Creating the most fuel-efficient and lowest-emissions All-Wheel Drive hybrid crossover vehicle in America was no easy task.1 Here’s the first Subaru gasoline-electric vehicle, and the world’s first boxer-engine hybrid.
While most people think only mpg when they hear the word hybrid, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is designed to deliver more than just fuel efficiency. The Subaru engineers were intent on minimizing typical hybrid-vehicle compromises.
So the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is fun to drive (not boring!), hasn’t gained much weight (compared to some pretty porky hybrids), and offers the same occupant space plus nearly the same cargo volume as non-hybrid XV Crosstrek models. It’s a fully capable crossover vehicle that can go off-road and clear 8.7 inches of bumps, rocks, and drifted sand and snow – still ready for your next adventure!
Parallel versus Series Hybrids
First, some basics. A hybrid is a vehicle with both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. From a technical point of view, hybrids can be classified as either parallel or series.
Most hybrids available today are parallel hybrids, where the gasoline engine and the electric motor work in parallel with each other – separately or together. For instance, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid can be powered by its gasoline engine alone, its electric motor alone, or by both at the same time.
In a series hybrid, the gasoline engine charges the batteries for the electric motor, and the electric motor is the only propulsion device for the wheels.
Another classification for hybrids has to do with how far and how fast they can travel using only the electric motor – in EV (electric vehicle) Mode. By this definition, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a mild hybrid because its EV Mode takes the vehicle up to about 25 mph. Vehicles capable of a greater range and higher speeds in EV Mode are called Full Hybrids.
1 Based on EPA-estimated highway fuel economy for 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid compared to AWD hybrid vehicles within Polk’s CUV segment. Actual mileage may vary. And based on Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle certification from the California Air Resources Board compared to AWD hybrid vehicles within Polk’s CUV segment.