News from Japan. In case you got excited by its orange trim and the idea of having electric assistance with your 2.5-litre boxer turbo, sorry but this isn’t what you’d hope it’d be. But it could very well be the first step towards that direction.
Up until now performance hybrid cars have been exclusively in the higher end of the car market. Things like the LaFerrari, Porsche 918, McLaren P1, hell even the Honda NSX and BMW i8 are out of the reach for most people.
So when Subaru announced their performance division, Subaru Technica International, had worked on the hybrid version of their XV crossover things seemed promising. That is until they released the stats.
You get an untuned 2.0-litre four-pot pumping out 150hp/110kW and 196NM of torque combined with an electric motor with unspecified output. Combined they make some power but probably not WRX rivalling.
It may not have the numbers of a McLaren P1 but look, it does have orange bits too! Lots of orange bits in fact. So much orange you could probably get your yearly dose of Vitamin D from this car.
There’s orange on the bumpers, skirts, wheels, spoiler, steering wheel, gear knob, seats, armrest, door trim, and even on the climate control knobs. If orange isn’t your favourite colour this won’t be the car for you.
To compensate for the lack of power, STI have tuned the suspension for maximum road attack. Well as much as a 150hp hybrid crossover can do. There’s also sporty styling enhancements in the form of darkened trim and lots of STI badges.
Okay, so maybe it’s not necessarily a bad thing that this is destined to be yet another Japan market only car. But, and this is only an assumption, this could be a sign of things to come from Subaru in the future.
Imagine a hybrid WRX STi or a hybrid Legacy. That’d solve all those thirsty stereotypes of Subaru boxer engines. With the Honda CR-Z no longer available the affordable end of the market is wide open for accessible hybrid performance vehicles.