Subaru has amped up the advertising this year, and a current single-pager for the Legacy sedan I spotted it in Motor Trend boasts an interesting feature called “Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.” All four wheels get equal amounts of torque.
This is, in fact, the simplest, cheapest, least-complicated true-AWD system there is; buggies with scarier price tags than the Sube’s think “Audi quattro” have computerized hardware to apportion the torque as needed based on speed, road conditions, and, for all I know, the pH of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
But Subaru’s genius here is selling a low-end feature as something greatly to be desired, and I can see non-automotive potential with this technique. Consider that higher-end cars now seem to have actual analog clocks instead of a digital display through the audio system, and that sales of vinyl records are increasing, at least partly because some audiophiles are convinced that they sound better than CDs. What’s to stop a local Baby Bell from boasting about its “pure analog” telephone service?