With gas pricing rising, what is happening with Subaru's hybrid tech? A new report says the Japanese automaker is working on improved and more fuel-efficient Hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology that's coming soon. Subaru only offers the Crosstrek plug-in Hybrid for its U.S. customers, but why not Forester, Outback, and Ascent SUVs?
One of Forester's significant shortcomings is it competes in the competitive compact SUV segment with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Hyundai Tucson. Those models offer a more fuel-efficient hybrid option, and the Forester does not. The 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent currently offer only gas-only Boxer engines and no hybrid trim levels for U.S. customers.
When Drive asked Subaru Australia boss Blair Read about Subaru Corporation's Forester and Crosstrek e-Boxer technology (also sold in Japan and Europe) being inferior to the competition, He said, "eBoxer Hybrid for us was a preliminary step to the technology. We've had; I would say, reasonable success. "We've seen some good uptake from existing customers moving over (to hybrid models), and it's been the first transition into a hybrid for them."
Blair says Subaru Corporation is aware they need to improve their hybrid technology and make it more fuel-efficient. "Would we love to see that technology become more fuel-efficient and provide better performance and efficiency to customers? Absolutely. That is in the pipeline and something we're working towards."
Subaru Corporation announced plans for a new EV plant
Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura announced in May that they will add a dedicated in-house EV assembly plant in Japan by 2027. Subaru says they will invest $2.05 billion in new hybrid and electric vehicle initiatives over the next five years.
Read says, "There are plans to increase the (number of hybrid cars produced) and also the improvements in the product itself. We're working with Subaru Corporation on it, and we see a good opportunity to develop the hybrid offering and provide advancements in that technology for customers."
Customers can expect next-generation Forester, Outback, and Ascent hybrid SUVs in the next three years. By 2025, Subaru will begin introducing its next-generation hybrid models based on gasoline-electric powertrains provided by Toyota, similar to the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Stay tuned.
"You will see evolution in these vehicles as we move into future model years, and improvements in the offering, and gains in the technology as it develops," says Read.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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