• May 20, 2009
Subaru's been hyping its future green technology for years, but despite promises of diesels and hybrids, those of us in the States have yet to sample any alt-fuel, boxer-powered Imprezas, Legacys or Foresters. But according to Subie's president Ikuo Mori, in addition to bringing a new diesel powerplant to the U.S. in 2011 or 2012, Subaru, "hopes to introduce a hybrid around the same time."

As previously reported, Subaru will license and adapt Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system to its current drivetrains, which has proved difficult and, apparently, time consuming (we first reported on Subaru's hybrid plans back in 2005). However, with yesterday's new CAFE announcement that requires automakers' products to average 35.5 mpg by 2016 – with Japan and Europe likely to follow suit – Subaru seems to finally be ready to make good on its promise – seven years later.

[Source: Bloomberg]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      BoxerFan, you going to be buying one of these? :-) I kid, I kid...

      The vehicle pictured is the B5-TPH concept car from 2006. Pretty neat concept, actually; it was a C30-sized sport hatch with a 256 hp turbo flat-Four mated to a 13 hp/110 lb/ft electric motor, the latter providing instant "oomph" to offset the turbo Four's throttle lag (while increasing mileage).

      Don't expect to see the nozzle-nose styling again anytime soon, JDM. That was Fuore Design's idea (a Spanish styling firm Subaru hired to lux up their image), and it only lasted two years on the Impreza and Tribeca before Subaru canned it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nope, not gonna go for that. :D

        They abandoned the bad schnozz, and went on to pretty much just as bad, but not instantly obvious, without a clown nose to point directly at.

        And hybrid... whoopie... because I want my subaru to cost me even MORE to maintain... It is kind of worth it now, but still a hurdle. (try to buy a subaru clutch lately? $$$$) More money, worse looks, and more complexity, and Subaru's recent trends...

        Yeah, not so much. I love boxer engines... but used Porsches, BMW bikes, or even old VW-based kit-cars have them too... and in the Porsche case, after paying for all the $$$$, $$$... maintenance, you still have a PORSCHE.

        I want Subaru to do well, but they shake my confidence that either they either can or will...
        • 5 Years Ago
        How much exactly was your clutch, fanatic?

        I got an Exedy street clutch for my 2002 WRX in 2006 (which almost has 100k miles without an issue or squeak and it's fairly modified). Wasn't that expensive at all... Shifting is very crisp and very, very quick (short-throw shifter and bushings helped). Loving every shift. Still an extremely fun car to drive. ZERO maintenance costs other than gas, oil changes and tires.

        My friend has an old 911 Porsche. I can't stand driving the thing, the engine sounds like a broken meat grinder. And talk about maintenance. He's dumped more money than he spent on the thing ~ now it's worth less and drives worse. But it's a "Porsche". Which I think is perfect for my starting-to bald, materialistic friend. Doesn't matter that the interior sucks, it handles terribly, sounds ridiculous when it runs and he can't keep up with a Japanese hatchback. "Yeah, but I drive a Porsche, you drive a Subaru." was his sentiment. "No, you drive an old Beetle." was my response. I'd rather have a reliable, fun to drive car over a rolling mid-life crisis...

        I'll take Subaru's performance and reliability. I love their award-winning boxer engines. Plus I can't find a cool, reliable 5-door hatch from Porsche that I can get for the same price as a WRX. And if I drive a Porsche, that would make me a Porsche owner. I'll pass.

        But then again, my favorite Subaru look was the Alfa-schnoz. Very disappointed they dropped it. I loved the WRX/STIs from those days. Probably my next car when I get rid of the 2002.

        Also, as far as maintenance: I have yet to have a single Prius owning friend complaining about it...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I haven't replaced it yet, but need to soon...

        The stock BL Legacy clutch and dual-mass flywheel is a known weak point on the car, and is already nearly an immobility problem at less than 65K miles. I just paid 500$ for brake discs and pads, plus another $500 for fluid and spark plug service as part of $60k regular maintenance...

