Arrival imminent, we reckon.
Japanese carmaker Subaru might be best known for their Boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive systems, but the company may soon be known for bringing plug-in hybrid off-road capability to the masses. The popular XV crossover is set to be the very-first electrified Subaru in history, sharing lots of bits and bobs from stakeholder Toyota’s parts bin.
The announcement of a PHEV XV was made by Subaru of America, where the XV is marketed as the Crosstrek. The company also went on to say that the Crosstrek Hybrid would make its debut by year-end, presumably with deliveries slated for the beginning of next year. The XV Hybrid will “uniquely integrate” Toyota’s electric hybrid powertrain to Subaru’s fabled Boxer 4-cylinder engine, and then mate that to an all-wheel drive system (symmetrical, we assume) and an “all-new” transmission.
An earlier Automotive News interview with Subaru’s technical boss revealed that Subaru’s hybrid powertrain would feature a lot of the kit presently found in the Toyota Prius Prime. There, its 1.8-litre petrol mill and electric motor put out a total of 90kW, with an all-electric cruising range of 40km (according to US EPA regulations). The total system output may remain the same with the Subaru system, though that’s unclear at the time of writing given that the Subaru system will use a different petrol engine.
While Subaru of America confirmed that their Crosstrek Hybrid, imported from Japan, will go on sale by year-end, Subaru Australia has yet to say anything concrete about the availability of such a model. Considering our bugbears with the car mostly centred on its (relatively) gutless powertrain and lazy CVT gearbox, the petrol-electric hybrid variant (and its new gearbox) might address those issues and turn it into a far more appealing prospect. Further, Subaru Australia has previously stated its intention to offer hybrid models as supplementary variants to its existing fully-combustion lineup, so we reckon it’s a matter of sooner rather than later.