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Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), Subaru's parent company, has been manufacturing vehicles since 1932. However, the vehicles that FHI was producing in its earlier years weren't cars. Instead, it was building aircrafts for Japan during the Second World War. When the war ended, FHI knew that constructing aircrafts wouldn't be that profitable anymore so it shifted its business to manufacturing scooters. It didn't take long for the company to start producing cars after that. The Subaru division of FHI was formed in 1953 and released its first car, the Subaru 1500, a year after. The Subaru 1500 became the starting point of the company's pursuit for automotive excellence.
Even in its earlier years, Subaru has never been one to follow the norm; it has never been content with just selling cars. The company has always strived to be different; it has always wanted to give Subaru owners the best driving experience possible. Subaru took that philosophy to heart and manifested in the technology that it employed in its vehicles.The Subaru Boxer
One of the innovations that the company is famous for is the Subaru Boxer engine. The Boxer engine's unique horizontally-opposed layout puts it directly in-line with the drivetrain, which allows the efficient transfer of power. Yes, there are engines that are capable of producing the kind of power that the Boxer engine generates. However, they wouldn't be able to do it without adding extra drivetrain components, which decreases overall efficiency.Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Subaru certainly wasn't the first to offer four-wheel drive vehicles. That distinction goes to manufacturers of jeeps and pickups. Subaru was the first to introduce four-wheel drive cars though. In 1972, the company started developing its very own brand of 4WD technology. Subaru would later call this technology as the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System.
Again, 4WD technology isn't unique to Subaru, but the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System does bring something new to the table. With its symmetrical design, the system is able to provide superior control, balance, and traction. For that reason, the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System is widely regarded as the best of its kind.
The Isle of Man is a small island that's located between Ireland and Great Britain. Having been inhabited even before 6500 B.C., the Isle of Man has a rich history and is renowned for many things. Its beauty, for one, is something to behold. Don't let its beauty fool you though as it's also home to arguably the toughest and most dangerous racing circuit in the world-the Isle of Man TT.Isle of Man TT: Not Your Typical Race Track
As you perhaps gathered, the Isle of Man TT isn't a regular racing circuit. The track is approximately 37 miles worth of both public streets and mountain roads. The fact that it isn't tailored for racing conditions or altered for racing purposes makes the Isle of Man a particularly challenging track for automobiles. But since the Subaru Impreza WRX STI is far from a run of the mill car, it was able to beat the dreaded course-in record time at that (19 minutes, 56.7 seconds).A Record Holder
Because of the Isle of Man TT's perilous environment, few have dared to take on the course. That's why the V6-powered Rover 827 Vitesse held the track's record time (22 minutes and 9.1 seconds) for 21 long years. No one beat the record that was set in 1990 for more than two decades until the four-door Subaru Impreza WRX STI, which was driven by multiple-time British Rally Champion driver Mark Higgins, came along.
Subaru and Higgins decided to brave the Isle of Man TT to showcase the capabilities of the Impreza WRX STI. And showcase the WRX STI they did as they used a stock version of the car in the record-breaking race. Save for a few safety adjustments, the WRX STI was practically in its most basic form, which makes the feat that much more impressive.