Subaru is one of the best-known names among Japanese automakers, but how much do you really know about the company? You may be able to recognize their cars, but Subaru actually has a long and fascinating history.
There’s more than just what’s under the hood. Whether you’re looking to impress and outwit a bunch of car nerds at your next party or if you just really want to make sure that Subaru car dealers know what they’re talking about, here is a list of fun facts about the brand that will be sure to make you want to go for a test drive.
- The Subaru company was founded in 1953, but its history extends much earlier than that. Its parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, developed out of Japan’s Aircraft Research Laboratory, which began in 1915.
- “Subaru” is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the “Seven Sisters” stars. You can see this homage reflected in their logo design, too: an oval with a blue background and several starry shapes. The largest is said to represent Fuji Heavy Industries, with each smaller star its subsidiaries.
- Subaru of America first began based out of Philadelphia, but is now located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where used Subaru dealers run aplenty. Meanwhile, they have plant locations in Lafayette, Indiana, and Gunma, Japan.
- The Subaru Rex, introduced in 1983, was the world’s first four-wheel-drive kei car, a special category of vehicle created by the Japanese government that encourages consumers to buy small vehicles. It also premiered in Europe as the Subaru Mini Jumbo, but never found its way to the U.S. — so don’t expect to find one at any local used car dealerships.
- Subaru made their racing debut in 1990 with the Legacy, in collaboration with Prodrive. In 1994 they switched to using the Impreza model, but the partnership with Prodrive remains in tact to this day. They’ve won 47 rallies to date and have competed in some Formula 1 racing.