Subaru is going green, literally.
The company known for making cars that hippies love to buy debuted its first hybrid, based on the XV Crosstrek, at the 2013 New York Auto Show on Thursday. It was painted a bright shade of green.
If it wasn’t green, you’d be hard pressed to tell that the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid had and electric motor under the hood. It looks identical to the straight gasoline Crosstrek, which is a jacked-up Impreza hatchback.
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid has the same 2.0-liter boxer-four and continuously variable transmission (CVT) as its sibling, producing 148 horsepower. Subaru added an auto start/stop system to maximize efficiency.
Hybridization comes from a 13 hp electric motor mounted to the back of the transmission and a 13.5-kW nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The Crosstrek can cruise solely on electric power up to 25 mph, after that the electric motor provides a burst of power for passing and acceleration.
Subaru didn’t quote any specific fuel economy numbers, but it is calling the XV Crosstrek Hybrid the “most fuel efficient all-wheel drive hybrid crossover in America.” That’s a bit unfair, given that the Crosstrek is actually a compact hatchback with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and there are very few all-wheel drive hybrids crossovers.
No one said exploiting a niche is a bad thing, though. Like the rest of the Subaru lineup, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid’s biggest selling point will probably be its all-wheel drive capability.
We’ll update the specs on the greenest Subaru when they are released and look for a review in the future.