The 1970's Subaru
1970's Subaru Timeline:
1970 Subaru Star. It was 1000cc, FF-1 1300 Star with a 1100 cc engine and front inboard brakes.
1971 SoA introduces the very first Japanese mass production front-wheel-drive car to the US, the Subaru 1000 (first made in Japan 1966).
1972-1973 GL, DL models introduced. While the models changed over the years, the names were used until 1989.
1974 4x4 introduced as a 1975 model. The 4x4 is a success and the first mass produced Japanese 4x4 car.
1976 Subaru 4x4 is the car of choice for the US Ski team!
1977 Subaru is now the 5th largest import in the US. The Brat is introduced.
By 1977, our gas was once again affordable and we were ready to hit the highways. The Subaru BRAT, a memorable name that means Bi-Drive, Recreational All-Terrain Transporter, hit the market. It’s what American's needed – a sporty, economical vehicle that helped build customer loyalty for a car company that was still new and trying to establish themselves. The BRAT became a hit with drivers who craved the ruggedness of a 4 x 4 with the comfort of a passenger car. Its fuel economy was at the top among the competition, delivering the highest EPA gas mileage of any 4WD vehicle sold in America. And the MPV model won Off Road magazine’s 1978 Excellence in an Engineering Award. Even today, long after the last car was sold, people from all around the world fill the Internet with pages dedicated to the BRAT. Similarly, in the late 1970s, the BRAT – and Subaru – gained increasing numbers of loyal customers, people who identified with the model and the brand.
The 2nd generation Leone was than released which was designed with a larger body size and 1,800 cc engine which gave the car a design befitting of a medium class passenger car. To drive better on rough roads, the 1.8L 4WD model came equipped with a variable gearbox system dubbed Dual Range for use as a close-ratio transmission with the 4-speed manual transmission offering eight forward, and two reverse gears.
Into the mid—late 70's came other Subaru models that helped change the way America drove with their front-wheel drive vehicles and the extra safety and versatility that only on-demand, four-wheel drive could bring. The Subaru 1000, FF-1, GL Coupe and 4WD Station Wagon were introduced to increasing success in the marketplace and growing respect within the automotive world. As 1976 rolled around, the company was racking up sales of nearly $84 million. Like America, Subaru entered the ’80s stronger than it entered the ’70s.