|Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Subaru of America, Inc. unveiled its first production hybrid vehicle, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Based on the XV Crosstrek crossover introduced for 2013, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid model arrives in Subaru dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer engine with a 13.4-hp electric motor integrated into the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A 100V, 13.5 kW nickel-metal hydride battery is located under a revised rear floor area, and the engine uses an integrated starter/generator for the automatic start/stop feature. EPA fuel economy ratings are 28 mpg/34 mpg/31 mpg (8.4, 6.9 and 7.6 l/100km) city/highway/combined.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 (136 kg) more than the gasoline engine XV Crosstrek.
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.