        Now the clutch is going, and the suspension dampers are not far behind that, neither of which are strong part pieces on the Legacy GT. The 6-speed GT Spec B with 'B'ilsteins is better on both counts, as the 6MT has a better clutch entirely.

        The parts to replace the GT 5MT parts are reported to total up to a nearly 1200$ job, with labor.

        The 06+ WRX clutch is a better unit, with an even better yet aftermarket option from ACT. However, it is incompatible with the Legacy dual-mass flywheel, so requires replacement with a WRX solid flywheel, and flywheel bolts that don't ream out like Legacy's do, and also likely to need a clutch engagement fork, as the stock stamped-steel piece wears through due to fatigue at the ball pivot point.

        With the ACT clutch and pressure plate, throw-out and pilot bearings, replacement clutch fork, plus a replacement WRX flywheel and bolts, all told add up to more than 800$ retail, before one bolt is turned as labor cost.

        And to upgrade to Spec B bilsteins to fix the underdamped behavior of the stock GT, is another 700, for new parts... I don't recall of the top of my head if that includes the different springs and upper pillow ball mounts that the bilsteins do not share with the OE no-names. Probably not, though.

        And that is all before the possibility of oil starvation to the turbo causing turbo bearing failure, which some of the cars have shown before 100k miles.

        Granted, once all of that $$$ is spent, pretty much every shortcoming of the car will have been completely addressed. OE cost cutting on brake pads, tires, clutch, and dampers, all replaced with the parts that SHOULD have come on the car from the first day. JDM models did not have the same problematic parts, even on their 2.0GT models, let alone their GT Spec B or 3.0R Spec B models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      2012 will be very, very late to the party!
      • 5 Years Ago
      At least it's a different kind of ugly than the other hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I had a 2007 Legacy 5 speed that was decent even with full time AWD. I could easily get 25mpg around town and 30mpg on the highway. You can't do this with Subaru's horrible 4 speed auto and if you are always in a hurry to get somewhere. A hybrid would be fantastic but I'd settle for a non-ugly diesel from Subaru.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This could be quite interesting. Suppose they couple Toyota's hybrid powertrain with their boxer diesel engine. That could be a substantial competitor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. An insipid torqueless diesel like the boxer would be a good way to generate electricity for electric motors that produce both torque and power.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just an idea.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to Suburu's Boxer diesel? Because the flat four configuration is fully balanced, it was supposed to be lighter and drastically smoother than other diesels. I would absolutely buy an diesel Impreza; that would be the ultimate in practical fun.
        • 5 Years Ago
        US emission particulate regulations are really throwing it for a loop, and making it difficult to certify for the US. :rolleyes:

        It already sells in Europe, where they care less about that, and more about CO2 emissions, so evidently tell their citizens and livestock to hold their breath, so not to exhale, too. :rolleyes: again.


      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the new, sober, unpretentious & post-modern design of this.
      alexacoon
      • 5 Years Ago
      Despite the ugly schnoz (It would look fine in WRX guise) I would love to see isomething like this here in the US though I sincerely doubt we will ever see a slick hatch like this. Stretch it at least two feet and add an additional pair of doors for it to ever reach our shores.
      Wouldn't a bodystyle and size like this make more sense as Subaru's hottest car?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Of course, with the new cafe requirements all but guaranteeing continued withering profits for automakers, it is likely that there won't be a Subaru around for all you auto fashionistas to denigrate anyway.

      We'll be lucky to get the new Pelosi GT by 2012. http://www.autoblog.com/tag/Congressional%20Motors%20Pelosi%20GTxi%20SSRT%20Sport%20Edition/

      • 5 Years Ago
      Who cares what it looks like? If they can get 34 mpg with full time symmetrical all wheel drive then they have achieved a miracle. I'm there, where does the line start ??
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