Next week at the New York Auto Show, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid will be unveiled.

It's the first-ever production hybrid vehicle from the small Japanese maker of sturdy all-wheel drive cars and crossovers.

Subaru announced the debut of the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid in a press release this morning that was notably devoid of any details about the car itself.

"Based on the popular XV Crosstrek crossover," it read, "the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid model uses a Subaru engineered Hybrid system and Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive."

In other words, it will add a hybrid system to the existing Subaru XV Crosstrek, which features a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter flat-four engine and a continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

(There's also a five-speed manual gearbox available, but the hybrid is likely to be offered only with the CVT.)

The hybrid Crosstrek comes after Subaru has shown hybrid concept cars for 10 years--most recently the Viziv Concept it revealed at the recent Geneva Motor Show, which followed the hybrid Advanced Tourer Concept of 2011.

It's been known for a while that Subaru would launch a hybrid for 2014, perhaps at the New York show, and that it's likely to be a mild hybrid of the sort offered for 15 years by Honda.

According to an official with Subaru in Japan we spoke to in late 2011, the hybrid system used in Subaru's concept cars contains a single thin electric motor packaged between the gasoline engine and Lineartronic CVT, with two clutches—one on either side.

2011 Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

2011 Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

Nonetheless, suggested the Subaru executive, we should expect it to be one of the stronger mild-hybrid systems, with the ability to move away from a stop and operate at low speeds in electric-only mode.

That would make it more capable than the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) mild-hybrid systems offered by Honda in its current Civic Hybrid, CR-Z, and Insight models.

During deceleration, the Subaru hybrid's motor turns into a generator and charges a lithium-ion battery pack that we assume will be mounted somewhere at the rear of the car.

We'll have more details on the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid as they become available.

Meanwhile, for all our coverage of the New York show, both before and during the event, be sure to bookmark our dedicated New York Auto Show page.


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