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Subaru Hybrid XV and Forester range shot beach 1-2

Subaru: no measuring stick for combining petrol-electric power

on May 29 2020 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

Pretty much every maker of fuel-saving hybrid vehicles combines, on paper at least, the power and torque of both the petrol engine and electric motor for overall output.

Even Ferrari does. Its hybrid hypercar LaFerrari, it says, generates 708kW – 588kW from its V12 petrol engine and 120kW from an electric motor.

Toyota does too. Its premium hybrid Prius delivers 90kW – 72kW from its 1.8-litre engine and 35kW from an electric motor.

How it arrives at 90kW, when the combined output on paper is 107kW, has to do with the Prius drivetrain being a parallel hybrid, or two hybrids in one, sort of, and the way Toyota does its maths.

But Subaru is alone among the many hybrid carmakers that double up on petrol and electric outputs. Why? Because it says there isn’t a standardised way of measuring the combined output of a hybrid powertrain.

It’s right too. In theory, the output from both sources of power can be combined. The beefed-up power/torque numbers look good on paper. But in practice there’s never a time when both are locked  together to produce peak output.

Hybrid XV front beach

That’s why Subaru says the hybrid set-up in both its e-boxer Forester and XV delivers 110kW/196Nm. End of story. Nothing to see here, move along.

That’s the output of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine alone. The electric motor delivers a peak 12.3kW/66Nm – in theory a combined total of 122.3kW/262Nm. But not in Subaru’s world, because, again, there’s no such thing as a petrol-electric measuring stick.

With that out of the way, Subaru’s dealers will have e-boxer Forester and XV demonstrators on hand from June 1. The first full shipment of 20 will land in September/October.

Both models run the 2.0-litre engine linked via an electric motor mounted on the CVT transmission to a lithium-ion battery pack. Subaru claims town-and-around fuel savings of 7 per cent for the XV and 9 per cent for the Forester.

Forester Sport e-boxer hybrid is priced from $47,490 through to the Forester Premium e-boxer hybrid at $54,990. The XV Sport e-boxer hybrid is priced at $42,490. Payments start at $99 a week.

Subaru NZ managing director Wallis Dumper says it’s more relevant than ever to have a hybrid in the model line-up. “When local tourism is reborn, these e-boxer hybrids come with the added benefit of being made for our environment, both from a capability perspective and treading a little lighter on it too.”


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