to realize engines that are even better. New features such as turbo drive have also been appearing in recent times, however, turbo only assists engine power. I want to explore how far the inherent power of the engine can be displayed.

When the FF Rex was created before, I talked about challenging limits in Cartopia. I firmly believe that we don’t face limits but rather that we can make better things if we do more. I think we engineers have the desire to build balanced and unique products through pooling are creative ideas.

(Extracted from Cartopia Vol.140, issued in February 1984)

The Appeal of the Subaru 660

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

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In March 1990, in line with expansion of the light car standard, the Rex underwent another facelift with the incorporation of a 660 cc engine. In Cartopia Vol. 214, which was issued on April 1 that year, a special page entitled “The Appeal of the Subaru 660” introduced some comments by the developing staff. Here we bring you that article.

The 660 Rex – Comfort derived from peace of mind and low physical fatigue when driving

○Engine with good start performance
I worked on finalizing the 660 Rex engine. We have achieved higher displacement this time through lengthening stroke starting from the 550 cc Clover 4 engine as a base. Through lengthening the stroke, the low-speed torque increases and initial acceleration performance is improved. In addition to the carburetor NA engine and supercharger engine, we have developed an EMPi (electronically controlled multipoint fuel injection) engine vehicle that gives even smoother and more economical running performance. Also, we have given all manual cars five speeds. 
(Mr. Hiroki Yasuda, Chief, No. 2 Design Department)

○Excellent comfort and safety
The 660 Rex has been developed with emphasis on “comfort” and “safety.” Comfort here refers to peace of mind and low physical fatigue during driving and easy operation when trying to avoid danger and in other emergency situations. Concerning the extra 100 mm car length, first of all the engine room has been expanded 60 mm to the front. Doing so has made it possible to enhance quietness and cooling performance. Also, the front and rear bumpers have been protruded 20 mm each. 
(Mr. Fujio Makita, Department Manager in Charge in the Production Planning Headquarters)

○High-performance EMPi engine
The EMPi engine, which is based on a carburetor NA engine, realizes enhanced running and driving performance, higher output, better fuel economy and all-round outstanding performance thanks to fine-tuned electronic control. In order to combine with the transmission, i.e. impart torque characteristics suited to MT and ECVT, mainly the shape of air inlet system has been modified and steps have also been taken to improve quietness. 
(Mr. Masahiko Kawanabe, member in charge, Engine Experimental Section 2, Research Experiment Department 2)

○Car body structure in conformance with the new standards
Working on the car body structure, we first tried to achieve better quietness and low vibration through mounting the 660 cc engine. The second point we focused on in development was strengthening safety in the event of accidents. In order to achieve a body worthy of a comfortable sedan, we redesigned the layout of the car body structure within the scope of the new standards and, for safety purposes too, we altered the size of bumpers and revamped the front structure. 
Mr. Toshio Masuda, Supervisor, Light Cars Group, Design Department 1)

○Power performance exceeding class 
I worked on practical performance matters. Based on the concept of “A comfortable mini sedan,” we raised power performance to liter class for carburetor cars, higher than that for EMPi models, and a level on a par with 1.3 carburetor cars for the supercharger version. In the prototype vehicle stage especially, we asked various drivers such as women, men, beginners and veterans to run on actual roads and we reflected their wide-ranging assessments in the development. 
(Mr. Nagahiro Takahashi, Vehicle Research Experiment Section 1, Research Experiment Department 1)

The above contents were extracted from Cartopia edition 214)

Second generation Sambar (1966 - 1972)

Monday, 20 May 2013

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The second generation New Sambar was launched and also went on sale at an event staged at Tokyo Kaikan in Marunouchi, Tokyo on January 8, 1966.

The New Sambar had a fresh body style and a wide array of improvements.

The Sambar truck’s rear deck was only 355 millimeters off the ground, making it the lowest among light trucks at that time, and it was also 20% larger than before. The detachable side gate made loading and unloading more easier; the two-stage wide-floor truck adopted a waterproof locker (fitted with key) that could be opened from either side on the lower deck, while the flat upper deck had flaps on three sides, thereby enhancing the vehicle’s capacity to carry various loads. The rear deck space was 3.62 square meters, making it the largest among light trucks at that time. Through expanding the side door to a width of 960 millimeters and adopting a spacious new design cabin, the New Sambar has better loading capability and riding comfort than before. Moreover, through adopting a low step and wider door opening area, it was easier for driver and passengers to board and alight. The fuel tank capacity was expanded from 20 liters to 23 liters, the largest in the light truck class at that time, and the vehicle was able to travel 500 kilometers on a full tank.

