The new WRX wasn’t the only news from Subaru at this year’s 2013 New York Auto Show. Subaru also took the opportunity to unveil its first production hybrid powertrain. The first vehicle to get it? The already popular XV Crosstrek. Introduced as a 2014 model, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is aiming to be the most fuel-efficient and lowest emission AWD hybrid crossover in America. (Exact ratings are not yet available.)
To accommodate the added weight of the battery system (which reduces cargo space by a little more than 1.5 cubic feet) the chassis was re-engineered. This new model also features additional sound insulation, a start/stop feature, revised HVAC, a new gauge cluster and a keyless start system.
The heart of the new Hybrid is a 13.4-hp electric motor integrated into Subaru’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A 100v, 13.5kw nickel-metal hydride battery is located under the floor and the engine uses an integrated electric generator for instant start and stop functions. The compact hybrid system weighs 209-lbs, but with all changes in this model put together the XV Crosstrek Hybrid tips the scales at roughly 300-lbs. more than the standard gasoline system.
Under light acceleration the electric motor kicks in for initial power, then the 2.0-liter FB-series boxer engine takes over as the car gets underway. The two powerplants can also work in tandem to increase total power output when necessary. Under certain low-speed situations the XV Crosstrek Hybrid can also function in a full EV mode. An active shutter system on the front of the vehicle engages at high speeds to improve aerodynamics.
Subaru stresses that this new hybrid system is Subaru designed and developed (ergo, not a bolt-on Toyota system.)
You will be able to identify this new hybrid edition of the Crosstrek thanks to “HYBRID” badges, unique wheels, and some minor exterior enhancements. Oh, and the green color. Though it’s also available in other, more traditional Subaru colors, the signature Hybrid color will be Plasa Green Pearl. Pricing starts at $25,995.
*Updated October 1, 2013 with pricing.