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The secret of excellent hill climbing capacity

Friday, 14 Sep 2012

The hill climbing capacity is not only due to the engine performance but it is also the result of clever car body weight distribution. Generally, when comparing FWD, RWD and rear engine rear drive vehicles, FWD vehicles are regarded as having inferior hill climbing ability. This is due to the fact that because the vehicle weight is concentrated towards the rear on slopes, the front wheels tend to float and the driving force decreases. In order to overcome this, in the Subaru 1000, the engine has been boldly brought to the front of the vehicle and placed over the axles in front of gearbox. Also, the spare tire is housed inside the engine compartment, enabling a front to rear vehicle weight ratio of 6 to 4 to be obtained, and an ideal weight ratio of 58% on the front wheels is secured even when the car carries its full capacity of passengers. It is generally recognized that, if a weight ratio of around 60 percent is placed on the front wheels, there is hardly any danger of slipping on wet and slippery uphill slopes.

(Source: Subaru magazine Vol. 38 (issued January 1, 1967))