2018 Subaru Crosstrek first driveEnlarge Photo
Subaru announced Friday that its long-awaited Crosstrek Hybrid, a plug-in model, will go on sale as a 2019.
Last month, Car and Driver reported that Subaru filed the trademark name Evoltis with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, leading to speculation that the name could be applied to the expected plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek.
Subaru gave no further specs for the Crosstrek plug-in hybrid, such as battery size, range, or power, and the company did not confirm the name Evoltis for the model.
The Subaru announcement also detailed that the car will use a version of the Toyota hybrid system from the Prius Prime. Subaru has partnered with Toyota on the development of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The Crosstrek Hybrid however, will retain Subaru's signature flat-4 engine.
While Subaru's outdoor-oriented customers might appreciate driving a cleaner car that produces less pollution, the move may largely be for compliance.
2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid - Quick Drive, July 2014Enlarge Photo
California is one of the biggest car markets in the country, and the state requires the automakers who sell more than 20,000 vehicles there to produce a certain number of plug-in cars.
Subaru has not been a target of the mandate yet, but is approaching that sales threshold and it may be a mandate by 2018. The plug-in Crosstrek would help them earn credits toward the mandate.
The company didn't say whether the Crosstrek Hybrid would be sold nationwide, only in California, or only in other states that follow California's clean-car rules, and it made no announcement when exactly it will go on sale.
Subaru has never before sold a plug-in car in the United States.
Its conventional 2014 Crosstrek Hybrid didn't provide much of a boost in fuel economy and didn't find many buyers.