On 8 August, Fuji Heavy Industries announced that the companyâ€™s Subaru 360-K111 Type had been recognized as Mechanical Engineering Heritage by The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers for their list of 2016 recipients. An awards ceremony was held on 7 August or â€œMachine Dayâ€ at the University of Tokyo.
Mechanical Engineering Heritages are Japanese products recognized by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers that have historical significance, the purpose of the award being to preserve and display these engineering feats for future generations. First started in 2007, at present 87 engineering feats have been honored with recognition.
The Subaru 360 was the first lightweight passenger vehicle mass produced by Subaru in 1958 and served as a kind of mascot for the company. With a total length of less than 3 meters and, in line with lightweight vehicle regulations at the time, offering excellent usability to drivers with its 4 passenger seating, the carâ€™s design caused it to be lovingly dubbed â€œthe ladybugâ€.
Registered as the 78th Mechanical Engineering Heritage during the 2016 selections, the 360-K111 Type is currently on display in the visitorâ€™s center of Subaruâ€™s Yajima factory in Gunma, Japan.
[Translated by Bryce Clarke]