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At the Beijing autoshow in late April Subaru announced two Hybrid models for the Chinese market. This is not the plugin hybrid that is expected to hit the US market later this year.

The new Forester and the XV/Crosstrek are available with the "Intelligent Boxer" technology. It adds an electric motor and a battery pack to the drive train, which should improve mileage as well as provide additional torque.

No word on availability in other markets, or whether the contradictory same branding will be used in other markets :)

More info and pictures: Subaru Light Hybrid technology "Intelligent Boxer"

 

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Subaru Global info page:
INTELLIGENT BOXER*, The 15th Beijing International Automobile Exhibition | SUBARU

These past days, I was thinking some sort of electrification of ICE (internal combustion engine) powertrains, whether heavily or lightly applied, would eventually be found on all newer vehicles. It seems this level of implementation is exactly what I was imagining.

It makes sense to add a simple ICE-electric hybrid powertrain like this, as it minimizes development cost (compared to a dedicated ICE-electric hybrid platform), reduces additional space used (compared to the space used by a more efficiency-focused setup), and improves upon a vehicle's city MPG, where plenty of urban residents spend driving in stop-and-go conditions, the worst conditions for vehicle efficiency. Not everyone wants to shoulder the full development costs of a dedicated ICE-electric hybrid, and this is a nice in-between solution for customers not quite eager for the high initial cost of a more efficiency-focused model.

Honestly, this setup is essentially similar to that of the original Subaru ICE-electric hybrid, the Subaru XV Hybrid/Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid/Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. According to a Chinese website I translated using a website translator, it is going to be optimized to work with Subaru's EyeSight driver assistance system as well as X-MODE for Subaru's crossovers.

This is good news to me, as it shows Subaru is still sticking with the true, mechanical Symmetrical AWD system we have all come to know and trust for its responsive operation. I loathe the idea of electric-powered RWD, ICE-powered FWD, and I hope Subaru will not implement such a thing while I am alive. But based off of the video, it seems just like the original 2nd generation Subaru XV-based hybrid, the "Intelligent Boxer" setup will likely forego the use of a spare tire and substitute it for a tire repair kit.
 
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