Subaru wants to borrow Toyota technology to build hybrids

Article by Anita Panait, on December 3, 2013

Subaru might borrow Toyota's hybrid technology as it bids to build high-mileage hybrid vehicles, according to Naoto Muto, executive vice president for global engineering at Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries. Subaru is rolling out its first hybrid, a version of the XV Crosstrek compact crossover, in the United States in early December.

Muto remarked that Subaru’s in-house hybrid technology is geared more towards sportier driving than fuel economy. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid returns a combined 31 mpg rating, just around 3 mpg better than the combined 28 mpg rating for the standard gasoline XV Crosstrek. It, however, lags behind than the combined 50 mpg of the Toyota Prius.

On the pricing side, the standard gasoline XV Crosstrek has a starting price of $22,820, including shipping, while the hybrid begins $4,000 higher. However, Subaru cannot just adopt Toyota's system without altering it to suit Subaru's all-wheel-drive layout.

Muto remarked that while they are considering how they can adapt Toyota's system into Subaru vehicles in the future, they cannot just use Toyota's hybrid system without doing any modification. Toyota holds a 16.5 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries.

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