Will Consumers Be Ready For Subaru's New Ascent 3-Row SUV With Hybrid Power
The all-new Subaru Ascent 7-passenger Crossover is coming soon, it will be built in the U.S., and it could get hybrid power. It’s all part of Subaru Corporation’s plan with their Subaru Global Platform that all new-generation Subaru vehicles will ride on.
Subaru says the new global platform will allow a single concept design for development of all models, adaptable to Plug-in-hybrids and even electrification in the future. All Subaru vehicles will be able to be designed with gasoline boxer engines, hybrid powertrains, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and other types of alternative power units for which demand will increase further.
The 2018 Crosstrek crossover will be the first Subaru to get hybrid power and it could come as soon as late 2017. The new Ascent 3-Row family-sized SUV that will be sold in the U.S. and built at the newly-expanded plant in Indiana, will replace the outgoing Tribeca and will fit well into Subaru’s all-wheel-drive recreation-purposed lineup. It will likely be powered by a new plug-in hybrid powertrain after it’s initial launch in North America.
Will consumers buy an Ascent Hybrid?
Crosstrek hybrid sales weren't that good when it was available. At a $4800 premium over the gas model, most buyers weren’t willing to pay the extra dollars for the 3 mpg increase in fuel mileage with the Crosstrek hybrid. With gasoline prices hovering around $2.50-$3.00 a gallon, compact crossover buyers weren't going to shell out nearly $5000 extra over the standard Crosstrek. It’s hard to convince buyers to spend the extra money, when the standard Crosstrek got 30/34 city/highway mpg. If gas prices shoot up, hybrid sales will increase.
Subaru Corporation is developing new hybrid drivetrains as a favored way to meet increasingly stringent emission standards. Yoshinaga said last year, “Subaru is working to comply with California's zero-emission vehicle standards taking effect in 2018.” They will need to bring more hybrid models to the U.S. market and the new-generation Crosstrek will be the first to get it.
Look for Subaru to introduce the new 2018 Crosstrek plug-in hybrid for North America later this year. It’s been reported, the new Subaru PHEV will be based on Toyota’s hybrid technology. After this, the new global platform will allow all their vehicles to be fitted with hybrid powertrains, plug-in hybrids, electric units, and other types of alternative power units. The all-new Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV could be next. Will consumers buy it? Stay tuned.
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Photo credit: Subaru