Subaru Bringing Hybrid Tourer to LA ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Subaru Bringing Hybrid Tourer to LA

Monday, November 30, 2009

Subaru Bringing Hybrid Tourer to LA

Subaru will be bringing the Hybrid Tourer Concept to the Los Angeles Auto Show, where they will also announce their intention to build a hybrid by 2012. It's not clear if the Tourer will become a reality (not likely), a new hybrid model will be built, or if the hybrid engine will find its way into a model that's currently available.

The hybrid from Subaru uses two electric motors powered by lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery pack. The electric motors are mated to the direct-injection 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine. The hybrid motor, of course, powers the all-wheel system.

The setup uses only the rear electric motor at low speeds, while under normal driving conditions, the gasoline engine is used. When more power is needed, the rear electric motor again kicks in. And finally, for optimum grip, the front motor will be engaged when needed – for example when accelerating up a hill.

Press Release Follows:
The Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept Car shows a possible future for hybrid vehicle technology and is being used to highlight Subaru’s announcement that it will develop a gas/electric hybrid system based on Subaru’s boxer engine for launch in 2012.

The most striking feature of the concept car is its unique gull-wing doors that emphasize its spacious interior. The interior highlights a grand touring concept focused on interior volume and comfort. It features four independent seats with open spaces surrounding the occupants. Through clever packaging of the AWD system, a flat floor design is created allowing increased leg room for rear seat passengers.

Powering the Hybrid Tourer is a 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline engine that improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. The turbo has been designed to improve engine responsiveness and environmental friendliness and utilizes Subaru’s Lineartronic (CVT) mated to a new Hybrid system that incorporates Symmetrical AWD. The powertrain features a unique gas/hybrid two-motor system with an electric power/drive motor in the front and another drive motor in the rear. The electric motors are powered by new high-performance lithium batteries.

At start-up and extremely low speeds when fuel efficiency is low, such as when driving the car into a garage, the rear electric motor is primarily used, which allows driving without engaging the gasoline engine. During normal driving, the front engine is primarily used. Under full acceleration, the rear motor assists the driving power of the engine to achieve advanced driving performance. When accelerating uphill, the front motor, which is normally used as a power generator, transfers power to the front axle for improved performance. The Hybrid Tourer Concept also implements a stop/start system that stops the engine when the car comes to a halt to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption.

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