Boxing clever: Subaru New Zealand’s electrifying new models
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Subaru New Zealand is set to launch its first electrified models in New Zealand, with “e-Boxer” demonstrator versions of the XV and Forester SUVs at dealerships from June – although those keen to buy will have to wait a little longer for their cars.
The petrol-electric powertrain in both models is identical: a 2.0-litre horizontally opposed combustion engine linked via a “motor assist” system to a high-voltage lithium-ion battery.
When the driver decelerates or brakes, the energy normally lost is recovered and used to charge the battery.
Subaru claims hybrid power improves the XV’s fuel economy by 14 per cent in the standardised ADR Urban cycle and seven per cent in the Combined.
For Forester, the figures are 19 per cent and nine per cent, when compared with the larger-engined 2.5-litre Forester variant (there’s no non-hybrid Forester 2.0-litre).
There’s a power and torque advantage as well: the hybrid system adds 10kW/66Nm for a combined output of 120kW/254Nm. All variants are all-wheel drive.
All 16 of Subaru’s NZ dealers will have demonstrator vehicles, although customer cars are limited for 2020.
An initial allocation of 20 will be delivered in September and October.
The XV Sport Hybrid is priced at $42,290 and comes in an exclusive colour option, Lagoon Blue Pearl, for this year’s launch programme.
Subaru NZ also plans to launch a new finance plan called the Accelerator Programme in conjunction with Heartland Bank: it says this will allow a Hybrid model to be “secured for only $99 per week”, with details to follow closer to launch time.
Throughout NZ’s alert levels, Subaru has been promoting the e-Boxers online and asking prospective customers to register their interest. Those who have will be emailed details about the Accelerator offer at the end of May.
Subaru NZ has been keen to have the latest hybrids for some time, but supply and demand has been an issue.
“We believe the e-Boxer Hybrids are worth the wait as they are perfect for NZ,” says Dumper. “Sure, global demand and production constraints have tested our patience; however, it’s more relevant than ever to have a hybrid in our lineup.”