TOKYO -- Subaru will add its first hybrid vehicle in 2012 as part of a push to improve the fuel economy average of its fleet and meet more stringent emissions regulations.
The gasoline-electric drivetrain will be offered as a version of an existing model line, said Ikuo Mori, president of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru brand cars.
Speaking today on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show, Mori did not say when the hybrid will be coming to the United States. But he said the car will help Subaru meet tougher U.S. fuel economy rules that begin in the 2016 model year.
The Subaru brand boss declined to say which model would be offering the hybrid powertrain but suggested it will be in a smaller vehicle. He said the hybrid system will showcase typical Subaru driving characteristics but stopped short of confirming it will be all-wheel drive.
At this year's Tokyo show, Subaru is showing an awd hybrid touring car that has two motors, one for each axle. That car loosely resembles the Outback wagon.
Subaru has been developing its own hybrid drivetrain based on technology from Toyota Motor Corp., which owns 16.5 percent of Fuji Heavy.