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Subaru starts with a blank slate to makes its next-gen cars lighter and more efficient

Subaru has revealed a new modular architecture that will spawn the next generation of the Impreza, the Outback, and the Forester, among other models.

Called simply Subaru Global Platform, the architecture was designed in-house with an emphasis on improving comfort and stability, and reducing the amount of noise and vibrations transferred into the cabin. To achieve this, engineers increased the platform’s torsional rigidity by 70 percent compared to the ones Subaru currently has in its parts bin, and lowered the center of gravity. Additionally, impact energy absorption has been improved by 40 percent to enhance occupant safety in the event of a collision.

Subaru admits the platform was developed with electrification in mind from the get-go. Although vague, the statement seemingly confirms recent rumors that claim the company is on the verge of introducing a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid drivetrain for its core models. Interestingly, Subaru also points out that the Global Platform can underpin an electric vehicle, though it stopped short of providing additional details. If an EV is on the way, it won’t arrive until much later in the decade.

Buyers who don’t need electrification will have access to a new family of gasoline-burning flat-four engines fitted with efficiency-boost tech features like direct fuel-injection and cylinder deactivation. All engines will be linked to the next evolution of Subaru’s time-tested symmetrical all-wheel drive system. The Global Platform is much lighter than Subaru’s current platforms, so the next-gen cars will be more efficient and better to drive than their predecessors.

Related: The next Subaru WRX STI could adopt a hot-rodded hybrid drivetrain

The first car to ride on the Subaru Global Platform is the 2017 Impreza, which is expected to make its debut in the not-too-distant future. It will be followed by the usual Impreza offshoots, like the WRX, the WRX STI, the Crosstrek, and the Levorg station wagon that’s sold overseas. The replacements for the Outback and the Forester will also shift to the Global Platform, and it’s not too far-fetched to imagine the company’s long-awaited crossover will also ride on the same architecture.