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Subaru unveils Hybrid Tourer concept

by Andrew Ganz

Subaru's gullwinged Hybrid Tourer concept debuted in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. Billed as a "new proposal for the future of [the] grand touring car, the concept car shows off the potential of a hybrid powertrain hooked up to Subaru's traditional boxer four-cylinder.

As the name implies, the show car is powered by a hybrid powertrain. Subaru's 2.0-liter, turbocharged horizontally-opposed boxer four-cylinder, mated to its Lineartronic CVT, is bolted to a two-mode hybrid system. A power/drive motor under the front hood combines with a drive motor used for low-speed cruising in the rear end.

A high-performance lithium-ion battery expands on the technologies Subaru gleaned from its STELLA electric car, which went on sale this summer in the Japanese automaker's domestic market.

Featuring a roomy, passenger comfort-oriented cabin, the Hybrid Tourer wraps its occupants in glass to provide a more open feel. The top of the dashboard can be repositioned for drivers of different statures and the seats feature a unique, breathable leather trim for optimal performance with the ventilation function. Despite the presence of all-wheel-drive, Subaru was able to eliminate the rear seat driveshaft hump and give the vehicle a fully flat floor.

The concept car also features EyeSight, a vehicle-to-vehicle and road-to-vehicle communication system designed to help prevent collisions. The system uses a stereo camera and a 3D processor to predict impending collisions.