X-Mode: Applying the X-factor
Available only on Subaru vehicles, X-Mode complements Subaru symmetrical full-time AWD to allow drivers to take the road less travelled, get muddier and have more daring adventures. The system provides advanced, all-road capability and rugged performance — and elevates driving confidence, especially on uneven surfaces or challenging inclines. The X-Mode system, which is standard on all Forester and Outback models equipped with the Lineartronic® CVT, incorporates Hill Descent Control and a Hill Holder System and goes above and beyond AWD to pull you through the stickiest of situations.
X-Mode in Action
With the push of a button, X-Mode controls the engine output, transmission, AWD torque split and braking system to help tackle the trickiest of conditions and bring even more rugged capability into sharp focus. This driver-engaged feature will consume more fuel so its use is only recommended when the conditions warrant significantly more grip, stability and control. With the system activated, the vehicle is better able to capitalize on the traction available and provides surefootedness over and above what is afforded by Subaru symmetrical full-time AWD. Here are some common scenarios highlighting the capabilities of X-Mode.
When traveling up an incline with low traction conditions such as over very uneven rugged terrain, X-Mode uses lower gear ratios to generate extra power at the wheels that have the most grip. The transmission control unit (TCU) also provides 25% more AWD clutch pressure to control rotational differences between the front and rear wheels. This provides added stability, surefootedness and the extra forward momentum required to climb more easily.
On Slippery Surfaces
With X-Mode engaged, the traction control system becomes more sensitive, significantly reducing the time needed for a given wheel to recapture a loss of traction and regain forward momentum. This feature helps to improve control and stability in all conditions — but in particular when conditions are at their worst. In this case, more power is diverted away from the wheels that are slipping and towards those that are better able to capitalize on the traction available. Conversely, if the situation warrants, X-Mode will deactivate the transmission’s lock-up clutch to better direct power to slipping wheels. This proves valuable if one wheel suddenly loses traction when driving at speed and the goal is maintaining stability and staying on course.
On Steep Declines
Hill Descent Control (HDC) maintains a constant speed when travelling down steep declines at less than 20 km/h so the driver does not need to apply brakes and risk locking them. This system reads the road conditions and automatically applies the needed brake pressure to each wheel independently. This allows the driver to focus exclusively on steering and negotiating curves in the road while the system handles all the braking — especially useful in more challenging conditions where the sloped surface is slippery, rugged or uneven. When the driver touches the brake or gas pedal, HDC releases control over the descent immediately.