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Last November, we posted news that Toyota (who had acquired General Motors's interest in Subaru), was considering supplying Fuji Heavy Industries (Scooby's parent company) with hybrid engines for its vehicles. Well, it appears as if those plans have changed.

Reuters is reporting that the two automakers have decided to jointly develop a new hybrid system instead. Apparently, Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive has proven too complex to simply plug Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system in.

[Source: Nihon Keizai Shimbun via Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      klaatu, I would like you to look over in the TDI Fuel Economy section over on TDIClub.

      Look at the 60 MPG PD-TDI club. IIRC, they're in similar conditions to your 60.8 MPG Prius run - and they're at a disadvantage due to having an engine rated for 46 MPG hwy (instead of the older engine rated for 49 MPG hwy). Note that your car claims 60 MPG, and you have to do that to beat it. A broken in TDI can *EASILY* beat the EPA estimates. Also, is that the computer mileage (I think you said that, though), or a pen-and-paper mileage? I won't trust a computer mileage.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Legacy has an interior that stylistically is as up-to-date as those in Toyotas. Perhaps you're thinking of the Impreza? And while nicely styled the interior in the 2007 Camry could use less hard plastic around the door pulls and window controls.

      That said, Toyota could assist Subaru quite a bit in many areas. Let's just hope they don't eradicate everything that makes a Subaru a Subaru in the process.

      My own test drive of a Prius averaged about 45 MPG. I think this is similar to the experience of most owners.

      My review of the Prius: http://www.epinions.com/content_119504866948
      Sam P.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Hopefully we'll see a news item about subaru making use of toyota's designs for interiors which are by far much nicer and look like they were designed in 2006 rather than 1986."

      Obviously, you haven't sat in a 2006 Legacy or Outback. I'd much rather have the Subaru's interior than the ultra-bland monochrome that afflicts many non-luxury Toyotas. The latest Corolla has a horrendous driving position compared to my Outback (and a retardly high cowl to boot, making for lousy visibility).
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yes, hybrids are certainly the way for the future - though Subie are also developing boxer turbo-diesels for the Euro market as well.

      Not forgetting that Subaru is actually "Fuji Heavy Industries" (as their proper name) with Subaru automobiles making up some 80% of the FHI business, admittedly - but that FHI has been developing Lithium Ion hybrid batteries (as well as Toyota, no doubt) and that FHI has expertise that Toyota could well use.

      How about something to make all of the diesel and hybrid fanatics love one car, Subaru, and come out with a clean turbo-diesel hybrid Forester with li-ion batteries? OK maybe not. Diesels are really not THAT much more efficient than the Atkinson cycle engine, and fuel does cost more, and diesels are far dirtier for pollution. So maybe keep diesels in Europe only, hybrid gasoline Subies for the entire world.

      Just for kicks, I'll tell everyone what my MPG (US gallons) was on a 50 mile trip Saturday. I decided that since gas had gone up yet ANOTHER 20 cents a gallon, I'd see whether actually following the speed limit would help any?

      Drove 55 in the 55 zone (what the hell, even when I go 65 in the 55 zone, I get tailgaters so what's the difference?) and drove 45 in the 45 zones and so forth, nothing over 55. The trip entails uphill and down, up at least one major steep hill, 95% 2 lane roads with 5% multiple lane passing areas.

      The Prius gave me read-outs for every 5 minutes (the first 5 minutes is always lower due to the engine warming up).

      45 mpg
      50 mpg
      65 mpg
      100 mpg (no I'm not making this up, it was at 55)
      100 mpg
      45 mpg (that steep hill included here)
      70 mpg
      100 mpg
      60 mpg (a second fairly steep hill)

      Overall computer noted mileage for the trip was 60.8 miles per gallon. It was 50 degrees during the drive.

      Did I hear a voice in the back of the room saying something about diesels being more efficient? "I don't THINK so" - this was a 5 seat mid-sized car, remember?

