Natural balance. Maximum traction.


Many vehicles today boast four-wheel drive. But only SUBARU has Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD)*.

Symmetrical AWD distributes power to all four wheels for better traction on wet and slippery roads. The entire drive system, from the longitudinally-mounted horizontally-opposed Boxer engine to the rear differential, is mounted in a straight, symmetrical line.

Combined with the Boxer engine, this system has a well-balanced low centre of gravity design for a more stable and safer ride.

Unlike other systems, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive has driveshafts with similar lengths, reducing torque steer. The crankshaft is also central, providing maximum transfer of power to all four wheels at all times. This symmetrical layout provides exceptional stability, traction and improves performance.


But that’s not the only difference. SUBARU’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive technology is also permanently engaged: the power is continually and actively distributed to the individual wheel or wheels with the best traction ensuring enhanced control. Unlike other manufacturers, we don’t build a four-wheel-drive car on a two-wheel-drive platform. Doing so would force gearbox output to be re-routed before reaching the wheels, causing a delay in response when loss of traction is detected.Instead, we make permanent Symmetrical AWD the cornerstone of our vehicle design, allowing a fast, direct route for traction to reach all four wheels.

The benefits of permanent All-Wheel Drive aren’t seen just when driving off road. It’s the safest and most engaging way to drive on all roads - especially if the weather is bad or the road surface is slippery. AWD is invaluable when traction is important in everyday driving situations - like pulling out at junctions, for example. Power transfer is direct, ensuring an instantaneous, surefooted response if loss of traction is detected. On models with Active Torque Vectoring, torque to the inner and outer front wheels is also automatically adjusted to prevent wheelspin and enhance steering ability .

Alongside Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the slim, balanced Boxer engine sits centrally, deeper in the engine bay. Unlike other engines it can sit below the bulkhead, further back, lowering the car’s centre of gravity and distributing engine weight more evenly. This perfect combination of even weight distribution and traction limits chassis roll and pitching in corners or when braking, improving handling, safety and the ride.

*Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a standard feature across all models except the Subaru BRZ.