At next month’s Tokyo Auto Show, Subaru will unveil what it calls the Hybrid Tourer Concept. The idea with this concept seems to be to explore a new area of the marketplace, somewhere between the Outback and Legacy, but with a serious focus on luxury and sport – like the GT/Sportback/Hatchback models being built by companies like BMW and Audi. Oh… and it also is a hybrid.
In true Subaru fashion, however, the hybrid system is designed to deliver not just performance, but all-wheel drive performance. The Hybrid Tourer Concept comes with a new direct-injection version of the company’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, but with an electric motor for both the front and the rear wheels.
At low speeds the more powerful rear electric motor moves the car, while under normal operating conditions the gasoline engine is used. The rear electric motor will kick in when added acceleration is needed, and when all-wheel drive grip is necessary, the front electric motor (normally used as a power generator for on-board electrical systems) will also work to deliver power.
The setup also allows for a flat floor inside the car because no driveshaft is required as the rear wheels are powered exclusively by electricity.
Energy for the batteries is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack and a start-stop system is also used to shut off the gasoline engine when idling.
GALLERY: Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept
Official release after the jump:
SUBARU HYBRID TOURER CONCEPT (Concept car)
1. Concept Subaru has condensed its DNA, developed over many years around the Subaru’s core technology of “Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)” and “Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine”, into the integration of a luxurious and high-quality cabin atmosphere and an eye-catching sculpted body. The concept car features Subaru’s latest evolutions in handling agility, riding comfort and superior safety performance. It proposes Subaru’s vision of a future grand touring car that excels in environmental friendliness thanks to Subaru’s unique hybrid system. 2. Design and packaging
(1) Exterior Subaru imagined wings with a feeling of freedom and confidence for driving far and wide in any environment. A luxurious and comfortable cabin, and advanced driving performance are contained within a sculpted aerodynamic form. The design features a combination of bright, open glass areas with a solid, reliable body.
(2) Interior The original point of the ideal grand touring car is its interior design, featuring four independent and comfortably positioned seats. Passengers are enclosed within an atmosphere that provides a surpassing feeling of openness and stress-free reassurance, through the further pursuit of a human-centered philosophy, the essence of Subaru car design, and the incorporation of functions that are friendly to passengers. The top of the dashboard is movable up and down to provide an optimal driving environment for the driver according to driving conditions. A flat floor in the rear seat was achieved even with the implementation of AWD, for improved use and movement inside the cabin. Specialized shielding is incorporated in the windshield to reduce eyestrain on the driver. New leather covering developed with superior breathability and a ventilation function is used in the seats for improved comfort and texture.
3. Mechanisms In addition to refinements to Subaru’s core technology such as Symmetrical AWD and Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine, further enhancements were made for improved environmental friendliness, driving performance and high safety performance by offering a next-generation power unit system and advanced safety technologies. (1) Next-generation power unit system 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline engine The Horizontally-Opposed turbo gasoline engine, with a reputation for powerful acceleration, is combined with a direct fuel-injection system for improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, and improved torque and response in practical range. This evolution in Subaru turbo technology excels in both environmental friendliness and engine performance.
Lineartronic (CVT) Lineartronic, Subaru’s new generation automatic transmission, achieves further improvements in both fuel efficiency and driving performance by reinforcing parts for use with the high-power output of a turbo engine.
Hybrid system To further enhance the appeal of the Symmetrical AWD system, this unique hybrid two-motor system features a power/drive motor in the front and a drive motor in the rear.
- At start-up and extremely low speeds when fuel efficiency is low, such as when driving the car into a garage, the rear motor is used primarily to allow driving without utilizing the power of the engine.
- During normal driving, the front engine is primarily used. The direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline mated with the Symmetrical AWD offers a whole new, Subaru driving experience.
- During acceleration, the rear motor assists the driving power of the engine to achieve advanced driving performance.
- Further, when accelerating uphill, the front motor, which is normally used as a power generator, assists to drive the front axle for improved performance.
- The implementation of a non-idling function that stops the engine when the car comes to a halt reduces unnecessary fuel consumption.
- The use of a high-performance lithium battery is based on experience and know-how achieved with the Subaru Plug-in STELLA electric vehicle, launched this summer. This includes the use of a precise energy management system and regenerative brake controls, for improvements in excellent fuel efficiency.
<Major specifications> Length x Width x Height: 4,630 x 1,890 x 1,420mm Engine type: 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline engine Max output of Motor: 10kW (Front) / 20kW (Rear) Transmission type: Lineartronic Drive train: Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with 2 motors assist Battery type: Lithium-ion battery