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Subaru introduces its first production hybrid

By

April 3, 2013

Subaru's first production hybrid debuts at the 2013 NY International Auto Show

Subaru's first production hybrid debuts at the 2013 NY International Auto Show

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Most auto companies have at least a hybrid or two within their line-ups, but through the 2013 model year, Subaru remains the exception. That will change come 2014, when the automaker adds the all-new XV Crosstrek Hybrid to its line. The new crossover gets some extra electricity to add efficiency, but maintains Subaru's well-established utility and all-conditions versatility.

Subaru hasn't estimated the XV Crosstrek Hybrid's fuel economy just yet, but it does call its newest model the most fuel efficient AWD crossover model in America. To establish that self-awarded title, it slid a 13.4-hp electric motor between the transmission and continuously variable transfer clutch. With current provided by the 0.6-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery pack, the electric motor can handle initial vehicle acceleration before the 2.0-liter BOXER engine takes over. It can also add power in parallel with the engine and power electric-only driving at low speeds. The battery is recharged via regenerative braking.

Outside of the motor and the 300 pounds (136 kg) of weight it brings, Subaru worked to leave everything else the same as the gas XV, including the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system with Active Torque Split. The system sends power to four wheels at all times, adjusting torque to each wheel based on acceleration, cornering and road conditions. The hybrid also offers the same 8.7 inches (22 cm) of ground clearance as the gas model.

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid maintains the same ground clearance as the gas version

Changes to the hybrid model include steering and suspension tunes, an American-exclusive Active Grille Shutter that decreases air resistance, new aluminum alloy wheels, noise-reducing measures, and an engine start/stop system. With the addition of the battery under the rear floor, the XV Hybrid loses 0.7 cu ft (20 liters) of passenger space and 1.7 cu ft (48 liters) of rear cargo space. Folding rear seats open up 50.2 cu ft (1,422 liters) of cargo room.

Digital instrument cluster

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid distinguishes itself from the gas XV Crosstrek with a series of external badges. The Plasma Green Pearl color is exclusive to the hybrid model, and a blue-and-silver interior highlights the hybrid aspect of the car. A color infotainment display shows various vehicle information, including data about the hybrid system's energy flow.

The 2014 XV Crosstrek will hit the market in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Source: Subaru

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
4 Comments

Very nice!

Now if Subaru can manage to get a bigger battery, make it a plug-in and still keep reasonable cargo room and keep the AWD system, I will be camping at the door of a Subaru dealer to make sure I am the first to get one.

Frank191
3rd April, 2013 @ 04:48 pm PDT

re; Frank191

So you are hoping that Subaru learns to violate the laws of physics.

Slowburn
4th April, 2013 @ 07:30 am PDT

Good start, a little late but glad they made it.

33Nick
4th April, 2013 @ 09:37 am PDT

I really really hope they hit 40 mpg overall! This would be my next car, if not a Prius!

Dave Maguire
4th April, 2013 @ 06:13 pm PDT
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