Showed up in the US, but its Australian arrival is certain.
Japanese carmaker Subaru has unveiled its first-ever plug-in hybrid vehicle, taking the form of the US-market Crosstrek PHEV. Known to us as the XV, the new PHEV packs an all-new powertrain that’s absolutely brand-new to the marque, and promises to offer greater fuel efficiency & capability without dulling any of the much-loved aspects that come with the XV experience.
The new powertrain has been dubbed ‘StarDrive’ (yawn), and it mates the 2.0-litre Boxer engine to a couple of electric motors, which is then fed by an 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack. One of the motors acts as an engine starter, though it doubles-up as a generator to feed that battery pack. As for the other motor, that does the conventional job of powering the vehicle, but it also does the work as an energy-regenerator during braking.
Total system output is 115kW, which is actually less than the 113kW offered by the standard non-PHEV XV. However, thanks to the electric gubbins, the XV PHEV can hit 100km/h from rest a full second faster than its pure-ICE sibling. And when you’re not racing from the lights, you can travel in full-electric mode as far as 27km on a single charge, which is impressive to say the least. Total range of the Subaru XV PHEV is 772km.
There are no major styling changes to the XV in its transition from combustion to hybrid. Only the eagle-eyed will notice the blue-tint headlight projector rings, the unique silver trim, and the 18-inch alloys that are exclusive to this model. Of course there’s also the obligatory badging, the charging port out back, as well as a ‘Lagoon Blue Pearl’ hue (because blue is the unofficial colour of hybrids, it seems).
In the States, the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV is commanding a US$35k pricetag, or just under AU$49k here. That puts it well above the top-spec Subaru XV 2.0i-S available in our market, which should ensure that in addition to the hybrid system, it ought to be well-equipped when it arrives. We’re quite looking forward to sampling Subaru’s first-ever hybrid, as the XV has always been a very impressive machine in our books, and a PHEV powertrain can only add to that sentiment.