On Friday, May 11, Subaru of America announced its first plug-in hybrid vehicle will be the Crosstrek, available with partial electric power as of the 2019 model year, which will arrive on the market by the end of 2018.
Subaru had actually previously offered a hybrid variant of its popular small SUV, but this time around the Crosstrek plug-in was made possible by the technical support of Toyota.
Even if Subaru borrowed the Prime's 8.8-kWh battery and electric motors, the Crosstrek Hybrid's boxer engine, all-wheel-drive system, and higher ride height will make it hard to match the Toyota's 25-mile EV range or its 54 mpg combined rating. Subaru says that the new hybrid will be able to drive like a normal hybrid or an EV for local commutes.
Details are sketchy about Subaru's first plug-in hybrid. Technical details have not yet been announced, but we know the model will retain its current flat-4-cylinder engine that will get a modified version of the hybrid system Toyota now uses in its Prius. Those numbers keep going up; as of the end of April, Subaru has sold 45,728 Crosstrek models, compared to 27,456 units this time past year. Unlike the previous version, the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid will be a plug-in hybrid with a pure electric mode. We have no idea how far the vehicle will drive on electric power alone. The automaker claims it combines the wide-ranging off-road capability of the petrol powered Crosstrek with hybrid efficiency.
Subaru also announced that the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid will feature exclusive styling, but it left out any specifics on what will make this crossover unique.