Subaru says the hybrid version of its XV Crosstrek crossover, its first gasoline-electric production vehicle, will deliver an 11 percent jump in fuel economy over the nonhybrid variant.
The hybrid will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fall, the carmaker said at a briefing in Tokyo before the vehicle's unveiling today at the New York auto show.
Also making a global premiere in New York was a concept WRX performance model that foreshadows the look of the next generation of the turbocharged Impreza performance spinoff.
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid's drivetrain, developed in-house, combines a nickel-metal hydride battery and electric motor with Subaru's all-wheel-drive system.
Combined 31 mpg?
The hybrid hasn't received an EPA fuel economy rating. But Subaru expects it to get 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway/31 mpg combined, a spokesman said.
That's an 11 percent increase over the 28 mpg combined rating for the gasoline XV Crosstrek with an automatic transmission.
Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. is rolling out hybrid technology to lift fuel economy in a fleet traditionally heavy on crossovers and awd vehicles.
Akihide Takeuchi, XV Crosstrek product planning chief, said it was too soon to tell what portion of XV Crosstrek sales would come from the hybrid variant.
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid gets a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that was partially modified to reduce friction. It is combined with a continuously variable transmission.
The hybrid's battery is under the rear storage space to deliver the same front-rear weight distribution as the gasoline XV Crosstrek. Extra weight in the front comes from the hybrid's 13.4-hp, 10-kilowatt electric motor.
The hybrid can run in electric-only mode at low speeds and uses the electric motor to assist the engine at medium speeds.
The hybrid also gets design flourishes:
- Clear lens covers on the rear combination lamps.
- Light emitting diodes in the taillights.
- Aerodynamic wheel covers to reduce drag.
- A blue color scheme for the interior instrument cluster.
- A new "plasma green pearl" exterior color option.
Subaru global design chief Osamu Namba said the idea was to give the hybrid an advanced, high-tech clean look. "We supported through styling things that highlighted design and function," he said.