2014 Subaru Forester new hybrid
Denis Flierl's picture

2014 Subaru Forester could get new hybrid powertrain

Subaru is counting on two new vehicles this year to fuel sales growth, an all-new 2014 Subaru Forester and a new hybrid that could be coming in the new Forester.

Subaru will launch the all-new 2014 Forester around the globe this year but has been tight-lipped about their new upcoming hybrid model. We do know that Subaru will launch the new hybrid sometime this year and is expecting it to be a big part of their growth both here in the U.S. and around the globe. In their 2012 sales announcement today, Subaru executive vice president and COO, said, “It was a great year for Subaru of America. The popular XV Crosstrek, all-new 2014 Forester and an upcoming hybrid will fuel our growth in this new year.”

We have known that Subaru has been working on a new hybrid model for some time now, but it’s been unclear which model would be fitted with the new hybrid powertrain. There has been speculation that it could be the Legacy mid-size sedan or possible the newly designed Impreza that is already the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive in their lineup at 36 mpg. The new Impreza has been wildly popular here in the U.S. and has led the charge for Subaru’s record sales in 2012.

The new 2014 Forester is likely to get hybrid powertrain

The all-new 2014 Subaru Forester is already exceeding sales goals and in it’s first month more than quadrupled Subaru’s monthly target. Orders for the all-new crossover have reached 8,149 units as of December 16 in just one month after its launch on November 13. This breaks the monthly sales target of 2,000 units by more than fourfold.

The new 2014 Forester is built on the Impreza platform and would be a likely vehicle to receive the new Subaru hybrid powertrain. We do know that Subaru is designing the new hybrid technology in-house and will not be getting the system from another company like Toyota. Subaru has been working on developing their own gas-electric system and it shows their plans for the future will include the new technology. Subaru has plans to boost fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 30 percent by 2015 and new hybrid powertrain and fuel-thrifty continuously variable transmissions (CVT) will move them in that direction.

Hybrid technology will be major part of Subaru’s future

It looks like Subaru is planning to aggressively market their new hybrid vehicle in the future as opposed to just having a token hybrid in their lineup to help them create a “green” image or meet regulatory requirements. The Advanced Tourer Concept that revealed at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Salon gave an idea of what Subaru was planning for their new production hybrid vehicle. That concept car featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor providing 13 horsepower of assist. Power for the motor was provided by a small lithium ion battery pack.

It’s speculation that the new Subaru hybrid will be coming in the 2014 Forester, but we do know Subaru will be launching the new hybrid sometime in 2013. To many devoted Subaru loyalists who have been calling for a hybrid option for years, it's good news.

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Glad Subaru is finally moving into newer technology to get their fuel economy ratings where they should have been a long time ago. I'm seriously considering a new Forester now that they are talking about a CVT and highway ratings in the 32mpg range, but would like them to include manual paddle shifters for ALL models of the Forester, not just the most expensive ones. Paddle shifters are already standard on ALL other CVT equipped models in the Subaru lineup, seems dumb to limit the lower cost Foresters to just a low gear option. Are you listening Subaru?
The Forester is the only crossover available with a Manual Transmission and a non-black interior - well, at least amongst those I'd consider. I really doubt that the hybrid will be available with the M/T, so it's of no relevance to me. I wish, oh how I wish that they'd sell the higher end models with M/T!!! My 2003 is ready for replacement, and now they've replaced that god-awful dashboard, the purse strings are loosening!
I believe all 2013 vehicles for Subaru have been released, maybe instead it'll be a late 2013 release or a 2014 vehicle? Who knows. Disappointed that Subaru hasn't actually demonstrated or showed any hybrid vehicles at the recent auto shows. I hope it won't be a mild hybrid with a regular OTTO cycle boxer engine with a little electric motor inline between the engine and transmission. That would only benefit city MPG. A full parallel+series hybrid would be better with Atkinson valve behavior. A lot of times I think patents get in the way of innovation instead of engineering and development costs and that is why it takes so long for some manufactures to get into the full hybrid game. I'm talking to you Honda as well! The 2013 Accord is their first Atkinson cycle engine yet Toyota has had them for about 12 years now. Honda is supposedly making Earth Dreams engines that can function as both OTTO or Atkinson cycle depending on engine load and other factors so you can get the power of a regular engine on a hybrid and closer to the efficiency of a hybrid with a nonhybrid
Finally! A hybrid Forester. I have been ready to buy a practical hybrid with decent visibility for years. Have had my eye on the Forester for years, but was put off by the poor mileage. Tell me more!
The world demands too much of a company that isn't like the others in the slightest way. Subarus are known for AWD.... As that is their niche. Give them grace and time as it is no easy feat to pair hybrid technology with AWD..... Your expectations are unrealistic!!!!
AWD shouldn't prevent a hybrid drivetrain. All that's needed is an electric motor in between the transmission and the engine and a some gearing magic to make it work, and a battery and electronics control it. AWD happens after the engine and transmission interface. Cadillac has had a 4WD(probably less sophisticated than Subaru AWD) Escalade hybrid for years.
Audi doesn't seem to have any problems delivering hybrid and AWD technology, but Subaru has always been 1 or 2 generations behind in the technology department for the sake of reliability. As other posters have mentioned, the drivetrain configuration should have no bearing on whether or not a vehicle is hybrid or conventional ICE, or even fully electric, as everything from the output shaft of the engine or motor remains fairly identical.