Recognized for being the only automotive brand in the local market with all of its models equipped with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive (SAWD) and with boxer engines, Subaru held its “Subaru All Mode” event with safety demonstrations and obstacle courses.
It was held at “La Loma del Vecino”, a new chichorro-style business that recently opened in the Camarones sector of Guaynabo. The activities included maneuvers over dirt, grass, rocks, logs, as well as on-road drives.
“Subaru is a brand that historically has emphasized the safety of its vehicles, and the fact that all of its models have all wheel drive, automatically makes them safer. This is evident over wet pavement and other slippery surfaces. When a traditional front or rear wheel drive vehicle loses control, it is because one or both of the wheels that drive it lost traction. That does not happen in a Subaru because all four wheels constantly keep contact with the pavement”, said Lilliam Portalatín, Corporate Fleet and Retail Sales Director of Subaru’s distributor in Puerto Rico, Trébol Motors. “It is such an intelligent system, that if it detects that one of the wheels is about to lose traction, it will transfer that grip to the other three tires, keeping the vehicle in complete control”, she added.
In fact, among the harshest tests that were done at the event, the Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester models passed through a dirt course prepared with steep bumps and holes so deep that at times, one of the rear wheels would be entirely lifted off the ground. However, with the traction that it kept on the other wheels, the SAWD system would keep on moving forward until it drove the vehicles over every obstacle.
These same three models starred in another exercise in which they showed the “Hill Descent” function of Subaru’s X-Mode system. This technology helps the driver to safely drive down a steep, slippery hill. When X-Mode is activated, it “reads” the topography, detects the incline’s angle or degree, and automatically presses and releases the brakes, keeping a constant, slow, and therefore, safe and constant forward march. This way, the driver only has to concentrate on steering.
This test was done first on a paved road, and then, down a grassy hill. X-Mode’s Hill Descent also works over mud, sand, rocks, and gravel.
The fourth model that was driven in the event was the Impreza, which was used for demonstrating the “EyeSight” system’s emergency braking function. As its name implies, this technology consists of a field of vision that covers seven areas. This exercise showed how the Subarus equipped with EyeSight stop automatically when they detect that the vehicle in front stops abruptly. It also works when marching on reverse.
Among EyeSight’s other functions are an adaptative cruise control that keeps a safe distance from the vehicle in front, even at highway speeds. There is also a system that alerts an inattentive or fatigued driver when he’s veering off the lane. If the driver takes no action, the steering wheel will make slight movements in order to stay within the lane.
“Due to all of these safety technologies plus the all wheel drive layout, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave its “Top Safety Pick” title to each and every one of Subaru’s models, and when they are equipped with EyeSight, they go up to the maximum level of “Top Safety Pick Plus”, said Portalatín.
But the IIHS is not the only publication from which Subaru has garnered a top safety title. Last March, and in its annual “Car Issue”, Consumer Reports gave Subaru the first position in its list of the best ten automotive brands. Likewise, JD Power named the Japanese automaker as the one with the most loyal customers, and RL Polk confirmed that Subaru is the only brand with 95% of the vehicles that it has sold in the last 10 years still on the road.
“We organized this event so that our guests could get a hands-on experience on our technologies”, explained Portalatín and added that the event was so successful that it will repeated in the same place on November 10, and this time it will be open to the general public.