Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Subaru Hybrid Tourer looks ready to take flight

by Jeremy Korzeniewski

Subaru is adding a green tint to its renowned all-wheel drive technical know-how at the Tokyo Motor Show next month with the Hybrid Tourer Concept. Three separate power sources will share the duties of propelling this concept, depending on the specific set of circumstances.

Naturally, a horizontally-opposed "Boxer" engine – in this case displacing two liters and boasting a turbocharger and direct injection – sits under the hood and sends power to the front wheels when necessary. A Lineartronic CVT transmission is used to promote maximum fuel efficiency.

As is the case with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, an electric motor is mated up to that gasoline engine and acts as a 10 kW motor when power is needed and a generator to recharge the lithium ion battery pack the rest of the time. A second electric motor sends 20 kW of power to the rear wheels under low-speed driving conditions and when maximum power is required. Because no driveshaft is required to connect the rear differential to the front-mounted engine, Subaru has managed to keep a flat floor for the rear occupants.

Besides the high-tech powertrain, Subaru's Hybrid Tourer Concept sports concept-appropriate touches such as giant wing-like gullwing doors that offer access for both the front- and rear-seat passengers and a dashboard that moves up and down to offer the driver a perfect view ahead. Want to know more? Check out high-res image gallery below and click past the break for the official press release.

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