For a company that does a pretty great job of tying its vehicles to the environment – or, better said, to people who like to actually get out into the environment – Subaru hasn't exactly been a leader in green vehicle production. In fact, it's 2013 and the company is finally releasing its first-ever production hybrid, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Tom Doll, Subaru's executive vice president, admitted as much at the unveiling today at the New York Auto Show: "We at Subaru were not the first to market with a hybrid, but we sure made sure we did it right."

That may be, but for now the automaker doesn't want to tell us all the details of how right it is. We do know that the powertrain takes Subaru's 2.0-liter boxer engine and adds in a 13.4-horsepower electric motor and continuously variable transmission. All-wheel drive will be, of course, standard, and Subaru promises the XV Crosstrek Hybrid will offer the "same utility and versatility as the gasoline model," including 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The hybrid does weigh 300 pounds more, though, which required a re-engineered chassis.

The motor can move the lifted Impreza in all-electric mode up to 25 miles an hour (distance not specified). Subaru isn't talking precise fuel economy numbers, either, just that it will be the "most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover in America" and will unsurprisingly have start-stop functionality. We do hear, though, that the hybrid will get around 10-percent better fuel economy than the standard gas-only XV Crosstrek. The most efficient version of that car, the one with the CVT, gets 25 miles per gallon in the city, 33 highway and 28 combined. Whatever this hybrid XV Crosstrek gets, we expect Subaru'll sell a million in Portlandia. For more, scroll down to watch an official video and read the press release.

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Subaru Introduces Its First Production Hybrid Model At The 2013 New York International Auto Show

NEW YORK, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
  • Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid based on popular XV Crosstrek crossover
  • Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover in America.
  • Subaru-engineered hybrid system uses 2.0-liter BOXER engine and integrates an electric motor into a continuously variable transmission
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard offers solid, all-terrain performance
  • Same utility and versatility as the gasoline model
Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the brand's first-ever production hybrid vehicle, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the 2013 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Based on the popular XV Crosstrek crossover introduced for 2013, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid model arrives in Subaru dealerships fourth quarter of 2013. When the XV Crosstrek Hybrid goes on sale it will be the most fuel-efficient and lowest-emissions AWD hybrid crossover in America.

In developing its first-ever hybrid, Subaru chose one of its popular, go-anywhere crossover vehicle platforms. As a result, the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid offers all the capability and versatility of the gasoline XV Crosstrek. The added benefits of a hybrid powertrain, including higher fuel efficiency, broaden the vehicle's appeal. Key to this approach is that the XV Crosstrek Hybrid shares the gasoline model's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and chassis capability. For example, the 8.7 inches of ground clearance is the same as for the gas model and is higher than for some dedicated SUVs, while providing a low step-in height.

With the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, Subaru re-engineered the chassis to handle the added weight of the battery system, improving handling, steering and ride. In addition to chassis changes, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid added extra sound insulation, a start/stop feature, revised HVAC, new gauge cluster, keyless start and numerous other changes.

The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine with a 13.4-hp electric motor that's integrated into the Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A 100v, 13.5kw nickel-metal hydride battery is located under a revised rear floor area, and the engine uses and integrated starter/generator for the automatic start/stop feature. The compact hybrid system weighs just 209 lbs. and places the electric motor just behind the transmission and in front of continuously variable transfer clutch. With the addition of all the new features, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid weighs approximately 300 lbs. more than the gasoline engine XV Crosstrek.

Under light acceleration, the Subaru-engineered hybrid system uses the electric motor for initial vehicle acceleration and then starts the gasoline engine once underway. The electric motor can also provide motor assist for acceleration in parallel with the gasoline engine, and an EV mode will operate the vehicle in certain low-speed situations.

Same Capability and Utility as Gas Model

Significantly, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid builds upon the utility and versatility of the gas model, while also offering enhanced handling responses and quieter driving performance.

The Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD provides the same operation and benefits as in the gasoline model. The system sends power to the four wheels all the time and adjusts the torque distribution in response to acceleration, cornering and road conditions.

Passenger cabin room in the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid is essentially the same as in the gas model (0.7 cu. ft. difference), while the hybrid's maximum cargo room (rear seatbacks down) measures 50.2 cu. ft., vs. 51.9 in the gas model.

