Subaru will unveil a world-first at the Geneva Motor Show next month - a diesel engine with a 'boxer' cylinder layout.
The engine is Subaru's first-ever diesel and should make its cars much more popular with British buyers.
It will be introduced early next year with a progressive rollout across the Legacy, Outback, Forester and Impreza ranges. It will not be available in the Tribeca 4x4, nor is Subaru developing a bigger diesel for that car, saying the market is too small.
Like Subaru's petrol engines, the 2.0-litre diesel uses a boxer layout, which means the four cylinders are horizontally opposed. As one piston is forced down on one side, another one opposite does the same and balances their forces out.
This means that Subaru can promise low levels of noise and vibration. A boxer layout also has the advantage of being very compact, and it has a lower centre of gravity, which can help improve stability and handling.
Subaru is using BMW's 2.0-litre diesel as a benchmark, and says initial performance figures are 170bhp, 250lb ft of pulling power and a combined economy of over 40mpg.
Subaru also says the low-down pulling power of the engine is combined with the kind of high-rev responsiveness most usually associated with a petrol engine.
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