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Subaru shows VIZIV-2 diesel plug-in hybrid concept; independent rear-motor driven Symmetrical AWD

VIZIV-2. Click to enlarge.

Subaru returned to the Geneva Motor Show with the VIZIV-2 plug-in hybrid concept. The automaker unveiled the first version of the VIZIV concept at the 2013 Geneva show (earlier post), followed by the VIZIV Evolution Concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

The plug-in hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter diesel Horizontally-Opposed direct injection turbo (DIT) Boxer engine; high-torque-compatible Lineartronic (CVT) automatic transmission; one front electric motor; and two rear electric motors with vectoring. Subaru’s new independent rear motor-driven Symmetrical AWD system developed for VIZIV-2 points to a future generation of Subaru AWD technology.

While the diesel engine and front electric motor power the front wheels, at the rear two independent motors allow the same or different levels of torque to be applied to the left and right rear wheels, depending on driving conditions. The third motor powers the front wheels, with power provided by a lithium-ion battery pack.

The components for the hybrid system such as a high voltage battery are installed while maintaining the Subaru’s unique Symmetrical AWD (All-Wheel drive) layout. The layout delivers enhanced driveability based on its low center of gravity and superior weight balance.

Drivetrain components. Click to enlarge.

Besides helping acceleration and performance in all conditions, this AWD system employs torque vectoring to improve stability and agility—minimizing understeer by reducing power to the inside wheel and increasing power to the outside wheel.

This system automatically selects the best time to use each power unit according to its strengths and the driving conditions, achieving greater fuel efficiency and maximum stability and safety. The generous torque generated by the diesel engine and the electric motors ensures strong, linear acceleration and responsive performance.

During low-speed or city driving, the front and rear motors supply much of the vehicle’s propulsion, while the diesel engine and high-efficiency Lineartronic take over at higher speeds. The VIZIV-2’s auto start/stop system and its multiple charging methods—engine power generation, regenerative braking and plug-in charging—further improve efficiency.

VIZIV-2 features a new variation of Subaru’s SI-DRIVE driving control system, Hybrid SI-DRIVE, which allows the driver to select different profiles for the engine and transmission.

To the original system’s ‘Intelligent’ and ‘Sports’ modes, this adds an ‘Eco-Cruise’ mode which works in conjunction with the EyeSight driver assist system. Travel conditions, monitored by the EyeSight’s stereo camera, are continuously assessed and the data is used to fine-tune the engine and motor outputs in order to reduce fuel consumption and minimize emissions.

The VIZIV 2 Concept features a next-generation EyeSight system with stereo cameras that can detect emerging traffic conditions. The system combines with 360-degree sensing for autonomous driving.



Could have ben an excellent soluion for the cold, snowy, icy winter we are having?


I like the electric rear wheel configuration for achieving AWD eliminating much of the drive train. However, I believe AWD should be a selectable driving mode. Powering 4 wheels all the time is an inefficient use of energy. Also, may improve efficiency to downsize the diesel and use it as a genset only electrifying all 4 wheels.


Powering 4 wheels all the time is an inefficient use of energy.
Basis for this statement ?


This is a nice design, I have been looking for a diesel hybrid now 15 years after the PNGV cars. I would use a motor per wheel mounted in board with true AWD vectoring, other than that I like it!


It is my understanding that the tires are more efficient when they are all driven. Otherwise, 1-2 tires are driven with more power, which is less efficient per tire and the other 2-3 tires are just dragged along which consumes energy. As far as the drive train your statement maybe correct, because a 4 wheel drive train weighs more and has more rotational drag. However, an electric drive train may be more efficient and certainly allows for better traction control etc with less weight and space consumption, especially if it is already a hybrid.

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