2020 Subaru XV and Forester S HybridsSubaru has launched fuel-saving, emission-reducing petrol-electric hybrids to its two biggest selling models – the XV and Forester. One XV Hybrid AWD variant is offered and two Foresters: Hybrid L AWD and Hybrid S AWD.

Subaru XV Hybrid offers over 14 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over equivalent petrol variants in the urban cycle and over seven per cent improvement in the combined cycle.

Forester offers improvement of over 19 per cent in the urban cycle and over nine per cent in the combined cycle. This numbers are compared to 2.5-litre petrol variants.

Both hybrid models feature what Subaru terms e-Boxer power. A 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine linked via Motor Assist to a high voltage lithium ion battery.

The four cylinder 2.0 litre engine produces 110 kilowatts of power at 6,000 rpm and 196 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The electric motor produces 12.3 kW of power and 66 Nm of torque, and is self-charging, via kinetic energy captured by regenerative braking and coasting.

Subaru XV Hybrid

Subaru XV Hybrid

The e-Boxer logic adjusts the power split between petrol and electric to match driving conditions. It automatically changes between three modes: Motor Assist EV driving; Motor Assist electric (EV) + petrol engine driving and Petrol engine driving.

From standstill or at low speed, the vehicle is powered by the electric motor only, for quiet, zero-emission driving.

Depending upon driving environment, vehicle and battery condition, it can operate in fully electric mode up to 40 km/h.

When driving in fully electric mode (both forward and reverse), the Pedestrian Alert system emits a sound when the vehicle speed is 24 km/h or less.

At high speed, the petrol engine exclusively powers the vehicle, while regenerative braking or coasting with foot off the accelerator, recharges the lithium ion battery.

Subaru Forester Hybrid S

Subaru Forester Hybrid S

Under certain driving conditions above 40 km/h, when decelerating or coasting and the battery is charging, the petrol engine can turn off, achieving fuel saving. As soon as the accelerator is pressed, the engine will re-start.

A cooling system draws air from the cabin to help maintain the battery at operating temperature and to help ensure better longevity.

Subaru Australia chief, Colin Christie, said: “Forester and XV are long-established sales successes in our range and we know there is pent-up demand for hybrid variants among one of the most loyal customer bases in the industry.

“We’re already achieving significant fleet successes with our hybrid variants, in an area where our engineering, safety and whole-of-life costs make a compelling story.”

Advance orders for the pair of -Boxer Subarus have far exceeded expectations so none were available for even the shorter of test by journalists at the press event. As soon as things settle down we will borrow an XV and a Forester and put each through our normal week’s test drive program. Stay tuned.

XV Hybrid: $35,580
Forester Hybrid L:$39,990
Forester Hybrid S: $45,990
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Subaru dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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