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Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Subaru is adding a green tint to its renowned all-wheel drive technical know-how at the Tokyo Motor Show next month with the Hybrid Tourer Concept. Three separate power sources will share the duties of propelling this concept, depending on the specific set of circumstances.

Naturally, a horizontally-opposed "Boxer" engine – in this case displacing two liters and boasting a turbocharger and direct injection – sits under the hood and sends power to the front wheels when necessary. A Lineartronic CVT transmission is used to promote maximum fuel efficiency.

As is the case with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, an electric motor is mated up to that gasoline engine and acts as a 10 kW motor when power is needed and a generator to recharge the lithium ion battery pack the rest of the time. A second electric motor sends 20 kW of power to the rear wheels under low-speed driving conditions and when maximum power is required. Because no driveshaft is required to connect the rear differential to the front-mounted engine, Subaru has managed to keep a flat floor for the rear occupants.

Besides the high-tech powertrain, Subaru's Hybrid Tourer Concept sports concept-appropriate touches such as giant wing-like gullwing doors that offer access for both the front- and rear-seat passengers and a dashboard that moves up and down to offer the driver a perfect view ahead. Want to know more? Check out high-res image gallery below and click past the break for the official press release.



1. Concept
Subaru has condensed its DNA, developed over many years around the Subaru's core technology of "Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)" and "Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine", into the integration of a luxurious and high-quality cabin atmosphere and an eye-catching sculpted body. The concept car features Subaru's latest evolutions in handling agility, riding comfort and superior safety performance. It proposes Subaru's vision of a future grand touring car that excels in environmental friendliness thanks to Subaru's unique hybrid system.
2. Design and packaging

(1) Exterior
Subaru imagined wings with a feeling of freedom and confidence for driving far and wide in any environment. A luxurious and comfortable cabin, and advanced driving performance are contained within a sculpted aerodynamic form. The design features a combination of bright, open glass areas with a solid, reliable body.

(2) Interior
The original point of the ideal grand touring car is its interior design, featuring four independent and comfortably positioned seats. Passengers are enclosed within an atmosphere that provides a surpassing feeling of openness and stress-free reassurance, through the further pursuit of a human-centered philosophy, the essence of Subaru car design, and the incorporation of functions that are friendly to passengers.
The top of the dashboard is movable up and down to provide an optimal driving environment for the driver according to driving conditions.
A flat floor in the rear seat was achieved even with the implementation of AWD, for improved use and movement inside the cabin.
Specialized shielding is incorporated in the windshield to reduce eyestrain on the driver.
New leather covering developed with superior breathability and a ventilation function is used in the seats for improved comfort and texture.

3. Mechanisms
In addition to refinements to Subaru's core technology such as Symmetrical AWD and Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine, further enhancements were made for improved environmental friendliness, driving performance and high safety performance by offering a next-generation power unit system and advanced safety technologies.
(1) Next-generation power unit system
2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline engine
The Horizontally-Opposed turbo gasoline engine, with a reputation for powerful acceleration, is combined with a direct fuel-injection system for improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, and improved torque and response in practical range. This evolution in Subaru turbo technology excels in both environmental friendliness and engine performance.

Lineartronic (CVT)
Lineartronic, Subaru's new generation automatic transmission, achieves further improvements in both fuel efficiency and driving performance by reinforcing parts for use with the high-power output of a turbo engine.

Hybrid system
To further enhance the appeal of the Symmetrical AWD system, this unique hybrid two-motor system features a power/drive motor in the front and a drive motor in the rear.
  • At start-up and extremely low speeds when fuel efficiency is low, such as when driving the car into a garage, the rear motor is used primarily to allow driving without utilizing the power of the engine.
  • During normal driving, the front engine is primarily used. The direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline mated with the Symmetrical AWD offers a whole new, Subaru driving experience.
  • During acceleration, the rear motor assists the driving power of the engine to achieve advanced driving performance.
  • Further, when accelerating uphill, the front motor, which is normally used as a power generator, assists to drive the front axle for improved performance.
  • The implementation of a non-idling function that stops the engine when the car comes to a halt reduces unnecessary fuel consumption.
  • The use of a high-performance lithium battery is based on experience and know-how achieved with the Subaru Plug-in STELLA electric vehicle, launched this summer. This includes the use of a precise energy management system and regenerative brake controls, for improvements in excellent fuel efficiency.

