Next week’s New York International Auto Show will mark a first for Japanese automaker Subaru – it will show the company’s first gasoline-electric hybrid. Though we don’t know many details yet, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid will use hybrid technology provided by Subaru’s partner Toyota.
Toyota, of course, has sold more hybrid vehicles than all other automakers combined thanks to its nearly decade and a half run of Prius production, and the technology is proven, if not particularly exciting.
The Subaru Crosstrek is sort of the Outback version of the Imprezza, but without the hokey Australian overtones. The XV Crosstrek has been reasonably well-received by consumers and reviewers, with most of the criticism directed at the car’s meager 148-horsepower 2.0 liter boxer four cylinder. Also, though the XV Crosstrek is very fuel efficient for an all wheel drive car/”crossover-type vehicle” (Subaru’s words) at 25 MPG city/33 MPG highway/28 MPG combined, there’s room for improvement. Subaru’s Impreza wagon, on which the XV Crosstrek is based, is rated at 27/36/30 due to its better aerodynamics, lower ride height, and different tires.
Of course, we have no word on the fuel economy figures or cost of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid but expect a combined number in the mid-40s. It would be nice if the electrification of the drivetrain could also add some low-end punch, so we’ll have to see if the net power output of the hybrid drivetrain goes beyond the stock car’s 148 horsepower.
In addition to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, Subaru has also noted that it will display a performance car concept at NYIAS. Rumor has it that Subaru is working on its own open-top version of the BRZ, one that will have two seats rather than cramming four seats into the car the way Toyota did in its GT86 Open concept at Geneva a few weeks ago. Or maybe a forced-induction version of the BRZ? Or maybe something entirely different that I can’t even imagine right now.
Subaru has not confirmed an on-sale date yet for the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, but has said that it would go on sale before the end of this year.