Late is better than never in the Subaru handbook, or at least that’s the case when it comes to hybrid vehicles.
Toyota, the granddaddy of hybrid sales, has 13 years of experience selling the alternative fuel vehicles in the U.S. Only now is Subaru jumping into the game. With an expected average 33 mpg, the Japanese cute-ute is supposed to be as off-road capable as its traditionally-powered sibling, boasting 8.7 inches of ground clearance when equipped with all-season tires. It’s on the cusp of arriving in dealer showrooms, too.
Subaru dealers will be able to place special orders for the car starting on October 1 and the first models are expected to begin arriving about a month later, a Subaru dealer confirmed to AutoGuide.com.
The vehicle uses a version of the normal Crosstrek’s 2.0-liter boxer engine with a 13.5-kW nickel-metal hydride battery pack rather than lithium ion, which most automakers prefer these days. Subaru hasn’t announced total output for the system, but the engine makes 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque and the electric motor makes 13 hp and 48 extra lb-ft. It sits about 300 lbs heavier than the non-hybrid model, although that’s probably not a fair reflection of what the equipment weighs. Subaru said during the car’s New York Auto Show debut earlier this year that it re-engineered the chassis to account for extra weight – something it says also improves handling.
Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system comes as standard equipment as it does on all models save the BRZ sports coupe. Other standard features include heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and Bluetooth connectivity. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the price could easily reach $30,000 if Subaru restricts the drivetrain to higher trim models.
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