In addition to optimizing the 2.0-liter FB-series BOXER engine to reduce internal friction, Subaru applied a number of other efficiency-enhancing technologies to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. An Auto Start/Stop system shuts down the gasoline engine when the vehicle is stopped. Brake regeneration works when the car is coasting or the driver has applied the brake, recapturing kinetic energy from the turning wheels to recharge the battery.

All-season tires are mounted on new aluminum alloy-wheels with an aerodynamic design. Exclusive to the North American market, a new Active Grille Shutter system helps reduce air resistance. The air conditioning system uses a temperature and humidity sensor to optimize operation for reduced draw on engine power.

Subaru retuned the platform's suspension and revised the steering ratio to give the XV Crosstrek Hybrid sharper handling responses. Numerous enhancements that help to reduce noise include thicker floor sections, under-floor covers and additional sound insulation.

Sophisticated Appearance

In addition to the different wheels, exterior enhancements readily differentiate the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid from the gasoline model. "HYBRID" badges appear at the front edges of the front doors and on the tailgate. A new Plasma Green Pearl exterior color, exclusive to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, spotlights the vehicle's environmental character.

Inside, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid features a clean, cool blue theme with silver trim to underscore the advanced hybrid engineering. The instrument cluster, exclusive to this model, uses gradations of the blue color scheme to provide a sense of depth.

The Color Multi-Function Display shows the hybrid system's energy flow according to driving conditions. Using switching screens, the display was designed to combine driving operation information with entertainment content, and its screen can be easily viewed from any seat.

Additional images and information can be found at:

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      anyone else find it ironic that the Hybrid Crosstrek gets 10% better mileage which puts it back to the mileage of the Impreza its based on?
        • 1 Year Ago
        Good catch. Which makes this even more pointless. They should have done a special Impreza hybrid to max out the numbers. Maybe just the sedan which is more aerodynamic and lighter to start with.
      consumer 4100
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love Subaru, but I got 8 months "life" left in my vehicle and someone else is going to get $40k. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is going to beat the the world in making the right type of vehicle.
      • 1 Year Ago
      sounds great for creeping around the campgrounds and light trails, in battery mode.
      • 1 Year Ago
      300lb for 13hp? better get a serious MPG boost.
      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, 10% = 2.8mpg better than the regular Crosstrek? It seems like the cost of the hybrid option would be awfully hard to pay off through such modest fuel savings.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Actually,Subaru would have been better off making the desiel boxer engine it offers in the Legacy in Europe emissions compliant for the US.Then making it an option for the Legacy & Impreza.Much better mileage numbers then this hybird can get.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Your comment would be a lot more informative if you spellcheck it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Those wheels need to trickle down to the non-hybrid version of this car, too!
      Tobias Apstar
      • 1 Year Ago
      Type With my 2010 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (in essence, the old version of the Crosstrek) and a 5-speed manual, I regularly get about 26 city/31 highway mpg and sometimes a little better even on the highway (up to 34 mpg). The difference is not worth it. A 40+ mpg Diesel option would have been way better. I was seriously considering the new Crosstrek hybrid as a replacement option, but now it's out of the running. And, BTW, the Impreza sedan's difference in mpg isn't that different from the hatchback, either, plus many of us need more flexibility with cargo space.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not been a leader huh? Been building PZEV vehicles for forever. You don't have to build hybrids to be green and they've proven it. Just a counterpoint...
      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the Crosstrek Hybrid. While there really is not much in terms of fuel savings, the interior upgrades are worth it alone. I have about a year left on my lease on my Sportage SX, which puts me a few months after this hits dealerships. That's enough time for the initial rush to die down, and for me to be able to use my Subaru VIP program. I liked the Kia, but the AWD system does not impress me in the snow at all. It's very very powerful, and I got red, which is very very red. It certainly gets noticed by troopers, and I have had a few friendly road side chats. While it does great on the highway for what it is (~ 25 mpg), it is a pig in the city. I routinely see 13.8-14.9 mpg when doing city-only driving. I also been feeding it 93 octane, because I noticed the vehicle just did not like 87 octane. My main objections with the Crosstrek were the really cheap interior on the top trim Limited, and the lack of torque. The Hybrid looks like it gets almost a identical interior from the Forester XT Touring, and I am wondering if the 48 lb ft of torque from the electric motor will assist the gas engine's torque for a combined 190 lb ft of torque.
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