While plug-in electric vehicles tend to get most of the “greentech” attention during auto shows, hybrid systems are making a comeback in importance, especially for fleets. Subaru of America has entered that market and unveiled the brand’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the New York International Auto Show. Based on the popular XV Crosstrek crossover introduced for 2013, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid model will be arriving in Subaru dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2013. When the XV Crosstrek Hybrid goes on sale it will be the most fuel-efficient and lowest-emissions AWD hybrid crossover in America, according to Subaru. The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid builds upon the utility and versatility of the gas model, while also offering enhanced handling responses and quieter driving performance.
Not long after the New York Auto Show, Subaru of America was able to report other “firsts,” such as 36,701 vehicle sales for March 2013 – the best-ever sales month for the company and a 13% increase over March 2012. Year-to-date sales for Subaru total 92,527 – a 15% increase over the same period in 2012 and represent the best first quarter in company history. These results build on strong sales from 2012 where Subaru achieved five consecutive years of sales increases and exceeded 300,000 annual sales in 2012 – a first in company history.
As for the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid, it offers all the capability and versatility of the gasoline XV Crosstrek. The added benefits of a hybrid powertrain, including higher fuel efficiency, broaden the vehicle’s appeal. Key to this approach is that the XV Crosstrek Hybrid shares the gasoline model’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and chassis capability. For example, the 8.7 inches of ground clearance is the same as for the gas model and is higher than for some dedicated SUVs, while providing a low step-in height.
With the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, Subaru re-engineered the chassis to handle the added weight of the battery system, improving handling, steering and ride. In addition to chassis changes, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid added extra sound insulation, a start/stop feature, revised HVAC, new gauge cluster, keyless start, and numerous other changes