2013 gas-electric Subaru to feature mild hybrid setup, not Toyota's tech

There's no questioning that Toyota dominates the hybrid vehicle segment. So of course Subaru wants to ditch Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology in favor of its in-house-developed mild hybrid system for the automaker's first-ever hybrid vehicle.

According to Just Auto and contrary to expectations, that's the route Subaru will reportedly follow with its scheduled-to-launch-in-2013 hybrid vehicle. The model has not been named, but the new hybrid will most likely be the Legacy and will launch in Japan. Some reports continue to speculate that either the Impreza or Legacy will be first in line to get the gas-electric tech here in the States in 2014.

Back in 2009, Subaru displayed the Hybrid Tourer, a project it worked on with Toyota, at the Tokyo Motor Show. That concept, which never made it to production, used a direct injected version of Subaru's 2.0-liter turbo boxer engine. Maybe Subaru's classic "hybrids are not worth the money" video was more descriptive of the company's mindset than anyone knew.
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just-auto Exclusively Reveals Subaru's "go it Alone" Strategy on Hybrid Technology

BROMSGROVE, England, September 29, 2011/PRNewswire/ --

Sources at Subaru have told automotive business web site that the company has decided - contrary to expectations - not to buy-in Toyota's full hybrid HSD system for future Subaru hybrid models, but to develop its own mild hybrid system instead.

The news is a big surprise as it had been widely expected that Subaru would benefit not only from Toyota's manufacturing expertise but also its industry leading hybrids capability and production base for hybrid components.

Now, a Subaru executive - speaking anonymously to just-auto - has confirmed that the company will launch a hybrid model in Japan in 2013, as indicated in Subaru's "Motion-V" strategic plan for 2011 to 2015.

However, Subaru's upcoming hybrid will not utilise the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system mated to an existing Subaru boxer engine. Instead, Subaru's stubbornly independent engineers have created a Honda-style mild hybrid, without the ability to run solely on electric power at low speeds.

It is likely that the Subaru hybrid model to be launched in Japan in 2013 will be a version of the Legacy D-segment four-door saloon. But Subaru of America had not yet decided which model should launch the hybrid in the US (which is the world's largest hybrid market).

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