On Friday, May 11, Subaru of America announced its first plug-in hybrid vehicle will be the Crosstrek, available with partial electric power as of the 2019 model year, which will arrive on the market by the end of 2018. The Crosstrek Hybrid will thus beat the rumored Subaru "Evoltis" to dealerships, despite the supposed death of the Crosstrek Hybrid project in 2016.
Subaru says the Crosstrek Hybrid will retain the capabilities offered by the all-wheel-drive systems integral to the brand's identity while raising fuel efficiency with bursts of electric power. Normal driving will mix gas and electric power as directed by engine programming, while electric-only power can be used for short trips.
A Toyota hybrid system, borrowed as part of the two companies' technical partnership, will provide the electric propulsion through a transmission unique to the Crosstrek Hybrid. The new drivetrain will be accommodated by Subaru's future-proofing Global Platform, which is shared with the base Crosstrek, but designed with hybrid or all-electric power in mind.
Subaru has not yet released photos of the Crosstrek Hybrid, but it promises the vehicle will boast styling that differs from the standard gas-only model. A rollout to Subaru dealerships by the end of the year is planned, but photos will presumably be released months in advance, to whip up interest. No MSRP was given as part of Subaru's announcement, but it is expected to be higher than the 2018 Crosstrek's entry price of $21,795.
The Drive reached out to Subaru with regard to its plans for hybridization of other near-future models, such as the Ascent SUV, but the company declined to comment.
Primary competition for the Crosstrek Hybrid may be the Toyota Prius Prime, which could share an approximate price window. Another several thousand dollars beyond are the Honda Clarity and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, though of the above, only the Mitsubishi offers all-wheel-drive, which is among the primary attractions of Subaru's products.