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)