Subaru Hybrid With Toyota Tech Support

subaru-hybrid-electric-vehicles-coming-soon.jpgThis week, seven years after the first rumors, Subaru has finally confirmed that they will be partnering with Toyota to develop a gas-electric hybrid model, hopefully available as soon as 2011. Ikuo Mori, president of Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, stated they hope to unveil the new hybrid model along with their new diesel series in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in 2011-2012. However, they have not alluded to whether or not this will be an entirely new model, or simply an improvement on a previously existing model.

Toyota, who owns 16% of Subaru’s market share, the largest of any entity, will be partnering with Subaru to utilize their “Hybrid Synergy Drive” system. The Hybrid Drive System will be used in combination with Subaru’s box-powered design to provide Subaru enthusiasts with the symmetrical all-wheel drive system they are used to enjoying.

With the Obama Administration’s recently announced fuel-efficiency standards, it will only be a few years before all new vehicles are required to get an average of 35.5 mpg and reduce tailpipe emissions by 40 percent. Interestingly, Subaru’s first run at a more efficient model was in 2005 when they introduced the Subaru B5 TPH (Turbo Parallel Hybrid) concept car which used a lithium-ion battery pack.

Sticking with the Subaru family theme of outdoorsy, yet modern is a must if Subaru plans to keep its’ loyal fan base. According to Mori’s discussion with reporters last week, they plan to continue the style and performance Subaru is revered for, but feel that they should be responsible for improving their vehicles to exceed buyers new, more eco-friendly standards.

In addition to working on hybrid-electric cars, Subaru also has plans to build more fuel efficient diesel powered cars and all-electric vehicles, possibly starting with the R1-e. In July, the Subaru Stella (a Plug-in Electric Vehicle) will go on sale in Japan at a price of nearly $50,000 U.S. dollars. Government subsidies could bring the actual price down to around $35,000. Remind me, when is the Chevy Volt release date and is the U.S. government planning to make it this affordable?

Back to the green Subaru…what is your guess? Current models available in the states include the Impreza, Impreza WRX, Legacy, Outback, Forester, and Tribeca. Will this Japanese car maker simply hybridize one of these or are we in for a hybrid-only model? Will we see an all-wheel drive hybrid car from them? Just don’t call it a Suburu please!

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