Subaru of America revealed the brand’s first production hybrid vehicle, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the 2013 New York Auto Show today. The vehicle arrives in dealerships stateside in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The XV Crosstek Hybrid is claimed to be the most fuel economical and lowest-polluting AWD crossover in America. It retains the petrol-powered variant's off-roading abilities and ground clearance while coming with the obvious benefits of a hybrid car.
To accommodate the hybrid powertrain, Subaru has to re-engineer the chassis. In addition, sound insulation, a start/stop button, tweaked HVAC, new gauge cluster and keyless crank are some of the "numerous" other changes to the hybrid variant.
The powertrain combines a 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine with a 13.4 hp electric motor that's linked to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A 100v, 13.5kw nickel-metal hydride battery is housed in the redesigned floor area. The electric motor is placed behind the gearbox. The inclusion of the extra powertrain has increased the overall weight by 136 kg.
The electric motor is used as the power source for initial acceleration, and the gasoline engine kicks in at higher speed or high load conditions. The electric motor can boost power output, simultaneously working with the engine. The vehicle is an EV during low speed operation.
Passenger space is the same as the petrol variant while the maximum luggage space is down from 51.9 cu.ft to 50.2 cu.ft.
To save energy, Brake regeneration technology has been added to the hybrid variant. All-season tires are wrapped around light alloy wheels which have an aerodynamic design. An active grille-shutter system further reduces aerodynamic drag, but is available only to the American market. The air-conditioning system draws less power by intelligently responding to climatic conditions.
Due to the added weight, the suspension settings are retuned. The steering ratio has been revised for sharper handling. Thicker floor sections, under-floor covers and additional sound insulation have been put in place to dampen noise.
Differences to the car's exterior are facilitated by "Hybrid" badges on the body work and a Plasma Green Pearl exterior color.
Interiors feature a cool blue theme with silver trim. The instrument cluster uses gradations of the blue color scheme to "provide a sense of depth". The MID informs the driver about the direction of flow of energy and can also provide him with information on the vehicle and display entertainment content.