As little as five years ago, the only people that drove hybrids earned most of their income from organic farming subsidies and smelled like weird soap. Today, the green movement has hit the mainstream and hybrid badges are no longer signs of any particular demographic, further definitive proof of which is the Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept. Engineered using refined versions of Subaru’s famed 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline Boxer engine and Symmetrical All Wheel Drive, the Hybrid Tourer Concept supposedly carries on Subaru’s rich tradition of white-knuckle on and off road performance while delivering impressive gas mileage.
In addition to the Boxer engine, the Hybrid Tourer Concept also employs the use of a two-motor hybrid system (mated to a Lineartronic CVT) that features a power/drive motor in the front and a drive motor in the rear. At start-up and when cruising at very low speeds (read: with your foot of the gas) the Hybrid Tourer relies solely on the rear motor for power. When traveling at normal speeds, reliance is switched to the front engine and the rear motor is reserved for extra power when accelerating. The lithium ion battery that powers both motors is sourced from Subaru’s plug-in EV, Stella, launched earlier this summer.
Inside, the Subaru Hybrid Tourer distances itself from the advanced hybrid technology under the hood and highlights instead the superior comfort of a grand touring vehicle. The body itself utilizes a bright, open design theme that allows the interior of the Subie to feel like a less unsettling version of a glass-topped aquarium. The premium view is complimented by four independent seats and a new leather covering developed with superior ventilation for improved comfort and texture. The dashboard is capable of moving up and down, which we guess is good for adjusting legroom but we don’t really understand why Subaru boasts it “provide[s] an optimal driving environment for the driver according to driving conditions.”
Final verdict: fun to look at, still doesn’t hold our interest like the STi.