Subaru hints at plug-in hybrid diesel crossover with Viziv 2 concept

The Viziv 2 has a 1.6-liter boxer diesel engine paired with a continuously variable transmission, which sends power to all four wheels. Photo credit: REUTERS

GENEVA -- Subaru showcased a “green” concept vehicle at the Geneva auto show dubbed Viziv 2 -- short for “vision for innovation” -- that hints at a new crossover and possible replacement for the outgoing Tribeca.

It’s Subaru’s second Viziv concept and follows a similar concept introduced at last year’s Geneva auto show. The Viziv 2 plug-in hybrid previews design language and technologies working their way into Subaru production cars and light trucks.

Subaru is developing a seven-seat SUV/crossover that is expected to replace the slow-selling Tribeca, which has a cramped rear seat and limited cargo capacity. The new vehicle could go on sale within three years, Automotive News reported in August.

The latest concept also resembles the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy, as well as the recently revealed WRX STI.

The Viziv 2 has a 1.6-liter boxer diesel engine paired with a continuously variable transmission, which sends power to all four wheels.

Subaru, a recent entrant in the green-vehicle market with the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid, devised an all-wheel-drive system for the concept in which the diesel engine and one electric motor power the front wheels while two additional electric motors power the rear wheels.

The vehicle uses the electric motors for low speeds, with the 1.6-liter diesel engine kicking in when more speed is needed, Subaru says.

The powertrain is coupled with a stop-start system to boost fuel economy. Subaru’s SI-Drive control system has been retuned for the concept’s hybrid powertrain. In Eco Cruise mode, the system works alongside Subaru’s EyeSight safety system to monitor the road ahead and adjust engine output to conserve energy.

And the concept’s long overhang is designed to meet pedestrian safety requirements, particularly in Europe.

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