In 1970, the modified “Baban” Sambar went on sale. While continuing the riding comfort and user friendliness of its forerunners, this model was mounted with a high-performance engine and semi-trailing arm rear suspension, resulting in far better driving performance. Moreover, the triangular windows were abolished and rear-opening doors were adopted with a view to enhancing functionality and safety. The truck rear deck was also improved for better loading performance, and a semi-opening locking device was adopted on the rear gate. The New Sambar series that went on sale in March 1971 had a revamped front design. A color-differentiated grille was placed around the ventilation, giving a bolder design than before. Moreover, ventilation outlets were added to the doors to ensure that fresh air flowed constantly inside the cabin. The Sambar Panel Van and the Sambar Light Van SDX were on sale in July and September of that year respectively. The “Strong” Sambar series that went on sale in February 1972 adopted a large front grille and bold front face design, and a side grille equipped with winker was added to the airflow ventilation outlets at the top of the doors. Moreover, suspension was further reinforced in order to better cope with tough driving and loading conditions. Furthermore, the letter “H” was added as a mark to trucks (flat) fitted with reinforced torsion bar and oil damper.

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New Sambar (January 1966)

Size: Length 2,995 mm x Width 1,295 mm x Height 1,545 mm 
Wheelbase: 1,750 mm 
Tread: (Front) 1,120 mm (Rear) 1,080 mm 
Min. ground clearance: 185 mm 
Vehicle weight: 445 kg 
Riding capacity: Two persons 
Engine: EK32
Model: Air-cooled two-cycle, in-line two-cylinder 
Displacement: 356 cc
Max. output: 20PS/5,000 rpm
Max. torque: 3.2 kg·m/3,000 rpm
Suspension
Front: Trailing arm independent suspension 
Rear: Swing axle independent suspension 
(Sambar Truck)

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Baban Sambar (February 1970)

Size: Length 2,995 mm x Width 1,295 mm x Height 1,545 mm 
Wheelbase: 1,750 mm 
Tread: (Front) 1,120 mm (Rear) 1,110 mm 
Min. ground clearance: 160 mm 
Vehicle weight: 475 kg 
Riding capacity: Two persons 
Engine: EK32
Model: Air-cooled two-cycle, in-line two-cylinder 
Displacement: 356 cc
Max. output: 26PS/5,800 rpm
Max. torque: 3.6 kg·m/4,500 rpm
Suspension 
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension 
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension 
(Sambar Truck low-floor model)

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Strong Sambar (February 1972)

Size: Length 2,995 mm x Width 1,295 mm x Height 1,545 mm 
Wheelbase: 1,750 mm 
Tread: (Front) 1,120 mm (Rear) 1,110 mm 
Min. ground clearance: 165 mm 
Vehicle weight: 495 kg 
Riding capacity: Two persons

Engine: EK33
Model: Air-cooled two-cycle, in-line two-cylinder 
Displacement: 356 cc
Max. output: 26PS/5,800 rpm
Max. torque: 3.6 kg·m/4,500 rpm

Suspension
Front: Semi trailing arm independent suspension 
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension 
(Sambar Truck low-floor model)

DOMINGO (1994 - )

Friday, 17 May 2013

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On June 18, 1994, having undergone a full model change, the new Domingo series went on sale (it had gone on advanced sale in Europe in the autumn of 1993). Retaining the unique concept of seven-person capacity in a compact body, the new Domingo had greatly improved fittings, running performance and safety, etc. The new exterior was a cubic form with good space efficiency. Thanks to the broad glass area and open feel, visibility and safety were also greatly improved. The front edge of the chassis with rigid frame was reinforced in a Y shape, and steps were incorporated to soften the shock in the event of collision.

