2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid at 2013 New York Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
If any carmaker should already have had a hybrid in its lineup, it's Subaru.
We've said that before, and before the end of the year, we'll know much more about the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid that was unveiled at last spring's New York Auto Show.
But it turns out that Subaru now has two unexpected hits on its hands.
In Japan, the company announced, it received 5,850 orders for the Crosstrek Hybrid in just two weeks--fully 10 times the monthly sales target of 550 units.
In other words, orders are almost double the total hybrid production allocated to the Japanese market from now through December.
It's entirely possible that U.S. numbers could be similarly lofty.
At the hybrid launch four months ago, Subaru said it expects hybrid orders to be 10 to 15 percent of total Crosstrek sales.
But the XV Crosstrek itself is flying out of dealerships in the U.S.--with sales running roughly double what the U.S. company had projected.
In fact, combined global demand for the Impreza line, the Crosstrek, and now the Hybrid is so high that the factory that makes all those models is running flat out.
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, upstate New York, Dec 2012Enlarge Photo
Subaru communications chief Mike McHale told us that Subaru in the U.S. had to give up some of its allocation of Impreza compact hatchbacks and sedans to get the even-more popular XV Crosstrek instead.
The company continues to post rising sales numbers, but already, the Crosstrek is the fourth most-popular Subaru sold here since going on sale last September.
So far, in the first six months of the year, Subaru has sold almost as many Crosstreks (25,090) as Impreza sedans and hatchbacks combined (29,553).
The Impreza WRX, still built on the last-generation Impreza, added an additional 9,553 units.
Subaru's two most popular vehicles in the U.S. are the Outback and Forester crossover.
The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid will officially launch late this year.
Pricing and its final EPA gas-mileage ratings haven't yet been released.