In the years since Subaru last gave its workhorse flat four-cylinder engine a significant revision, an entire generation of customers has gone from pulling up their Huggies to donning college graduation gowns. More than two full decades have passed since the company's engineers seriously sat down to re-examine the engine's architecture, and in that time, there's been an explosion of automotive technology geared toward squeezing every last bit of energy out of a drop of gasoline.

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2011 Subaru Forester Engine Design2011 Subaru Forester Engine Design

2011 Subaru Forester Interior Design2013 Subaru Forester Interior Design

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2011 Subaru Forester HD Wallpaper2011 Subaru Forester HD Wallpaper

With fuel economy and emissions standards growing tighter by the day, the minds at Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru's parent company, unveiled the third-generation of their boxer engine recently.

But at first blush, the new heir to the Pleiades throne looks to be little more than a carbon copy of its predecessor. Horsepower, torque and fuel economy figures are all within a shave of the old engine's numbers, and while the company's competitors are investing heavily in direct-injection systems, Subaru passed on this tech all together. Where was the improvement? Judging by the specs alone, we had to wonder why Subaru went through the trouble of building an entirely new facility just to produce what looked to be the same old beating heart we'd known and loved for years. We jumped behind the wheel of the 2011 Forester to find out just what had changed beneath the hood of its all-wheel-drive family hauler.


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