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Subaru takes first Hybrid steps with its top-selling XV and Forester SUV’s.

Subaru made its first move with Hybrids this week adding the option of the fuel saving technology for its two top-selling models – the all-wheel-drive Forester and XV SUV’s.  A hybrid powertrain has been eagerly awaited and Subaru has already sold the first 500 to fleet customers. Both share a 2.0-litre 110kW horizontally opposed boxer engine and a 12.3 Kw electric motor, the latter self charging via kinetic energy captured by regenerative braking and coasting. There’s one XV Hybrid at $35,580 and two Forester Hybrids – the L model at $39,990 and the S at $45,990. The XV offers a 14 percent improvement in fuel economy on the urban cycle, the Forester a 19 percent improvement.  Depending on the driving environment and battery condition both models can operate on electric power up to 40 km/hour. Lithium ion battery warranty is eight years/160,000’s. I’m yet to drive the new hybrids but one disappointment is the lack of a full size spare wheel or even a space saver.

I’m David Berthon

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