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Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid 2019: Plug-in XV set for LA

Subaru’s plug-in hybrid XV (called the Crosstrek Hybrid in international markets) will make its debut at the LA Auto Show in November ahead of an international launch at the end of the year.

The new plug-in hybrid pairs Subaru’s 102kW 2.0-litre boxer engine and CVT transmission with a new electric motor that will produce 88kW, which is powered by an 8.8kWh battery back. There is a second electric motor that acts as both a starter motor and a generator for the hybrid battery pack.

The plug-in hybrid XV gets a new colour, too, exclusively available in the Lagoon Blue Pearl you see in these photos. You get blue highlights in the cabin, too.

Subaru is promising its first-ever plug-in hybrid will serve up “a combination of superior driving dynamics and improved environmental performance” that “conventional gas-powered models cannot match”. Which is bad news if you’ve just bought a petrol-powered variant. In fact, it's a full second faster to 60mph (around 100km/h) than the standard XV.

In pure EV mode, the plug-in hybrid XV will deliver around 27 kilometres of fuel-free driving, and at speeds of up 105km/h, with overall combined fuel consumption of around 3.1L/100km and a range of around 773 kilometres. Towing capacity is around 450km.

Subaru is also promising that the addition of an electric motor results in sharper acceleration and better off-road capability, and the new XV can be charged via your household mains, though we don't know yet how long it will take.

This version sits on the same Subaru Global Platform as the regular XV - though strengthened in places to tackle any extra weight - and the Japanese brand is promising it has "minimised" the practicality impact of the battery pack.

Unique features for the plug-in hybrid version include a remoter charging timer function controlled through a phone app, which also allows you to kick off the car’s climate settings before you climb in.

The plug-in hybrid XV, or Crosstrek Hybrid, will be on show in LA later this month before hitting American dealers later in 2018. While it’s not yet officially confirmed for Australia, Subaru’s local bosses have talked of introducing two hybrid models by the end of 2020, one of which will surely be this XV.

Do plug-in hybrids make more sense than EVs? Tell us in the comments below.