Subaru is looking to get a diesel to the US before a hybrid does, despite their partnership with Toyota. But even the diesel won't be here for up to five years.
Europe will probably get the diesel in 2008-2009 in the Outback and Legacy.
They developed the diesel engine in-house, but the hybrid engine will come from Toyota. In 20005, Toyota bought 8.7 percent stake in Subaru.
"We agreed with Toyota to utilize the Toyota system in developing our own hybrid technology," Ikuo Mori, president of Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries said. "Fundamentally speaking, we can’t just plunk Toyota’s system into our own vehicles. We need to develop something that is adjusted to our products."
In the meantime, Subaru is looking for battery technology to catch up. Once it does, then they'll look to make a hybrid.
And this is despite introducing the hybrid concept Subaru B5-TPH at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. The concept used a Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) powertrain system and lithium-ion battery pack. It was two-seat grand touring car.
According to the press release back in 2006:
The Subaru TPH powertrain in the B5-TPH places a thin, 10-kW motor generator between a vehicle's engine and its automatic transmission. The combination of the motor-generator and the turbocharged Subaru Boxer Engine creates a system that not only provides power in the mid-speed ranges when the turbocharger is active -- as with conventional turbo models -- but it also delivers excellent acceleration and fuel economy. This superb, all-range performance has been enabled by electric motor-assist, a feature that is designed to boost engine torque at low speeds.But even back then they said it all depended on lithium-ion batteries.
For even greater efficiency, the TPH gasoline engine adopts the Miller Cycle. A Miller-cycle engine leaves the intake valve open during part of the compression stroke, effectively shortening the compression stroke to avoid detonation. However, due to the turbocharger, the cylinder still packs a larger "charge" than would a conventional-cycle engine. In the Subaru B5-TPH, the Miller Cycle turbo boxer engine operates up to 30 percent more efficiently than a conventional gasoline engine.
In order to bring out even better driving performance from the TPH, Subaru is planning to equip the system with high-performance manganese lithium-ion batteries.
Source: Subaru: US get diesel before hybrid - Automotive News Europe