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Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:01 pm
by GRA
Via IEVS: https://insideevs.com/subaru-chief-desi ... ming-2020/
Subaru is expected to launch its first plug-in hybrid in 2018 and also an all-electric model in 2020, but don’t expect the Japanese manufacturer to cut a special offering for its electric future.

The stand-alone model is apparently not the part of equation for Subaru, unfortunately.

Subaru intends to offer a battery electric powertrain as an option to a conventional setup in existing models, using a general platform that handles all powertrains. . . .

Subaru’s chief designer Mamoru Ishii stated:
  • Subaru cars are designed to support people’s lifestyles, so it should not be a case of designing the car for the powertrain. If customers want change we’ll respond – our cars are about customers loving using them how they are designed – but we are not going to change our design focus just to highlight a new way of powering the car.”
As a Subaru owner since 1988, I completely agree with the bolded statements.

Once they announce which platform they're going to introduce the PHEV on (I expect it will be the Outback, Impreza or Forester), I'll change the thread title to reflect that. [Update] Per ABG, it's the Impreza (Crosstrek).

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:22 pm
by SageBrush
No EV manufacturer designs a car "just to highlight the powertrain."

This is a case of lowering expectations. My extended family were Subaru fanatics for decades, and I only wandered when it became clear Subaru was years (if not decades) behind the *EV curve. I wish them luck in catching up.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:38 pm
by smkettner
Will be interesting if the pure EV is 4WD with a connected drivetrain.
Or do they go with dual motors or something else.

I am unconvinced the modulated torque and braking of some traction control is better than all four wheels just spinning together.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:26 am
by RegGuheert
Subaru has always offered the worst fuel economy of any car company in Japan. They fill a niche for those who only care about utility and put their own needs far above those of the environment. As such, it is no surprise that Subaru is one of the biggest laggards (globally) when it comes to the transition to electric drive technologies. Expect their offering to be a half-baked retrofit. Put in the minimum effort to be able to say they also ran.

Subaru will remain a niche car company as a result.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:32 am
by SageBrush
Subaru is something of a one trick pony: they know how to build a reliable, inexpensive, well mannered, AWD ICE drivetrain.

Unfortunately for them, EV drivetrains are quickly breaching their consumer space. IIRC, Toyota bought up a fair part of the company, although I have not seen any influence so far.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:34 am
by TomT
You must know a different Subaru than the one currently selling vehicles in the U.S... Their fuel mileage numbers are competitive with everyone else out there (and better than many), and their emissions ratings are at the top of the class...
RegGuheert wrote:Subaru has always offered the worst fuel economy of any car company in Japan. They fill a niche for those who only care about utility and put their own needs far above those of the environment.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 am
by EVDRIVER
Code for conversion. Expect this to be heavy and a compromise vehicle. 2020, on an existing platform? I guess die hard Subaru people may buy it.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:31 pm
by GRA
TomT wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:Subaru has always offered the worst fuel economy of any car company in Japan. They fill a niche for those who only care about utility and put their own needs far above those of the environment.
You must know a different Subaru than the one currently selling vehicles in the U.S... Their fuel mileage numbers are competitive with everyone else out there (and better than many), and their emissions ratings are at the top of the class...
And their sales have improved every year by large amounts. Sure, it's a niche, but a fairly large one:
Subaru has not only been the most successful of all Japanese automakers in growing its volume in the US since 2006, it actually recorded the highest growth of all mainstream brands at 13% growth/year, beating out Audi (10%) and lower only than the luxury Maserati (20%).

Subaru’s success stems from focusing heavily on its 4×4 USP and producing a few cars that consumers really want, such as the Outback, Forester and XV Crosstrek. In so doing it has actually neglected the mainstream slightly, with the Legacy selling much worse in 2015 than in 2006, though the generally-unloved Impreza is going to cross 90k/year in 2015. Time will tell whether Subaru can continue its growth in the future , for example by launching a successful 7-seat SUV after the failure of the Tribeca.
http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/subaru/

Here's Forbes:
Subaru Is Feeling The Love, And Record U.S. Sales In 2017
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimhenry/2 ... 51769c673d

As to what Subaru people care about, utility, safety, reliability and good gas mileage (preferably zero emissions) given AWD, at a moderate cost. Many have been waiting patiently for FHI to come out with a PEV, as a large % of Subaru owners are outdoorsy types who like to engage in human-powered activities, and who dislike having to use fossil fuels to access them.

At the moment, given the lack of charging infrastructure, especially as the places Subies tend to be driven to will be the very last places to get destination charging and in many cases never will get it owing to a lack of any electric infrastructure, plus the fact that they're often bought as snow cars, only a PHEV makes sense. Once the enroute QC (or H2 as the case may be) infrastructure's in place, a switch to a full ZEV will be the preferred option, and will be demanded by their customers. That's still some years away: to take me as an example, even Tesla's SC network as it currently stands wouldn't allow me to repeat many of the trips I've taken over the past 40 years or so to a variety of national parks, monuments or other outdoor areas. You have to have full coverage off the interstates, on U.S., state and local highways to meet the active outdoor demographic's vehicle needs.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:55 pm
by RegGuheert
RegGuheert wrote:They fill a niche for those who only care about utility and put their own needs far above those of the environment.
GRA wrote:As to what Subaru people care about, utility, safety, reliability and good gas mileage (preferably zero emissions) given AWD, at a moderate cost.
You've made my point exactly:

2018 Toyota Prius: 52 MPG
2018 Subaru Forester AWD: 28 MPG

Subarus use nearly twice as much fuel all the time for the 0.5% of the time when people want to entertain themselves.

Re: Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:04 pm
by SageBrush
RegGuheert wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:They fill a niche for those who only care about utility and put their own needs far above those of the environment.
GRA wrote:As to what Subaru people care about, utility, safety, reliability and good gas mileage (preferably zero emissions) given AWD, at a moderate cost.
You've made my point exactly:

2018 Toyota Prius: 52 MPG
2018 Subaru Forester AWD: 28 MPG

Subarus use nearly twice as much fuel all the time for the 0.5% of the time when people want to entertain themselves.
The Outback is 32 mpg highway. Stinks compared to a Prius, but compare to fleet average for that kind/size of car.

They are not moving the needle, but they are not really laggards, either.