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Subaru to launch first hybrid in New York?

The automaker is believed to be developing a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain with input from Toyota.

Subaru will travel the New York Motor Show that will open its doors next March to unveil its first production-bound gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain. Although the company has long eschewed hybrids, stiff competition in Japan and in the United States has forced it to change its mind.

Details about the upcoming hybrid drivetrain are still scarce but the automaker is believed to be developing it with input from Toyota, which owns 16.5 percent of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries. It will likely consist of a 2.0-liter gasoline-burning flat-four engine and a small electric motor that will be linked to a lithium-ion battery pack.

Rumors indicate that the recently-unveiled 2014 Forester will be the first Subaru to be offered with the new drivetrain. Over the coming years the fuel-saving technology will spread to other members of the lineup including the Impreza, the Outback and the Legacy.

The slew of hybrid models will help Subaru improve its fleet-wide fuel economy by 30 percent by the year 2015.

A full set of details about Subaru's first hybrid-powered car will be released in the weeks leading up to the New York Motor Show.

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