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Subaru Hybrid Postponed to 2008; Turning to Toyota

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, will postpone its release of a hybrid car in 2006 due to cost issues in its current design.

Fuji Heavy had been developing a hybrid car using its own powertrain, although the possibility of a Toyota-Fuji Heavy hybrid alliance emerged earlier this year. (Earlier post.)

The earlier report suggested that under the potential partnership, Toyota would supply its hybrid drive system to Fuji Heavy in return for Fuji Heavy supplying Toyota with advanced lithium-ion batteries for use in hybrids.

Fuji Heavy makes only some 590,000 vehicles a year—too low a volume for it to cost-effectively develop its own hybrid technology, which is the path the company has been taking.

According to the latest report, Fuji Heavy has not managed to reduce the production cost of its own hybrid system to the point of being commercially viable, and so is giving up on rolling out the hybrid on the original schedule.

The automaker is now reportedly turning to Toyota’s hybrid technology, with a revised plan of debuting the Subaru hybrid in 2008.

GM is Fuji Heavy’s top shareholder, but the GM-DaimlerChrysler dual-mode hybrid technology under development apparently does not fit the application (or the timing) Fuji Heavy has in mind.


lesley morse

I am very, very disappointed to read that your hybrid will be 2008. I have 230,000 mi on my legacy and I don't think the car will last till 2008. Then i will have to wait a few more years till i can afford a used one. I would like my next car to be a hybrid and it looks like i will have to look at other brands. thanks


I am extremely disappointed also. I cannot in good conscience buy a gas powered vehicle, and will have to buy a station wagon within the next year. Subaru was at the top of my list, but now you are off my list. I am sorry to say you have lost a customer.


After discussing the reliable, safe, environmentally concious, spacious, and cost effective Subaru Outback with a number of owners, I have been investigating the likelihood of a hybrid Outback. Given march 2006 press releases of the FHI / Toyota relationship, I am intrigued by the potential for a unique hybrid (non-suv) wagon Outback. Subaru has the potential to both strengthen its loyal following, in addition to welcoming new individuals into its ownership pool with their interest in a rugged family/outdoor hybrid vehicle who are uninterested in purchasing the currently available SUVs on the market. With the runaway success of the Toyota Prius and simultaneous decrease in fuel guzzling SUVs, an efficient Toyota HSD based Subaru Outback would be on my short list. Considering my last Acura lasted over 9 years (only retired due to a serious road accident which totalled the vehicle) and our current Honda/Acuras are slated to last many more years. I can only hope a hybrid Subaru Outback will be availabile soon to begin the necessary years of refinement and optimization (as occurs in any product that evolves into excellence). The union of the Toyota HSD in the Subaru Outback chassis should do well all around.


Something I noticed the other day while watching television. A Subaru commerical popped up that typical car disclaimer at the bottom of the screen. The first line was "Pricing not available on hybrids" (or something similar). That caught my attention. Why put /that/ in the disclaimer if hybrids are not forthcoming sometime in the relatively near future?


Maybe that hybrid will be 2009? Subaru is ending the Legacy Wagon and Outback Sedan. 2008 will just be the Legacy Sedan and Outback Wagon- no mention of any hybrid.


We are looking to replace our Dodge Durango, and the Subaru Outback is on the top of our list. If there were a hybrid version, I would probably go out and buy one TODAY. Come on Subaru, lets get the hybrids rolling!


I will be due for a new car in a few years. I love my Subaru Outback but really would a hybrid for my next vehicle. I hope Subaru gets on the move soon with a hybrid! Otherwise I will be looking at the Toyota Prius.


I also own an outback and noticed the comercial that indicated "pricing not applicable to hybrids" which immediately caught my interest. I went to the website and there's no mention of future hybrid technology being released. Hopefully this message means they are getting close. Via google I saw several articles regarding the subject dated back to spring 2005. Let's cross our fingers that a car that typically used by environmentally sound people will provide a more environmentally sounds alternative.

Mike Lowell

I have an Outback that I love. Anticipating a replacement purchase in a few years, I would like it to be another Outback. However, it's got to be either a Hybrid or a duel fuel (gas/ethanol) vehicle to bring me back. PLEASE Subaru, get moving on advanced sustainable technology.


I was looking into hybrid vehicles to trade in my subaru wrx for a subaru hybrid model within the next year or so....
sadly it looks like i won't be able to...

whats going on?

Dave Siegel

I have wanted to buy a Baja for years, but the poor fuel economy and lack of a 3rd seat belt in the back row put me off.

I know it is discontinued, but my dream car would be a hybrid baja that can seat 5.


Ya know...we need a Subaru Outback that is more efficient. The functionality is superb...except for the gas mileage. Note to Subaru: Please dont make me buy a Toyota Highlander (hybrid)...I really want a fule efficient Outback. Can you hook a brotha up er what?!

