A Subaru First: 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid Revealed

Minutes ago at the New York auto show, Subaru revealed anticipated details about its first production gas-electric offering, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid.

The car is based around the existing XV Crosstrek, it matches a 2.0-liter FB-series Boxer engine with 13.4-horsepower integrated electric motor placed just behind the transmission and in front of the continuously variable transfer clutch for the CVT transmission.

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A 100-volt, 13.5kw nickel-metal hydride battery is placed under the revised rear floor, and naturally, the system uses the integrated starter/generator for the automatic start/stop feature, and relies on regenerative braking.

System power is 148 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 145 pounds-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm.

The compact hybrid system weighs just 209 pounds and the XV Crosstrek Hybrid in total weighs about 300 pounds more than the all-gas model.

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Subaru says “under light acceleration” the system it engineered uses the electric motor for initial vehicle acceleration and then starts the gasoline engine once underway.

The electric motor can also provide assist for acceleration in parallel with the gasoline engine, and under “certain low speed situations,” an EV mode can operate the vehicle solo.

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No doubt this EV mode works under limited situations and duration but it appears to be a functional step up from Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist mild hybrids, and may perform similarly to Toyota’s hybrids.

Subaru’s first hybrid is touted as the “most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover in America,” and it’s expected EPA ratings are 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

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Otherwise, the hybrid crossover is said to offer equal capability and utility as the gas version, sharing its Active Torque Split, and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and chassis capability.

The hybrid offers the same 8.7 inches of ground clearance, while providing a low step-in height. Included in its standard features are heated front seats, heated mirrors, and windhsield de-icer which come as part of an all-weather package.

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The hybrid’s passenger cabin room is also essentially the same as the all-gas model’s – the actual amount sacrificed being 0.7 cubic feet of interior volume. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid’s maximum cargo room (rear seatbacks down) measures 50.2 cubic feet versus 51.9 for the gas all-gas XV.

The car will feature the customary “HYBRID” badging, its interior design is promised to be trendy with shades of blue and silver to underscore the fact it is actually closer to green in the environmentalist sense of the word.

A color multi-function display will show the energy flow data/driving operation information with entertainment content. Subaru says the display was designed to be easily viewed from any seat.

Pricing was not announced, but it will likely cost more than the $22,745 entry point for the 2013 all-gas model.

For more info, consult also the downloadable pdfs Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid At-A-Glance and  Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Technical Specifications.