Hot on the heels of the disappointing news that the new Outback is no longer the UK’s most economical 4×4 in its sector, Subaru is revealing the world’s first ‘boxer’ hybrid car.
The horizontally-opposed powerplant will be mated to Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, and will be clothed in a body featuring gullwing-style doors – complete with a rear-end reminiscent of an Alfa Romeo Brera.
The design represents yet another direction for Subaru, hopefully one consistent style will be agreed upon soon.
The hybrid system uses Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed, direct-injection, turbocharged petrol ‘Boxer’ engine, allied to two electric motors – Subaru remains the only company to mate this engine layout to a hybrid drivetrain. The electric motors are powered by lithium-ion batteries – a 10kW item at the front and a 20kW unit at the rear.
In normal driving conditions the direct-injection petrol engine is used, but at lower speeds and start-up, the rear electric motor drives the car. The forward electric unit, which is mainly used as a power generator, kicks in to assist performance and efficiency while tackling inclines. Subaru’s in-house designed Lineartronic automatic transmission assists fuel efficiency and driving performance.
Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK, said: “The Hybrid Tourer Concept perfectly demonstrates our commitment to environmentally-friendly innovation. This vehicle shows that our engineers are capable of developing something which is both technically advanced and stylistically enthralling, hinting at our future design direction.”
The concept will receive its global debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, where the Subaru Plug-in STELLA Electric Vehicle will also be on display.