The Subaru Crosstrek will be the company’s first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, with the small crossover being fitted with PHEV technology from Toyota.
Thanks to Subaru’s tie-up with Toyota through the BRZ/86 program, the technology sharing is limited to just the electric hybrid part of the system, with the Crosstrek still maintaining its boxer four-cylinder.
However Subaru does say that it will receive an “all-new” transmission, which we can only guess will still be a continuously variable transmission (CVT), as both the existing Crosstrek and Toyota’s hybrids use this format.
This isn’t the first hybrid from Subaru, however. The Crosstrek was previously offered as a 2014 model, but it was let go from the lineup by the time the 2017 model year arrived.
Subaru dropped the Crosstrek Hybrid because it didn’t move as well as expected, plus the $4800 premium over the petrol-only model meant that most buyers weren’t willing to pony up for a measly 3 mpg advantage in mileage.
Already the Crosstrek was quite economical, so such a small gain wasn’t really worth the price paid, despite a modest improvement in performance.
We’re hoping that the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV will also get a boost in power, as it’s really the only thing that lets the Crosstrek down. Indeed, as we noted in our Crosstrek review, a bump in power would transform the capable crossover, as it’s pretty good in most other aspects.
Like the gas-powered Crosstrek models, the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid is built around the Subaru Global Platform that was designed to accommodate hybrid and electric powertrains.
Subaru does say in its press release that the new Crosstrek PHEV will be able to be driven in both full electric mode as well as just a hybrid mode. We’re still awaiting details on how far it will travel in full EV mode, but the company does mention that it will be enough for “local commuting”.
While the Crosstrek PHEV actually goes on sale later this year, it will be a 2019 model, and the company says that it will maintain the same off-road ability as its petrol-powered sibling. No word on the price premium, however we’d expect that Subaru would have learned from its previous outing with a hybrid and not charge quite as much.
Or if it does, it will make a big song and dance about how much better having a battery-pack on board is, and that it will be able to drive as an EV. That sort of tech doesn’t come cheap, so we’ll wait and see what the extra costs will be.
Sadly, we don’t have any photos of the new model, but expect to see some styling details changed to reflect its PHEV drivetrain. Subaru hasn’t said what those styling changes will be, but we’d expect some different wheels, and perhaps a grille enhancement.
We’ll bring you full details of the new Crosstrek PHEV when Subaru releases more info. Stay tuned to SUV Authority for the latest news.