While Subaru has already announced it would deliver a hybrid model in 2012, it now looks as though the first Suby hybrid will be an Impreza and not a Legacy. According to a report by Road & Track, the Impreza is likely to get the hybrid treatment after it was decided the Legacy chassis isn’t well-suited for hybrid duty.
In Subaru’s latest hybrid concept, the Hybrid Tourer Concept, the hybrid setup works with a direct-injection 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine. The concept version uses lithium ion batteries and uses two electric motors (one for the front and one for the rear), to help deliver optimum all-wheel drive performance. The setup uses only the rear electric motor at low speeds, while under normal driving conditions, the gasoline engine is used. When more power is needed, the rear electric motor again kicks in. And finally, for optimum grip, the front motor will be engaged when needed – for example when accelerating up a hill.
There’s eve the possibility that Subaru will follow Mitsubishi in delivering a hybrid high-performance model. Several reports have already pointed to a hybrid EVO XI model and considering how closely Subaru and Mitsubishi compete in that particular segment, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a hybrid STI.
[Source: Road & Track]