Subaru to Sell a Hybrid?

Subaru has had a stellar year for sales in the U.S., but if it is going to keep up with the competition, it will need more fuel efficient vehicles. "We need a hybrid system," Subaru CEO Ikuo Mori told Automotive News

"Looking at long-range emissions regulations, it's very difficult to achieve that target with the current gasoline engines. We need a hybrid system," said Mori. The Japanese company would surely need a new powertrain to meet the 2016 C.A.F.E. standards of 35.5 mpg.

Subaru will utilize a Toyota hybrid system to power its green vehicle. The two have teamed up on other projects including the FT-86 concept we will see at the 2009 Tokyo motor show.

Mori said that the company does not have a platform for the new vehicle and would need to design something new for the hybrid system. The green offering would be arriving early next decade. To remain true to Subaru loyalists, the company would need to retain its all-wheel drive system. This is being considered by Subaru engineers. "Our task is how to integrate green-car technology with distinctive Subaru performance," noted Mori. If this is any indication of what's to come, all-wheel drive is looking good.

Source: Automotive News

Subura needs to study the sales figures of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight very carefully before it rushes headlong into the development of a hybrid. They need to also study the sales of hybrids in Europe. In my opinion until battery technology makes a great stride forward people are wasting their money buying hybrids and all electric vehicles. My advice to Subaru is to continue developing their 1.4 to 2.0 liter diesel technology. An AWD Forester or Outback sold in the USA that would go 30-35 MPG would be a formidible competitor in that segment of the market.

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