Subaru is preparing to launch its first every hybrid model in 2013 with an on sale date the next year. Set to be an electrified version of the Legacy sedan at the car’s unveiling, when it arrives in the U.S. the hybrid powertrain could be under the hood of a different vehicle. While the Legacy and Outback are still possible, as a way to improve the mpg rating on some of the automaker’s thirstier models, Subaru of America is also debating adapting the system for a smaller Forester compact crossover or Impreza model to deliver an ultra-efficient model that would sit as a fuel economy leader.
Surprisingly, despite Subaru’s relationship with Toyota (which has become much closer in recent years with the FT-86/BRZ sports car project), Subie won’t rely on the Japanese auto giant’s hybrid technology but is instead developing its own system. Rather than a full hybrid setup like the one Toyota, Ford or Hyundai use where the car can be powered by gas, electricity or a combination of both, the mid-hybrid system will be closer to that used by Honda and Porsche, without the ability to drive on pure electric power.
Previewed in the Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept (above) look for a lithium ion battery pack with an electric motor between the turbocharge 2.0-liter 4-cylidner engine and the CVT transmission.
GALLERY: Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept