It’s taken a long time coming, but Geneva will be Subaru’s most environmentally-friendly Motor Show ever.
Two electric cars will be on display. Perhaps the most significant will be the five-seater G4e Concept. Green-Car-Guide.com receives continual requests for information about electric cars that can fit more than just two adults, so the G4e with its advanced, lightweight lithium-ion high-performance batteries stored under the floor and a 200 kilometre range will be well received if Subaru puts it into production in the near future.
However there is another electric Subaru that may be available sooner, the R1e electric city commuter that has already undergone trials in London. This car can be fully charged in eight hours from a standard domestic current with 80 per cent recharge in 15 minutes. Test vehicles are now running in a district of Tokyo.
In addition to their electric cars, Subaru will also be displaying the new Legacy and Outback with the world’s first diesel boxer engines with their amazing economy figures.
The Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0TD R manages 49.6mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 151g/km. These are ground-breaking figures, but it’s still surprising that Subaru didn’t make the extra effort to shave the emissions down by just a further 1g/km to drop a VED band and benefit from road tax of £115 rather than £140, and at the same time crack the 50mpg combined figure. We’re not suggesting that Subaru should go as far as adopting low rolling resistance tyres with their associated reduced levels of grip, but a stop-start system would be likely to result in a saving of at least 1g/km.
The Outback 2.0TD R – a crossover with increased ride height – manages 48.7mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 153g/km. This makes the Outback 2.0TD the most economical off-roader – by a long margin – a whopping 5mpg better than the best rivals, the BMW X3 2.0d, Honda CR-V and Jeep Compass, none of which can stretch more than 43.5 combined miles out of a gallon of diesel. And don’t think that the Outback can’t match such rivals off-road – although it’s a long car, it has 200mm of ground clearance, and the AWD system is extremely effective; and with their rallying pedigree, Subarus are one of the best 4x4s to drive on the road.
But not only does the Subaru stand at Geneva feature electric cars and large 4WD estates capable of almost 50mpg, there is also the European debut of the completely new Forester. This too will be available in the UK with Subaru’s new efficient diesel engine, but not until the autumn – the petrol version will be here first in April. The new Forester is still based on the platform of the Impreza, but this third generation model is bigger all round than the previous version. It will be interesting to see what the economy figures of the diesel Forester are confirmed as.