Urban hipsters and crunchy granola types, rejoice! Your hybrid may finally have arrived! Only in Japan at the moment though is it available, so those here in the United States will have to wait until later this year to get hold of Subaru’s new XV Hybrid.
Subaru’s first hybrid offering combines a partially modified, 2.0-liter DOHC Horizontally-Opposed 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a 13.4-hp electric motor, while also maintaining the automaker’s signature Symmetrical AWD (All-Wheel drive) layout. It apparently took a little bit of creative thinking on the part of Subaru to accomplish this, as it noted that
by compactly housing heavy parts for the hybrid system such as the high voltage battery under the cargo space, the overall front rear weight distribution and the low center of gravity were maintained at the same level as the gasoline model.
The transmission for the hybrid was developed exclusively for it, based upon the Lineartronic (CVT), according to Subaru. Also of note, at least for the full-time AWD system, is that it “can distribute torque to four wheels even in EV (electric vehicle) driving at low speeds. All four wheels are also driven in engine driving and hybrid driving.”
The hybrid motor assist helps drivers achieve an enhanced fuel economy of 20.0km/liter, based upon the JC08 mode. An earlier report we ran when the vehicle was first unveiled in the US suggested fuel economy figures of around 28 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, but we won’t know officially until the EPA releases its estimates before the car hits American streets.
Other technologies which you’ll likely want to know about in this car include brake regeneration to return power to the battery, a multi-function display that “shows the hybrid system’s energy flow according to the driving condition such as engine / motor operation and battery recharging” and an “eco-cruise control” function. This latter item is employed with the car’s “EyeSight” driving assist system which, making use of “an all-speed range tracking function,” enhances fuel economy “by utilizing EV driving maximally.”
And, just like the Kermit green Ford Escape Hybrid of old, “a new ‘Plasma Green Pearl’ exterior color exclusive for the hybrid model has been adopted. It spotlights the vehicle’s environmental character.”