Subaru of America, Inc. today announced (October 6, 2016) that it would discontinue sales of the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid for the 2017 model year. Unveiled at 2013 New York International Auto Show, the Crosstrek Hybrid was the brand’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid was based on the company’s highly successful Crosstrek model, and differentiated itself in the market as the first hybrid to incorporate Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and deliver excellent on and off-road performance.
“It is important to note that we are not leaving the hybrid market permanently,” said Jeff Walters, executive vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc. “We are currently working on a new hybrid vehicle, although it is too early to discuss specifics.”
Subaru has previously announced that it will utilize its new Subaru Global Platform as the basis for its next generation hybrid vehicle. The new Global Platform is designed to incorporate PHEV and full electric vehicles. The new chassis architecture increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent and crash energy absorption improved by 40 percent. The new Subaru Global Platform, together with the Boxer engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and EyeSight®, represent Subaru’s core technologies and constitute the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles.
In developing its first hybrid, Subaru chose one of its popular, go-anywhere crossover vehicle platforms. As a result, the Crosstrek Hybrid offers all the capability and versatility of the gasoline version. Key to this approach is that the 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.
In addition to optimizing the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine to reduce internal friction, Subaru applied a number of other efficiency-enhancing technologies to the Crosstrek Hybrid. An Auto Start-Stop system can shut down the gasoline engine when the vehicle is stopped. Brake regeneration works when the car is coasting or the driver has applied the brake, recapturing kinetic energy from the wheels to recharge the hybrid battery.
The Crosstrek Hybrid’s engine uses a slightly higher compression ratio (10.8:1) than in the standard gas model (10.5:1), along with reduced-friction piston rings and valve springs and a higher capacity exhaust gas regeneration (EGR) system with an EGR cooler. The main performance boost comes from the permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor, which produces 13.4 hp from 1,500-6,000 rpm. Total hybrid system output is 160 hp at 6,000 rpm vs. 148 hp at 6,200 rpm for the gas model. The starter and alternator functions are combined into one unit.
The drive motor also contributes 48 lb-ft of torque from 0-1,500 rpm. The result is total system torque of 163 lb-ft at just 2,000 rpm (compared to 145 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm for the gas model), adding a significant boost to low-speed driving performance. The electric drive motor is neatly integrated into the Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission). The CVT includes a manual mode with steering wheel paddle switches. A 100.8v, 13.5kW nickel-metal hydride battery, with 0.55kWh capacity, is located under a revised rear floor area, a location that contributes to handling agility.
Seamless Hybrid Operation
The Crosstrek Hybrid automatically adapts to driving needs, using only the electric drive motor, the gasoline engine or combining output of the two, depending on conditions and always prioritizing maximum efficiency. Initial acceleration is performed in EV mode with the driving force generated by electric drive motor only. The gasoline engine will then start depending on conditions, including pressure on accelerator pedal, state of battery charge, air conditioner use and other factors.
It is possible to drive the Crosstrek Hybrid in EV mode at speeds below 25 mph for a short distance. When accelerating, motor assist adds to engine power. Under certain conditions, such as steady-state driving and when driving uphill, the gasoline engine will operate alone when it is more efficient to do so.
When the vehicle is stopped, Auto Stop/Start stops the engine to help reduce fuel consumption. When the brake is released, the system transitions to a creep state using the electric drive motor. If the climate control is operating, Stop/Start may not operate and instead, the engine uses the electric motor to charge the battery.
The Crosstrek Hybrid employs regeneration when the accelerator is released during driving, and when braking. The motor then acts as a generator, using the wheels to charge the hybrid battery. For times when the vehicle is operating only in EV mode, an audible vehicle approach pedestrian warning system generates sound from a small speaker below the right headlight.
A high-grade color multi-function display is exclusive to the Crosstrek Hybrid and featured on both trims. The 4.3-in. LCD screen can show the hybrid system’s energy flow according to driving conditions.
