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Friday, October 22, 2021

2023 Subaru Forester to have turbo hybrid option – report

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If you find the current Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid a little underwhelming in terms of power and fuel economy, there’s a solution in the works but you’ll have to wait until the next-generation model.

According to Mag-X, the next-generation Subaru Forester will be offered with hybrid drivetrain featuring two electric motors and an Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a small turbo.

It’s likely one of the electric motors will be used to start the engine and recharge the on-board battery pack, while the second motor will be larger, more powerful and be able to drive the car both by itself and in concert with the petrol engine.

Coupled to a turbocharged petrol engine, it’s likely the new hybrid drivetrain will answer many of the criticisms laid against the current e-Boxer hybrid system available in the Forester and XV.

The current e-Boxer system pairs a 100kW/196Nm 2.0-litre engine with a 12kW/66Nm electric motor, CVT, and a small lithium-ion battery.

Reviewers, including our own Mike Costello and Paul Maric, haven’t been impressed by this drivetrain. The small electric motor means the petrol engine has to do a lot more work than expected, and as a result fuel economy is a not particularly stellar 6.7L/100km.

The more powerful standard 2.5-litre engine has an official fuel consumption rating of 7.4L/100km. 

This contrasts starkly with the Toyota RAV4, which the the Forester competes against. The RAV4 Hybrid has either 160kW (FWD) or 163kW (AWD) at its disposal, and a fuel economy rating of 4.8L/100km.

Not only that, the RAV4 Hybrid is more powerful than the 127kW 2.0-litre and the 152kW 2.5-litre models.

As a consequence, the RAV4 Hybrid has won plaudits from the press and has a waiting line longer than a pop-up store offering free ice cream on a hot summer’s day.

Rumours indicate the new Forester could debut as early as 2023. It’s thought the sixth-generation car will be based an updated version of the Subaru Global Platform.

This architecture underpins all of the company’s export-oriented models except for the rear-wheel drive BRZ coupe, and the upcoming Solterra electric crossover that shares a dedicated EV architecture with the Toyota bZ4X.

MORE: Everything Subaru Forester 

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