Subaru is getting ready to introduce its first hybrid vehicle.

The Japanese automaker known for its rugged and reliable all-wheel-drive systems, is expected to show its first-ever hybrid at the New York Auto Show in late March.

According to a report by The Detroit Bureau, Kenichi Yamamoto, director of product management and coordination at Subaru of America, acknowledged a hybrid was under way.

Subaru's concept cars have hinted at a hybrid before. Now, it has access to a lot of hybrid technology better than its own, as the company has been partly owned by Toyota, the hybrid leader in the industry, since 2005.

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept Subaru showed an Advanced Tourer Concept (pictured above) using a hybrid drive-train at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show. That car was powered by a 1.6 liter turbo-charged engine paired with an all-wheel drive hybrid system, assisted by a single electric motor.

Speculation is that the first Subaru production car to receive a hybrid drivetrain will be the new Forester, that goes on sale in the U.S. this spring. But it is reasonable to expect that the system will also be offered in the Impreza at some point as well. The BRZ sports car, developed with Toyota, is also a candidate for a hybrid version.

Last year, Subaru sold a record 336,441 vehicles in the United States. It was the fourth year in a row that Subaru posted record sales, and the company has now doubled its U.S. market share over the past five years--from 1.2% in 2007 to 2.3% at the end of last year.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]

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