Subaru of America, Inc. has introduced the carmaker’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, which arrives in dealerships in early 2014. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is based on the successful XV Crosstrek crossover model and retains its all-terrain capability while providing better fuel efficiency and enhanced agility.The 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid will achieve an EPA-estimated 29 city MPG and estimated 33 highway mpg, with a combined 31 MPG.In developing its first-ever hybrid, Subaru chose one of its popular, go-anywhere crossover vehicle platforms. As a result, the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid offers all the capability and versatility of the gasoline XV Crosstrek. Key to this approach is that the XV Crosstrek Hybrid shares the gasoline model’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and chassis capability. For example, the 8.7 inches of ground clearance is the same as for the gas model and is higher than for some dedicated SUVs, while providing a low step-in height. Rather than simply replicate the driving feel of the gasoline XV Crosstrek, Subaru engineered its first-ever hybrid model to provide a sportier driving experience and so equipped it with retuned suspension and quick-ratio electric power steering.In addition to optimizing the 2.0-liter FB-series BOXER engine to reduce internal friction, Subaru applied a number of other efficiency-enhancing technologies to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. An Auto Start-Stop system can shut down the gasoline engine when the vehicle is stopped. Brake regeneration works when the car is coasting or the driver has applied the brake, recapturing kinetic energy from the turning wheels to recharge the hybrid battery.
Hybrid Powertrain With 2.0-liter BOXER Engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
The Subaru BOXER engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive configuration provided an ideal platform for integrating the parallel hybrid system. Under light acceleration, the Subaru-engineered hybrid system uses the electric motor for initial vehicle acceleration and then starts the gasoline engine once underway. The electric motor can also provide motor assist for acceleration in parallel with the gasoline engine, and an EV mode will operate the vehicle in certain low-speed situations. The 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine uses a slightly higher compression ratio (10.8:1) than in the standard gas model (10.5:1), along with reduced-friction piston rings and valve springs and a higher capacity exhaust gas regeneration (EGR) system with an EGR cooler. The main performance boost comes from the permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor, which produces 13.4 hp from 1,500 rpm-6,000 rpm, for a total hybrid system output of 160 hp at 6,000 rpm vs. 148 hp at 6,200 rpm for the gas model. The starter and alternator functions are combined into one unit. The drive motor also contributes 47.9 lb.-ft. of torque from 0-1,500 rpm. The result is total system torque of 163 lb.-ft. at just 2,000 rpm, compared to 145 lb.-ft. at 4,200 rpm for the gas model, adding a significant boost to low-speed driving performance. The electric drive motor, which weighs 28.7 lbs. (77.2 lbs. with frame), is neatly integrated into the Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT includes a manual mode with steering wheel paddle switches. A 100.8V, 13.5kW nickel-metal hydride battery, with 0.55kWh capacity, is located under a revised rear floor area. The battery, placed low in the vehicle, contributes to handling agility, which has also been enhanced with quicker-ratio electric power steering and special suspension tuning.
The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid automatically adapts to driving needs, using only the electric drive motor, the gasoline engine or combining output of the two, depending on conditions and always prioritizing maximum efficiency. Initial acceleration is performed in EV mode with the driving force generated by electric drive motor only. The gasoline engine will then start depending on conditions, including pressure on accelerator pedal, state of battery charge, air conditioner use and other factors. When the transmission shift lever is in Drive, but not in Manual mode, it is possible to drive the XV Crosstrek Hybrid in EV mode at speeds below 25 mph for a short distance. When accelerating, Motor Assist adds to engine power. Under certain conditions, such as steady-state driving and when driving uphill, the engine will operate alone when it is more efficient to do so. When the vehicle is stopped, Auto Stop-Start stops the engine to help reduce fuel consumption. When the brake is released, the system transitions to a creep state using the electric drive motor. If the climate control is operating, Stop/Start may not operate and instead, the engine uses the electric motor to charge the battery. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid employs regeneration when the accelerator is released during driving, and when braking. The motor then acts as a generator, using the still-turning wheels to charge the hybrid battery. For times when the vehicle is operating only in EV mode, an audible vehicle approach pedestrian warning system generates sound from a small speaker below the right headlight and directed toward the front of the car.