      Read a recent test in Green Car Journal of the latest Volkswagen Jetta diesel and I don't think they even got anywhere close for highway mileage..... It was in the mid 40's.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Interesting. While I think it's a good idea to combine R&D efforts to work on hybrids, my biggest concern is in regards to the interior designs of subaru. Hopefully we'll see a news item about subaru making use of toyota's designs for interiors which are by far much nicer and look like they were designed in 2006 rather than 1986. All wheel drive consumes lots of gas so it'll be good if they can get a hybrid that makes use of the boxer engine!
      • 9 Years Ago
      #2: have you seen a Legacy lately. I really like the new interiors, and their quality is spot on. As for the hybrid, I'd like to see that coupled to a nice flat-engine.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Makes you wonder why GM was not able to do a darn thing with Subaru. I had a client show me their Subaru and explain the sideways cylinder (made good sense to me) -- GM did nothing with this potential gold mine. Toyota knows enough to really try to do something with it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Finally it looks like Subaru's might come out with hybrid versions. I'm surprised this didn't happen earlier considering Subaru's outdoor appeal
      • 9 Years Ago
      On my Prius drive averaging 60.8 MPG (US gallons), by the way, I virtually used no "special techniques" but just set the cruise control, by the way.

      Just so you know.
      • 9 Years Ago
      My overall average (2005 Prius) last summer was exactly 50mpg (US) and the car was not even broken in, plus the air conditioning was on virtually at all times. I used pure gasoline 95% of the time, E10 5% of the time (and noticed an approximate 5 to 10% drop in MPG in the summer when using E10).

      I think the phenomenal numbers I obtained Saturday (60.8 mpg on a 50 mile trip) had much to do with the fact that it was 50 degrees F. (no a/c needed) which saved energy and the fact that I was not going 10 over like everyone else wanted to; however I DO still have full winter tread tires on, which I've calculated cost 9/10 of a MPG (putting the winter tires on brought my overall average down to 49.1).

      Yeah, I've had some fun seeing "what she'll do" - all perfectly legal, unlike the old days when I was a teenager when "seeing what she'll do" meant trying to peg the 120 mph speedos...

      This winter while driving I've gotten about 42-45 MPG overall, depending upon how &*(*(&%%#%&**&&%$ cold it is here in Michigan at the time. Like how much colder than your FREEZER COMPARTMENT at home in your 'fridge.

      Actually one 1/2 tank full computer average was about 38mpg, but it was VERY VERY cold the whole time, like 5 degrees F. and that 1/2 tank had a lot of very short trips where the car is least efficient (started from stone cold each time) PLUS I'd been using E10 fuel exclusively which apparently causes the MPG to drop 10-15% in the winter (thus, apparently is a total waste - just as it has been on virtually every other car I've driven). Alcohol should be used in Flex Fuel vehicles, only, IMHO. I've only concluded this recently after doing a lot of driving on E10 this winter (which also helps explain the overall 42-44 mpg which is a fairly big drop from 49.1 mpg or 50 mpg).

      All cars suffer in these temps (for mileage and wear and tear).

      Note that while E10 causes an approximately 10% reduction in fuel economy on many cars, thus being a total and complete waste of resources, E85 does NOT cause an 85% reduction in fuel mileage - but about 25%.
      But, of course, ethanol is NOT GASOLINE - there is less energy (fewer BTU's per gallon compared to gasoline), more oxygen. MPG with ethanol fuelled vehicles is not comparable to gasoline mileage, though a small proportion of that efficiency loss can be made up in "pure ethanol" fuelled cars (NOT flex-fuel which can also use gasoline) because the octane of pure ethanol is about 110 (which means compression ratios of about 13 to 1 can be used, instead of about 10 to 1 for gasoline or flex-fuel vehicles).

      Therefore my conclusion is that ethanol should only be used in E85, or up to about 3.5% solution to replace MTBE (which poisons the water table) in cities requiring "reformulated fuels" or better yet, once we get E85 stations from one coast to the other, "E85 only" vehicles to increase efficiency of the vehicles (perhaps at that time, the powers that be would have to do something like an octogonal fuel inlet on E85 only vehicles allowing only a new revised E85 fuel nozzel to go into the vehicle, yet such a nozzel could be sized to fit in current E85 Flex Fuel vehicles).

      Just a thought....
      • 9 Years Ago
      i'm getting 49.1 mpg atm.

      most owners get 48. (www.greenhybrid.com)
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'd like to see if a hybrid WRX delivering some serious performance. after all, electric motor = great low end torque
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