***** (K|C|F) *****
[ Other Cars ]
Subaru (スバル) is the automobile manufacturing division of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI).
Models : Lucra; Pleo; R1; R1e; R2 & Stella.
[ 2009 – 2015 ]
Due to Subaru’s strengthened alliance with Daihatsu & Toyota, announced on April 16th 2008, the company launched the Subaru Lucra & Lucra Custom models. Essentially, the Lucra is a rebadged Daihatsu Tanto Exe, and the Lucra Custom is a rebadged Daihatsu Tanto Exe Custom. The Daihatsu models were discontinued in 2014, with the Lucra models following suit in 2015.
1st Generation: RA1/RA2/RV1/RV2 (1998-2009)
The Subaru built Pleo 1st Generation was made from October 9th 1998 to December 2009 and was a replacement for the Subaru Vivio. It has since undergone 4 upgrades, in 2000, 2001, 2002, and another in 2010. The name ‘Pleo‘ is Latin meaning ‘to fill‘ or ‘fulfill‘. The Pleo is taller than conventional kei-car hatchbacks, but shorter than the definitive microvan, and is available with a variety of 658cc inline 4-cylinder engines. SOHC, DOHC, and supercharged engines in 2 different trim levels are offered. There were many variations and 3 facelifts to the 1st Generation Pleo and 3 FourWD editions to celebrate Subaru’s 40th anniversary of 4WD.
Subaru Pleo 2G :
2nd Generation : L275F / L285F / L275B / L285B (2010 ~)
The 2nd Generation Pleo first went on sale in Japan on April 20th 2010. Due to Subaru’s corporate investment by Toyota, this 2nd Generation is manufactured by Daihatsu instead of Subaru, and is a rebadged Daihatsu Mira.
Subaru ‘R1 / R1e‘
[2005 – 2010]
The Subaru R1 is a 2-door version of the Subaru R2, but with a shorter body and wheelbase. The R1 is unusual in that it does not use up the maximum length allowed for by the kei car regulations. The toy company ‘Tomica‘ makes a diecast 1/64 R1, and the ‘Takara‘ company makes a Choro Q plastic pull-back model.
The R1 was only available in one specification level up to the end of 2005, using the 658cc Subaru EN engine. The engine was available in 3 versions, the ‘I’ with the EN07U SOHC 34 kW (46 hp) engine, the ‘R’ with the EN07D DOHC engine rated at 40 kW (54 hp) and the ‘STi’ with an EN07X supercharged & intercooled engine rated at 47 kW (63 hp). The R1 is being marketed as a personal car and as a middle-aged couple’s second car, a combination of leather and alcantara seating is available. All R1’s are equipped with a CVT (continuously variable transmission), and all trim levels are available with front-wheel drive as well as 4WD. In its promotional materials, the R1 is frequently compared to the Subaru 360, the very first production Subaru automobile.
The R1 is the base car for the R1e an experimental battery electric vehicle, currently undergoing limited production for selected industrial clients in Japan. There is intense interest in this vehicle within the US EV community as it employs Lithium Ion batteries which contribute to a significant improvement in range, and which can be 80% recharged in just 15 minutes.
‘The G4e Concept‘
The 2007 G4e Concept is a follow-up to the R1e with an improved battery, range, and bolder styling.
The Prodrive P2 (Concept Car)
The R1 kei-car platform was also used by ‘Prodrive‘ the British based tuning specialists for their Prodrive P2 Concept sports car. It has a modified Subaru Impreza WRX STi engine developing 345bhp with a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 174 mph !! Not quite a kei-car !!
[2003 – 2010]
The Subaru R2 was announced in Japan on December 8th 2003, and the R2 name was inspired by the Subaru R-2, the kei-car model that was produced between 1969 & 1972. The R2’s exterior reflects the influence from Andreas Zapatinas, who worked at Alfa Romeo before moving to Subaru. The R2 is the first production Subaru to sport a new family look, including the aviation-inspired ‘spread wings grille‘ that is also used by the Tribeca and Impreza. The R2’s exterior dimensions are largely similar to its predecessor, the Subaru Pleo, but unlike the squarish Pleo, the R2 has a deliberately rounded, less space efficient form.
Three variations of the 4-cylinder 658cc engine are available, SOHC, DOHC AVCS (variable valve timing), and a DOHC with supercharger & intercooler (R2 STi). Unlike other Subaru models which use Boxer engines, the R2 uses an inline engine. The two lower engine options are available with either a manual transmission or a CVT. The supercharged engine is coupled to a sportshift version of the CVT (7-speed iCVT). Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.
‘Facelifted Subaru R2‘ (Singapore)
Initially, the R2 was available in 11 colours and 3 trim levels (one for each engine variation). In 2006, the R2 got a facelift that is a similar design to Subaru’s Tribeca style front grille. The R2 was finally discontinued in March 2010.
The 1st Generation Subaru Stella was introduced in June 2006 and is based on the same architecture as the Subaru R2. The 4-door hatchback can be considered as a direct replacement of the Subaru Pleo although the Pleo is still currently in production. Subaru hoped to recapture market share after the Subaru R2’s less than expected sales performance. The name ‘Stella‘ is Italian for ‘star‘, being also in reference to the Subaru logo. Due to the investment of Toyota however, the future production status of the Stella is in question. The Subaru built Stella ceased production in 2011.
Subaru Stella 2G :
The 2nd Generation Stella is a rebadged Daihatsu Move, introduced in Japan on May 11th 2011.
Electric version : In June 2008, Subaru unveiled an all electric concept vehicle combining the Stella platform with the electric drive from the Subaru R1e, which uses TEPCO lithium-ion batteries. It was intended to be sold in the European Union but has not materialised, only being sold on the home market to fleet and Government users.