Subaru 360 - Design

Design

The 360 was named for the size of its very small air-cooled, 2-stroke inline 2-cylinder 356 cc engine mounted transversely at the rear. By contrast, most conventional automobiles at the time used water-cooled four-stroke engines with 4 or more cylinders mounted in the front. Two-stroke engines are lighter, simpler, easier to cold start, and produce more power for less weight because they produce power every two piston strokes, rather than every four. As with the two-stroke Saab 93s and other small two-stroke gas engines, oil was needed to be pre-mixed with gas, with the fuel tank lid serving as a measuring cup. In 1964, the "Subarumatic" lubrication system did this mixing from an under-hood reservoir.

While this was one of the more notable cars which adopted an arrangement similar to the Volkswagen Beetle, the car is much smaller, less powerful, and was not nearly as well accepted in the world marketplace. The body was of monocoque construction, where the body serves as the frame, and used a lightweight fiberglass roof panel. Since the post war period, more automobiles would switch until unibody construction is now the norm for passenger cars and even many light trucks. Many of the ideas came from engineers from the former Nakajima Aircraft Company, which became Fuji Heavy Industries. The "suicide doors" are hinged at the rear, which Consumer Reports remarked could and did result in a partially locked door falling back in the wind in their testing.

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Famous quotes containing the word design:

    Westerners inherit
    A design for living
    Deeper into matter—
    Not without due patter
    Of a great misgiving.
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