Subaru is the automobile manufacturing division* of Japanese transportation conglomerate* Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), thetwenty-second biggest automaker* by production worldwide in 2012.
Subaru is known for its use of the boxer engine* layout in most of its vehicles above 1500 cc as well as its use of the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive* drive-train layout since 1972. The flat/boxer engine and all-wheel-drive became standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets by 1996, and is now standard in most North American market Subaru vehicles. The lone exception is the BRZ*, introduced in 2012, which uses the boxer engine but is rear-wheel-drive. Subaru also offers turbocharged*versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX*. Fuji Heavy Industries*, the parent company of Subaru, is currently in a partial partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation*, which owns 16.5% of FHI.
Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades* star cluster M45, or "The Seven Sisters" (one of whom tradition says is invisible - hence only six stars in the Subaru logo), which in turn inspires the logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create FHI.