Automakers can keep costs down by using a single vehicle platform as the underpinnings for several models. Subaru is taking that to its next logical step with its new Subaru Global Platform (SGP), which will become the skeleton for every next-generation Subie.
SGP's design can be utilized for sedans, crossovers and hatchbacks alike, and it will also form the basis for both gas-powered and electric vehicles as Subaru continues to evolve its lineup. Its first product using this new chassis will be the 2017 Subaru Impreza, hitting dealerships later this year, likely debuting at the New York International Auto Show.
The new chassis will focus on increasing stability and comfort while mitigating noise and vibration. With a center of gravity 5 millimeters lower than before, SGP boasts a 70 to 100 percent increase in rigidity, which, in conjunction with upgrades to the suspension, should cut down heavily on body roll and vibrations felt through the seats and steering wheel.
SGP will help save the company money, as well. Unifying its platforms will allow Subaru to more efficiently use development and facilities personnel, and it will permit multiple vehicles to be built in the same factory. In its press release, Subaru said it will "direct the resulting savings into areas that can make our products more competitive." We hope they're referring to the mediocre-at-best Starlink infotainment system.
During SGP's unveiling, Subaru also hinted at its forthcoming autonomous-driving efforts. Its next generation of adaptive cruise control, set to debut next year, will follow slow traffic with automatic stops and starts. By the end of the decade, it will expand to include a semi-autonomous highway-driving system a la Tesla's Autopilot.