Japanese firm to showcase hybrid version of boxer engine as it gears up for electrified future
James Attwood, digital editor
11 February 2019

Subaru will launch two hybrid-engined models, powered by an electrified version of its boxer engine, at the Geneva motor show in March.

The two unspecified models, which will be branded as e-boxer machines, will be the firm’s first electrified cars in the European market. While Subaru has yet to reveal which cars they will be fitted to, they are likely to be machines in the current range. It unveiled a Forester Advance Sport Concept, which previewed an STi-tuned version of the SUV with an e-boxer powertrain, at the Tokyo Auto Salon recently.

Subaru’s Boxer longitudinally mounted flat four boxer engine features two rows of pistons mounted flat horizontally opposed to each other, giving the unit a lower centre of gravity. Subaru uses the arrangement because it believes it improves handling, with the opposing pistons reducing engine vibration.

It is not yet known which size of boxer engine Subaru will use for the e-boxer powertrain, or whether the system will be a pure hybrid or a plug-in. The firm’s website refers to the powertrain as ‘hybrid, the Subaru way.’

The firm has previously hinted that a future WRX STi could use a plug-in hybrid powertrain, because increasingly strict emissions regulations would rule out the use of the 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine in the most recent model.

While Subaru has not previously sold a hybrid in the UK, it does have experience of the powertrain. In 2013 it launched an XV Hybrid in Japan and the US. That machine mated a 2.0-litre boxer engine with 148bhp mated to a 14bhp electric motor. The firm also launched a plug-in Crosstrek Hybrid in the US last year.

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Comments
69

11 February 2019

As a Subaru fan and owner I'm pleased to see some signs of innovation at last. I hope they can pull off some form of electrification without making the cars too heavy or ruining the handling balance. Weight is almost always the unfortunate downside of any sort of hybrid drivetrain.

Certainly something needs to change, as although they make cars with many great qualities, the real world fuel ecoonmy is behind that of even petrol engined competitors, never mind hybrids and diesels. Lower fuel costs and some more exciting models in the range could do wonders for UK sales, but can they do it without losing the handling and the character? I hope so.

11 February 2019
JazzBlueHemi wrote:

Lower fuel costs and some more exciting models in the range could do wonders for UK sales, but can they do it without losing the handling and the character? I hope so.

Since Suburu have stopped building rally cars in the UK their sales have gone down dramatically.  Maybe this will be the rebirth of a true Suburu line up coming to the UK?

Their American engineered cars seem to provide so much more capabilities than those of the UK with their WRX STI S209 Limited Edition being named a 'wonder car.' Shame they don't bring some of these to the UK.


Whatever happens, don't get an electric.

11 February 2019

Has also lead to UK sales collapse. I recall reading some dealers were selling over 90% diesels..... 

12 February 2019

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