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Subaru debuts hybrid XV and Forester SUV duo

March launch pencilled in for Subaru’s Australian hybrid debut with XV and Forester

18 Dec 2019

SUBARU Australia has confirmed its first hybrids to be sold in local showrooms – variants of the XV small crossover and Forester medium SUV – will arrive in March next year, promising much-improved fuel-efficiency.


Just one version of the XV Hybrid will be offered Down Under – the XV Hybrid AWD – priced $2050 higher than the current top spec XV 2.0i-S AWD at $38,580 plus on-road costs, while there will be two versions of the Forester Hybrid.


Priced from $39,990 plus on-roads, the Forester Hybrid L AWD kicks things off while customers will need to lay down an extra $6000 for the higher-spec Hybrid S AWD ($45,990).


Subaru claims the XV Hybrid will offer a 14 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the equivalent petrol model on the urban cycle and a 7.0 per cent improvement on the combined cycle, while the Forester Hybrid will offer improvements of 19 per cent and 9.0 per cent respectively (compared to 2.5-litre petrol variants).


All three variants share the same 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder boxer engine producing 110kW of power and 196Nm of torque, paired with a 12kW/66Nm electric motor drawing energy from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. Combined power figures are yet to be announced.


Drive, as in all Subarus except the rear-drive BRZ coupe, is sent to all four wheels via the Japanese brand’s continuously variable automatic transmission.


Three driving modes are available, comprising Motor Assist EV, Motor Assist electric plus petrol engine and petrol engine only, with the “e-Boxer” system swapping between configurations depending on driving conditions.


Below 40km/h, propulsion is purely provided by the electric motor. The petrol engine steps in above this, before taking over completely at higher speeds.


According to Subaru Australia managing director Colin Christie, the new technology is underpinned by the brand’s “customer must-haves of fun, safety, reliability and great engineering”.


“While we initially see both our e-Boxer mild hybrid system models as niche options in our range, we've already got significant interest from fleet customers and also Subaru fans who have long indicated pent-up demand for new technology engine options,” he said.


Apart from the obvious increases in fuel efficiency, Subaru says the Motor Assist setup also improves the XV and Forester’s X-Mode off-road capability through better low speed torque control.


On the safety front, the XV and Forester Hybrids gain a pedestrian alert system that Subaru says “emits a sound, to alert people in close proximity” when travelling at up to 24km/h in both forward and reverse gears.


Additional Hybrid-only features include an energy flow display on the dash, Blue illumination instrument cluster and a new Lagoon Blue Pearl colour option for the XV Hybrid.


The hybrid variants will also come as standard with Subaru’s full safety suite, headlined by its EyeSight driver assist and Vision assist systems.


While they are yet to be officially crash tested, Subaru is confident the new XV and Forester Hybrids will continue the brand’s run of five-star safety ratings for occupant safety.


Both will come with Subaru’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty plus an eight-year, 160,000km warranty on the lithium-ion battery.


2020 Subaru XV Hybrid and Forester Hybrid pricing*

XV Hybrid AWD (a) $35,580
Forester Hybrid-L AWD (a) $39,990
Forester Hybrid-S AWD (a) $45,990

*Excludes on-road costs


Model release date: 1 March 2020

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