by Zach McDonald | hybridcars.com
We’ve known for some time that Subaru’s first hybrid offering was headed to market for 2014—the only question was which existing model it would be built around. The carmaker did an admirable job keeping that secret until last week, when it unveiled the XV Crosstrek Hybrid at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.
The car is a more efficient, more powerful version of Subaru’s popular XV Crosstrek, which debuted last year and is a crossover based upon the Impreza sedan platform. The non-hybrid XV already boasts impressive efficiency on its own—25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway—and while Subaru has yet to announce official numbers for the hybrid, it’s said to net a mild improvement of about 10 percent in overall fuel economy.
So why bother with building a mild hybrid version of the XV Crosstrek? The answer lies in the crossover’s blend of improved performance and fuel economy. Rather than thinking about the Crosstrek Hybrid as a strictly green upgrade over the standard XV, think of it as replacing a 2.5-liter performance version of the car. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s 13.4-horsepower electric motor improves acceleration and torque without necessitating a larger engine, and even provides sufficient power to drive the car on its own at speeds up to 25 mph.
The car fares significantly better in the city than its non-hybrid brethren, making it far more suited for use as an every day grocery hauler in addition to a weekend getaway finder. Oh, and it just so happens that the XV Hybrid will be the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover on the market when it comes out later this year, besting the Lexus 450h by about 2 mpg in overall fuel economy.
Pricing for the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid hasn’t yet been announced, but Subaru plans to begin making deliveries of the car in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The all-new exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, complementing a new interior that will raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment. With three-row seating for up to eight, an array of standard features, a host of available in-cabin technologies, and increased cargo capacity, the new Highlander will offer a nuanced balance of style, comfort and utility.
The new Highlander will come with three powertrain choices: a 2.7 liters four-cylinder engine, the well-known 3.5 liters V6 which will be combined to a new six-speed transmission, and a V6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive.
The third-generation body structure will include high-strength steel in the front pillars for increased rigidity. Visibility has been improved through precise repositioning of the front A-pillars, while the size of the rear quarter glass has been increased to provide a wider view for driver and occupants.
The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped with a variable intake manifold and dual Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls phasing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize torque and fuel efficiency. And will be linked to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
The 3.5-liter V6 is also equipped with dual VVT-i and a variable intake manifold. Acceleration and fuel efficiency are improved through the use of a new six-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) that offers selectable manual sequential shifting.
The Highlander Hybrid model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system returns, pairing the 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for additional power and fuel efficiency.
According to Toyota, all 2014 Highlander’s will have eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota, Highlander will feature the standard Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Highlander’s will also come equipped with a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control. All AWD models will have an AWD LOCK switch.
New available safety and convenience features include rear parking sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Pre-collision System.
The all-new Highlander will reach dealer showrooms in early 2014. Prices and fuel consumption ratings will be announced closer to sale date. This new Highlander will be found in dealerships early in 2014.
The second model in the Fisker lineup is set to debut at the New York International Auto Show next week. The Nina will bring the style of the Karma in a smaller package, and a smaller, more affordable price.
In recognition of this big debut, and knowing how anticipated it is, Fisker will be live streaming the event, and you are invited to watch! You do need to sign up to get access to the event, just click this link to take you to the form.
“We are incredibly excited to see the next model in the Fisker lineup,” said LAcarGUY CEO Mike Sullivan, “As a leader in design, technology and ecological stewardship, what Fisker is doing as a company, and with the Nina, shows why we are proud to have it as part of the LAcarGUY family of dealers.”
If you can’t wait to see what the Nina might look like, the team at Autoblog have some spy shots as the car was being brought into the show, you can have a look at those here.