A hybrid variant of the Subaru Forester SUV is due for Australian sales before the end of 2019.
Using a 110kW/188Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a 10kW/65Nm 13.5kWh lithium ion battery pack and the brand’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system and CVT auto transmission, the Subaru Forester e-Boxer hybrid is said to offer fuel economy benefits of about 25 per cent over the regular model.
The Forester e-Boxer hybrid is rated at 5.3L/100km on the Japanese fuel consumption cycle, versus 6.7L/100km for the 2.5-litre petrol Forester. While a 1.5L/100km improvement may not seem all that much, in urban driving the difference is likely to be much larger with hybrid engines benefiting economy more in city driving.
The Japanese fuel test cycle is traditionally more lenient than international testing, so expect higher figures when the car goes on sale in Australia, but we’re expecting a combined fuel consumption rating of around 6.0L/100km - an improvement of the regular model’s 7.4L/100km combined rating.
Because the battery is located on the rear axle, according to Subaru, the Forester e-Boxer has better weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity, which should improve the ride and handling balance. It's not yet clear if there will be any impact on interior space or the fitment of a full size spare wheel.
The hybrid drivetrain features the battery pack on the rear axle.
While some hybrid variants of cars are styled vastly differently to seperate them from the pack, the Forester hybrid features just a couple of e-Boxer badges to differentiate it from non-hybrid variants.
Local pricing, specifications and exact timing are yet to be confirmed but we understand the Subaru Forester e-Boxer will be on sale locally in the last quarter of 2019.