Not only could the interior comfortably accommodate seven people, but luggage space was also secured behind the third seat. All the multifunction seats could be adjusted so that 11 different seating arrangements could be secured. Moreover, the Domingo was the only small one-box wagon to have right and left sliding doors at the time. In addition to the conventional five-speed M/T, ECVT was added to the 4WD transmission. Also, the viscous full-time 4WD system was newly adopted at this time. As the grade variations of the new Domingo, the full-time 4WD comprised GV (ECVT/5MT) and GV sun-sunroof (ECVT/5MT), and 2WD models comprised the CV (5MT) and CV-B (5MT).

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In April 1996, the Domingo Aladdin, which had a lift-up roof that contained a loft when lifted, was released. Measuring 200 centimeters long, 84 centimeters wide, 50 centimeters high, the loft could be used as a sleeping space big enough to accommodate one adult and one child. The Aladdin Camper had a galley fitted with electric pump shower, portable gas stove, folding side table, blind curtains and interior power socket as standard equipments.  

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Domingo4WD GV Sun-Sunroof

Size: Length 3,525 mm x Width 1,415 mm x Height 1,925 mm 
Wheelbase: 1,885 mm 
Tread: (Front) 1,205 mm (Rear) 1,210 mm 
Min. ground clearance: 195 mm 
Vehicle weight: 1,090 kg
Riding capacity: Seven persons

Engine: EF12
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, OHC in-line three-cylinder 
Displacement: 1,189 cc
Max. output: 61PS/5,600 rpm
Max. torque: 9.8 kg·m/3,600 rpm

Suspension
Front: MacPherson strut independent suspension 
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension

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Domingo Aladdin Camper Fulltime 4WD

Size: Length 3,525 mm x Width 1,415 mm x Height 1,995 mm 
Wheelbase: 1,885 mm 
Tread: (Front) 1,205 mm (Rear) 1,210 mm 
Min. ground clearance: 195 mm 
Vehicle weight: 1,150 kg 
Riding capacity: Six persons

Engine: EF12
Model: Water-cooled four-cycle, OHC in-line three-cylinder 
Displacement: 1189 cc
Max. output: 61PS/5,600 rpm
Max. torque: 9.8 kg·m/3,600 rpm

Suspension 
Front: MacPherson strut independent suspension 
Rear: Semi-trailing arm independent suspension

First Generation Sambar (1961 - 1965)

Monday, 6 May 2013

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The Sambar Truck and Subaru 450 were launched at the Tokyo Akasaka Prince Hotel on October 14, 1960, two and a half years following the Subaru 360 going on sale.

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At that time, the Sambar had the lowest floor and widest rear deck of any light truck, and it was an RR vehicle, i.e. it had rear-drive and was equipped with an air-cooled two-cycle two-cylinder 360 cc engine at the rear. Thanks to the rear engine mounting, it had good load balance between loaded and unloaded times, and its independent suspension system (the same as that in the Subaru 360) gave it excellent driving comfort. In terms of safety too, the Sambar was designed with the driver’s seat separated from the bumper as far as possible with a view to improving collision safety. The three main features of the first generation Sambar, i.e. RR drive, four-wheel independent suspension, and cabover style, were continued for 50 years until the end of Subaru production in 2012. (Since 2012, the Sambar is supplied by Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. based on the OEM system, and Subaru continues to retail it today).

The “Sambar” name is derived from the deer that is native to Southern China and India, and it was chosen in order to evoke an image of “running lightly.”

The first generation Sambar truck went on sale in February 1961, four months after its launch. In September that year, the four-person Sambar Light Van, which could serve as both a business and a leisure vehicle, additionally went on sale. In March 1962, a four-door light van with an added rear gate, was added to the conventional three-door model (two doors at the front and one on the left side). This model underwent subsequent improvements to detailed parts every year until it was discontinued in 1965.

First generation Sambar Light Van (December 1961)

Size: Length 2,990 mm x Width 1,300 mm x Height 1,520 mm
Wheelbase: 1,670 mm
Tread: (Front) 1,130 mm (Rear) 1,070 m
Min. ground clearance: 195 mm
Vehicle weight: 470 kg
Riding capacity: Four persons

Engine: EK32
Model: Air-cooled two-cycle, in-line two-cylinder
Displacement: 356 cc
Max. output: 18PS/4,700 rpm
Max. torque: 3.2 kg•m/3,200 rpm
Suspension
Front: Trailing arm independent suspension
Rear: Swing axle independent suspension