Tokyo Preview: Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2009

Subaru's Hybrid Tourer Concept is the brand’s vision for a grand touring car of the future to have the best environment-friendly features and all due to its hybrid system. The Hybrid Tourer Concept is the result of years of development. It is built around the brand’s two core technologies which are the "Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine" and the "Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)", and incorporated with the attractive body and the high-quality atmosphere of the interior.

By condensing its DNA, Subaru manages to exhibit how it has evolved in terms of safety performance, handling agility, and riding comfort. For its exterior, the sensation of freedom and the feeling of confidence when driving far regardless of the environment makes one think it has imaginary wings. The exterior displays an aerodynamic form which houses its advanced driving performance and the relaxing cabin.

The overall design of the exterior has elements that combine a solid body with that of open glass areas. At the heart of a grand touring car is the interior and this is no exception as the Hybrid Tourer Concept has four independent seats, each of which are positioned to allow maximum comfort. Passengers in the cabin are reassured of their safety while still being able to feel its openness. This is because when it comes to designing cars, Subaru has always followed its human-centered philosophy and thus ensures that the functions of the car are friendly to all its occupants.

Take for instance the dashboard. For this model, it can be moved horizontally, meaning up and down; and thus give the driver the ideal driving environment depending on the conditions. Even if the Hybrid Tourer Concept is all-wheel drive, the brand was still able to make sure that the rear seat had a flat floor thus improving both movement and use of the interior. Another occupant-friendly feature is that it helps reduce the driver’s eyestrain by having specialized shielding on the windshield.

The seats offer better comfort and nicer texture as the leather that covers it has ventilation and breathability functions. Aside from the use of the two core technologies, Subaru further improved what was already considered as better driving performance, high safety performance and environmental friendliness. The brand did this by offering state-of-the-art safety technologies and next-generation power unit system.

A clear example of this is the Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine. The engine is already known for providing outstanding acceleration but with the addition of the direct fuel-injection, the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, response and torque are improved. The emissions are also reduced. This is why the turbo technology was developed so that new vehicles will have both performance and environmental friendliness.

Paired with this engine is the brand’s latest automatic transmission, the Lineartronic (CVT). With this transmission, the driving performance and fuel efficiency are improved even further since it strengthens the parts that combine with the turbo engine for that high-power output. With a power-drive motor on the front and drive motor on its rear, the hybrid two-motor system improves even further the appeal of its Symmetrical AWD system.

The rear motor in particular can run the car without the need to use the engine’s power. This is very useful during start-up or when the vehicle is running at low speeds especially when the fuel efficiency is low. However, the front engine comes into play during normal driving. When the Symmetrical AWD is paired with the gas-powered direct fuel-injection turbo engine, occupants are able to have an amazing and unique driving experience.

Once the car accelerates, the engine is assisted by the rear motor to attain superior driving performance. When the car is accelerating uphill, the front motor this time aids in running the front axle, again improving performance. Otherwise, the front motor generally acts as a power generator. With the addition of a non-idling function, it allows the engine to stop when the vehicle comes to a halt. The result is that it lowers fuel consumption.

The hybrid system makes use of a lithium battery which is primarily based on its knowledge and experience with the Subaru Plug-in Stella electric vehicle that was launched in the summer. It also has regenerative brake controls and the precise energy management system which also helps with the fuel efficiency.

Hybrid Tourer Concept has also been integrated with the EyeSight. This is the brand’s own driving assist system that offers vehicle-to-vehicle as well as road-to-vehicle communication technology. The EyeSight also has the assist collision prevention support system.

The system is able to recognize a wide array of driving environment via its exclusive stereo camera technology. This driver assistance system is a good step forward when it comes to collision detection as it not only enhances safety but gives passengers peace of mind.

Press Release

SUBARU HYBRID TOURER CONCEPT

Subaru has condensed its DNA, developed over many years around the Subaru's core technology of "Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)" and "Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine", into the integration of a luxurious and high-quality cabin atmosphere and an eye-catching sculpted body. The concept car features Subaru's latest evolutions in handling agility, riding comfort and superior safety performance. It proposes Subaru's vision of a future grand touring car that excels in environmental friendliness thanks to Subaru's unique hybrid system.
2. Design and packaging

(1) Exterior
Subaru imagined wings with a feeling of freedom and confidence for driving far and wide in any environment. A luxurious and comfortable cabin, and advanced driving performance are contained within a sculpted aerodynamic form. The design features a combination of bright, open glass areas with a solid, reliable body.

(2) Interior
The original point of the ideal grand touring car is its interior design, featuring four independent and comfortably positioned seats. Passengers are enclosed within an atmosphere that provides a surpassing feeling of openness and stress-free reassurance, through the further pursuit of a human-centered philosophy, the essence of Subaru car design, and the incorporation of functions that are friendly to passengers.
The top of the dashboard is movable up and down to provide an optimal driving environment for the driver according to driving conditions.
A flat floor in the rear seat was achieved even with the implementation of AWD, for improved use and movement inside the cabin.
Specialized shielding is incorporated in the windshield to reduce eyestrain on the driver.
New leather covering developed with superior breathability and a ventilation function is used in the seats for improved comfort and texture.

3. Mechanisms
In addition to refinements to Subaru's core technology such as Symmetrical AWD and Horizontally-Opposed Boxer Engine, further enhancements were made for improved environmental friendliness, driving performance and high safety performance by offering a next-generation power unit system and advanced safety technologies.
(1) Next-generation power unit system
2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline engine
The Horizontally-Opposed turbo gasoline engine, with a reputation for powerful acceleration, is combined with a direct fuel-injection system for improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, and improved torque and response in practical range. This evolution in Subaru turbo technology excels in both environmental friendliness and engine performance.

Lineartronic (CVT)
Lineartronic, Subaru's new generation automatic transmission, achieves further improvements in both fuel efficiency and driving performance by reinforcing parts for use with the high-power output of a turbo engine.

Hybrid system
To further enhance the appeal of the Symmetrical AWD system, this unique hybrid two-motor system features a power/drive motor in the front and a drive motor in the rear.
At start-up and extremely low speeds when fuel efficiency is low, such as when driving the car into a garage, the rear motor is used primarily to allow driving without utilizing the power of the engine.
During normal driving, the front engine is primarily used. The direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline mated with the Symmetrical AWD offers a whole new, Subaru driving experience.
During acceleration, the rear motor assists the driving power of the engine to achieve advanced driving performance.
Further, when accelerating uphill, the front motor, which is normally used as a power generator, assists to drive the front axle for improved performance.
The implementation of a non-idling function that stops the engine when the car comes to a halt reduces unnecessary fuel consumption.
The use of a high-performance lithium battery is based on experience and know-how achieved with the Subaru Plug-in STELLA electric vehicle, launched this summer. This includes the use of a precise energy management system and regenerative brake controls, for improvements in excellent fuel efficiency.


Length x Width x Height: 4,630 x 1,890 x 1,420mm
Engine type: 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo
gasoline engine
Max output of Motor: 10kW (Front) / 20kW (Rear)
Transmission type: Lineartronic
Drive train: Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with 2 motors assist
Battery type: Lithium-ion battery

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