Andy Leung

I was just watching "Death of the Electric Vechicle" and wanted to look into buy a Subaru Hybrid. My Forester 99 LTD I have enjoyed driving to 100K and would like to drive it to 500K, but would give that up to save a few tonnes of CO2 emissions to help our future generations enjoy the Earth the way we know it. As a Subaru enthuias, I would be willing to pay $10K premium for a hybrid version of my Forester. Fuji Heavy industries, can you make me such a fine car, but a hybrid version? Thanks.


I am a current outback owner. It is 7 years old and has 140000 miles and has been a great vehicle. I am disappointed that the hybrid will take so long. May end up having to get something else.

William Champion

In the next 2 years I will be purchasing a new car. That car will be a Subaru if a fuel efficient model is available. I have owned a string of 3 Subarus and would like to continue but you have increased engine sizes and made no attempt to make a green product. The time is here and now to be a leader in the green revolution. Make an all wheel hybrid or other type of fuel efficient Subaru and I will continue buying your cars. But do it soon - the clock is ticking...

Kathey Morgan

I have owned a Subaru Forester, 2001, for almost years and love the vehicle. I was sold on the Subaru line but am very disappointed that the company lags so far behind in the development of hybrid vehicles. As much as I love this car, my next one in a few years will be a hybrid.

Bradley Rymph

We also own a Subaru Forester 2001, and have loved it. When we purchased a new car for our 2nd vehicle in 2004, we would have bought a non-SUV Subaru if a hybrid had been available. Instead, we bought a Toyota Prius, and it is wonderful. Within the next two years, we would like to replace the Forester with a fuel-efficient, hybrid SUV. If Subaru has a hybrid Forester out by then, it will probably be our first choice. If not, Toyota Highlander, here we come!

Paolo Sanguankeo

Yeah, hybrid subaru outback sounds great. I've got a 90' legacy that's gonna loose it pretty soon. I'll certainly get my hand on the hybrid one asap. Please make it come out before my legacy kick the bucket!!

Mike Charbonneau

Well, in case anyone at FHI actually reads this, we too own a Forester and love it; it's our 2nd Forester. My wife and I have planned to switching to an Outback in the next 2 to 3 years, but, only if it's a hybrid. The Canadian government announced tax rebates on hybrid vehicles yesterday so that just helps solidify our resolve to switch.

Fabienne Michot

I have had Subaru's for the past 18 years and enjoyed every single one of them : a Justy, Loyale, Legacy and two Foresters. Can you tell I like Subarus? But now the time has come to take action and get a Subaru, get the message?


Add me to the long list of extremely disappointed. I emailed Subaru recently about this. Big surpise- no reply. They were so far ahead of the curve on the AWD but really are blowing the alternative fuels. What a shame. You would think they were an American carmaker with their inability to put out more fuel efficient vehicles. They are blowing it here Subaru is losing this customer if they don't release something soon.

Paul Bikoff

Kudos big time to all above! - i've owned 8 subarus - a blue legacy wagon, a green outback, a white legacy sedan, a blue impreza hatchback, a blue legacy sedan, a white SVX(my favorite in days of old), a black RS, and currently a Forester- last nite 60 minutes focused on the VERY rapid melting of the Patagonia glacier in The antarctic -there was a 1000 foot bay which just 3 years ago was part of the glacier- 60% of the black chin penquin pups are dieing from lack of food - instead of 300 horsepower hybrid rockets, give us something Subaru that will save Mother Earth's critters for us and our grandchildren - AND QUICK!!!!


My 2002 Prius is up to 135,000 miles, and at 200,000 miles I will seriously think about replacing it with the Subaru hybrid (hopefully in about 2 years). Our family has the Prius and a Forester and have had another outback in the past. We are extremely excited about this upcoming car. I hope there are no more delays.


My Outback is almost ten years old and will need to be replaced within the coming year. I sincerely hope that you produce a hybrid version of the Outback in the near future. Hybrid's most definitely the way we are going with the next purchase and we need a wagon for our large dogs!


99 outback driver, but i too am interested in moving on to a hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicle. i have waited for subaru to develop and release such a vehicle (hopefully and outback or tribeca design due to large dog and child seat), but nothing has come and i was ready to replace my outback 2 years ago.

this is making me look to the toyota highlander suv (gasp!) hybrid. i do not want an suv, but the prius doesn't offer the room for my needs. this is disappointing to say the least.

i really thought that when i bought my outback all those years ago that i was buying into a corporation with vision. we will see if big oil dependence and lack of innovation, initiative, and inventiveness will ruin that image.

i would support a hybrid or alternative fuel efficient subaru outback version. i would buy it tomorrow (as someone else said previously), but it has to happen before too long.

at 8 years and almost 100,000 mi the countdown is on.

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