<Major specifications>
Length x Width x Height: 4,630 x 1,890 x 1,420mm
Engine type: 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo
gasoline engine
Max output of Motor: 10kW (Front) / 20kW (Rear)
Transmission type: Lineartronic
Drive train: Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with 2 motors assist
Battery type: Lithium-ion battery

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      ignoring the doors, which are just silly, this is actually quite slick. I'm surprised that Boxer Fanatic isn't screaming about how it isn't "real AWD" or something.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It *is* Subaru Symmetrical AWD, and the new twist is that it can pull power to/from the electric generator / motor.

        Subaru says Symmetrical in the press release, and there's clearly a drive shaft from the engine to the rear diff.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am not the biggest fan of hybrid drivetrains, and piles of lithium on board my car...

        But this has Subaru's AWD... Why would it not be "real" awd?

        The motor/generator is between the engine and the gearbox, by what the diagram looks like.

        When driven by the engine, it produces electricity to charge the batteries, and without engine power, electrical power can be applied, turning the generator into a motor, which turns the drivetrain instead of the engine.

        The drivetrain behind the electric motor looks to be standard Subaru CVT. I am not a big fan of CVTs either... but Subaru has other gearboxes in their arsenal, ALL with AWD.

        Frankly, they could leave the hybrid bit off, and I would still consider a car that looked that slick from Subaru. It actually makes the 2010 Legacy design look all the more insultingly crude.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Scratch that.

        I just saw the bit about the rear driveline being electric only, not connected to the front drivetrain with a driveshaft.

        Yup. Not good.

        I was hoping that Subaru was done with, and beyond Faux-wheel drive, or what I call rear-wheel assist.

        I guess you were right, Nardvark.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pretty unique power-train. I hope it performs as good as it sounds on paper.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gat dang it Subaru! I don't wanna see this! Just bring out the gat dang Toyobaru we've been led to believe is coming sometime one of these days eventually maybe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks good. I would like to see these cues sent to the next Outback or Legacy. Give them some well-deserved flair.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The legacy and Outback are new this year... it will be a while.

        But agreed, the design language of this is FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR better than the 2010 Legacy and outback.

        Personally, I want them to take this concept, cut a rake angle into the back of the roofline, black-out the roof, shorten the doors, put window-in-a-window.... make it a gull wing, or butterfly-door coupe with a lift-back... and call it the 2012 SVX 20th Anniversary re-introduction.

        Ditch the hybrid drive complexity, and just use direct injected and borrow Toyota's Valvematic variable valve timing and lift system... on an H4, H4 Turbo, and an H6, offer with both manual and dual-clutch gearboxes, and full variable torque distribution AWD with proper limited slip differentials, perhaps even the new torque vectoring ones that BMW, Audi, and Honda are starting to use.

        THAT would be a car I would save up, and hold out for.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is what I like to see - automakers are finally understanding that if they make wagons sexy, they can eliminate much of the perceived need for CUVs & SUVs! It still remains to be seen whether the North American consumer will come to the same realisation.

      BTW, is it a perspective thing or did the length of the hood shorten between pics 1 & 5?
      • 5 Years Ago
      toyota venza hybrid?
      • 5 Years Ago
      SO much better looking than that POS Honda Accord Crosstour!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, Are they trying to introduce a new model? I think it will be a 4doors performance sedan. That's a nice job from Subaru, beside STi carbon thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Really straightforward, but quite attractive. Please Subaru, build something that looks like this!
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why isn't it ugly?

      Put an STI motor in it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm... a boxer ICE with twin electric drive motors?? Color me interested.
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