Distinctive Appearance, Same Capability and Utility as Gas Model
In addition to different wheels, other exterior enhancements readily differentiate the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid from the gasoline model. The rear LED combination lights illuminate the surface uniformly for a high-tech look. Chrome exterior door handles add an upscale touch.
The Crosstrek Hybrid builds upon the utility and versatility of the gasoline version, while also offering enhanced handling responses. Significantly, the hybrid model uses the same Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as in the gasoline model, preserving its renowned all-weather performance. The system sends torque to the four wheels all the time and adjusts torque distribution in response to acceleration, cornering and road conditions.
Low-rolling resistance all-season tires are mounted on aluminum alloy-wheels with an aerodynamic design. In front, the Active Grille Shutter system closes the shutters to reduce wind resistance and enhance fuel economy during continuous highway-speed driving. Closing the shutters also helps warm the engine more quickly, reducing friction.
The air conditioning system uses a temperature and humidity sensor to optimize operation for reduced draw on engine power. Numerous enhancements that help to reduce noise include thicker floor sections, under-floor covers and additional sound insulation. Specially tuned suspension and quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering give the Crosstrek Hybrid greater agility than in other compact crossovers. Integrating the electric drive motor within the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system places it close to the vehicle’s center of gravity – which remains the same as in the gasoline model – enhancing handling agility.
Thanks to clever packaging of the hybrid system components in the Crosstrek Hybrid, Subaru maintained the same passenger cabin room as in the gasoline model (97 cu. ft.), while the Hybrid’s maximum cargo room (rear seatbacks down) measures 50.2 cu. ft., vs. 51.9 in the gas model. With the rear seatbacks in the raised position, the Crosstrek Hybrid offers 21.5 cu. ft. of cargo space vs. 22.3 cu. ft. for the gas model.
All other cargo area dimensions, including load floor length, remain the same for both models. Also, as a result of its floor configuration, the Crosstrek Hybrid is able to offer sub-floor storage for the jack and other items.
The cargo area is outfitted as standard with a cover that can be pulled into place or removed, along with a removable waterproof cargo tray, tie-down hooks and grocery bag hooks. Subaru dealers offer a number of accessories for the standard roof rails for carrying items such as bicycles and kayaks.
Renowned Subaru Value
The Crosstrek Hybrid’s instrument cluster, exclusive to this model, uses gradations of the blue color scheme to provide a sense of depth. The 2016 Crosstrek Hybrid includes all standard equipment from the Crosstrek 2.0i Premium gasoline model and adds an automatic climate control system, unique instrument cluster, high-grade multi-function display, body-color foldable side mirrors with integral turn signals, leather-wrapped steering wheel with orange stitching, chrome exterior door handles, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and PIN Code Access and more.
The Crosstrek Hybrid Touring adds the luxury of leather seating with orange stitching, a power moonroof and the STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Navigation system.
The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is built around the Subaru Ring-shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure, which has been proven in more than 15 years of use. The roof is strong enough to bear at least four times the vehicle’s own weight. Front-end structural details help to bolster safety for pedestrians.
The STARLINK 6.2” Multimedia system in the 2016 Crosstrek Hybrid integrates AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha™ Infotainment, Pandora® and STARLINK Cloud Applications; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming; iPod® control capability and iTunes® Tagging capability, a USB port and aux. input jack, and six speakers.
The STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Plus Navigation system that’s standard for the Hybrid Touring trims works through 7-inch touch screen display with multi-touch control that offers swipe and scrolling gesture control. This system offers all of the features of the 6.2” system plus navigation with voice-activated controls; SiriusXM® All Access Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link® and SiriusXM Traffic® (subscriptions required); a vehicle information display; SMS text messaging, iTunes® Tagging capability and dual USB ports. Expanding sources for information and music, this premium system adds new STARLINK Cloud Applications for 2016, including Calendar, Stitcher™, Music Player, News and Weather, which join iHeart® Radio that was already standard.
Subaru of America, Inc. offers a full line of All-Wheel Drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, along with the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car.
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