Subaru Announces Release Date For 2020 Hybrid SUV Lineup

December 28, 2019

Subaru Hybrid SUV Release Date Announced

On 12 December 2019, Subaru revealed it achieved significant success with its new Hybrid e-Boxer technology and officially announced its March 2020 launch into the hybrid market. In particular, significant demand and interest was shown for the Forester and XV Hybrid models with five hundred (500) sales to-fleet customers. Subaru Australia’s Managing Director, Colin Christie, said:

“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. “Of course all this new technology is underpinned by our customer must-haves: fun, safety, reliability and great engineering.

“And we’re confident that the wonderful retained value and whole-of-life cost benefits enjoyed by other new Subarus will also carry over to our hybrids.”

As with the entire Subaru new vehicle range, the hybrid models are anticipated to gain a five-star rating for occupant safety and will include a five year unlimited kilometre warranty, plus an eight-year 160,000 km lithium ion battery warranty.

2020 Subaru Hybrid Line-up

The innovative Forester and XV SUV’s feature identical petrol-electric engines and add a new choice to Subaru’s award winning range any improve on what many people thought couldn’t get any better.

Both hybrid models feature the new e-Boxer engine – a 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine linked via Motor Assist to a high voltage lithium ion battery, offering fuel economy benefits, particularly in congested city driving.

The new engine is paired to Subaru’s silky smooth and efficient Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) – a match made in heaven.

In this article, we examine the new offerings that will be available in March 2020 for anyone looking to buy a hybrid Subaru in Adelaide.

2020 Subaru XV e-Hybrid AWD Variant 

The new XV Hybrid boasts an impressive 14% overall improvement in fuel efficiency over petrol variants in urban conditions and 7% in combined conditions.

2020 Subaru Forester e-Hybrid

The new Subaru Forester Hybrid will be available in two variants: Hybrid L AWD and Hybrid S AWD and boasts an impressive 9% improvement compared to its 2.5L petrol sibling in combined conditions and more than 19% in urban conditions in accordance with Australian Design Rule 81/02.

The Hybrid S model comes with a driver selectable SI-Drive – Subaru’s powertrain performance management system. This allows the driver to tailor throttle characteristics by choosing between “Intelligent” and “Sport” modes, for flexible, convenient and enjoyable driving.

Everything you need to know about the new 2.0L e-Hybrid engine

Subaru’s new 4 cylinder hybrid power-plant produces 110 Kilowatts of power at 6,000 RPM and 19 netwonmeters of torque at 4,000 RPM.

The petrol motor is then paired to a self-regenerating electric motor that produces 12.3 kW of power and 66 Nm of torque. It charges itself using kinetic energy captured through coasting and regenerative braking.

The electric motor assist and battery pack are aligned longitudinally, with the motor located near the vehicle’s centre of gravity, while the battery and other components are above the rear axle, also contributing to low centre of gravity and optimising front/rear weight distribution. The efficient engine system is then topped off with an innovating intake / exhaust active valve control system (AVCS) that brings the e-Hybrid engine to life.

Intake / Exhaust Active Valve Control System

AVCS varies valve timing using hydraulic oil pressure to rotate the camshaft in order to provide optimal valve timing for engine road conditions. This process is known as “phasing”. The ACVS system is a closed loop using the camshaft and crankshaft sensors, throttle position, air flower meter, air-fuel sensors and oxygen sensors to measure engine load.

Here, the engine control unit (ECU) is programmed to adjust the delivery of hydraulic pressure to move the camshaft into optimal position for best performance without sacrificing emission standards.

By combining a direct injection, motor assist and battery power Subaru’s e-Hybrid SUV range delivers smooth, linear and responsive acceleration – something that up until recently was alien to a Hybrid vehicle.

Three Intelligent Driving Modes

Subaru’s intelligent e-Boxer logic cleverly adjusts the power distribution between the electric and petrol to match driving conditions using three (3) modes:

  • Motor Assist EV driving;
  • Motor Assist electric (EV) + petrol engine driving, and;
  • Petrol engine driving.

How Power is Distributed Between Petrol and Electric

At low speed or from a dig the vehicle is powered using the electric motor. This provides a quiet and zero (0) emission driving experience and operates up to 40 km/h depending on battery and vehicle condition. Driving in full electric mode comes without any sacrifice to safety features. Pedestrian Alert system remains active whilst the vehicle is cruising at 24 km/h or less.

While driving at medium speeds above 40 km/h, the combined power from the petrol and electric engine provides more efficient, linear and responsive acceleration. At high speed, Subaru’s rally racing pedigree Boxer engine takes the reigns to deliver a ride on rails whilst the battery recharges through regenerative braking or coasting.

Incredible Self Charging Hybrid Tech

No need for extension cords here. Instead, the e-Boxer engine relies on kinetic energy to capture and convert energy into electricity. This energy is stored in the sub cargo floor along with the drive motor inverter and direct current (DC/DC) converter.

The electric engine system is then surrounded in a high-strength frame, and finished with moisture repelling and sound dampening qualities to deliver a quiet internal cabin experience.  The battery remains cool through the clever use of an inconspicuous cooling system that draws up air into the cabin to provide longer battery life.

Enhanced Off-Road Capability With X-Mode

The new Hybrid SUV Lineup continues to use Subaru’s innovating X-Mode functionality and pairs it wit Motor Assist for enhanced off-road capability through better low speed torque control. With X-Mode, drivers may easily navigate slippery surfaces, bad roads, steep inclines and descents with the flick of a switch. Once X-Mode is engaged at 40km/h or less, the status icon illuminates on the MFD and instrument cluster, including Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Hill Descent Control (HDC). The inclusion of X-Mode in the SUV lineup ensures safe driving even on poor road surfaces by centralising control of critical drive components, brakes, AWD and engine power.

Extra features offered by the Hybrid variants

XV Hybrid AWD adds to XV 2.0i (petrol variant) specification:

  • EyeSight driver assist, featuring:
  • Pre-collision braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Pre-collision throttle management
  • Lead vehicle start alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Vision assist:
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane change assist
  • High beam assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Reverse automatic braking
  • Pedestrian alert system
  • Energy flow display
  • Leather finish steering wheel and gear shift
  • Premium cloth trim
  • Charcoal seat trim colour
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror
  • Front LED fog lights
  • Dusk-sensing auto-off headlights
  • Power folding door mirrors with indicators
  • Black slim roof rails
  • Rain sensing front windscreen wipers

Compared to the Forester 2.5i-L (petrol variant), Forester Hybrid L AWD adds:

  • Energy flow display
  • Pedestrian alert system
  • Premium black cloth trim
  • Blue illumination instrument cluster
  • Chrome coloured exterior door handles
  • Front LED fog lights
  • Front, side and rear silver coloured cladding
  • Matte silver finish door mirrors

Forester Hybrid S AWD adds (to Forester 2.5i-S petrol variant specification):

  • Energy flow display
  • Pedestrian alert system
  • Blue illumination instrument cluster
  • Leather look instrument panel finish
  • Chrome coloured exterior door handles
  • Black rear garnish