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PHOTO CAPTION: Subaru B5-TPH Concept first shown in 2005

Rumored: Subaru Developing Hybrid for 2013

Company will use internally-developed hybrid-electric drive system, rather than Toyota's HSD.

Published: 20-Jan-2011

Subaru’s fortunes in the United States have certainly been on the upswing over the past few years, but the company does feel it’s missing a certain something: a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. Luckily, the automaker seems to be readying a vehicle that will plug the perceived gap in its product portolio.

Our sources at Subaru confirm we will definitely be seeing a hybrid from the automaker by 2013 at the very latest. We’ve learned, however, that the vehicle will not use a hybrid drive system adapted from that used by corporate parent Toyota. Instead, Subaru’s system will be unique, and most importantly, compatible with both boxer engines and all-wheel-drive systems.

Details on the system — or even which vehicles will be offered with it — are still fleeting, but if the final product resembles that previewed with the 2005 B5-TPH concept, expect Subaru’s hybrid system to sandwich an electric motor between the engine and transmission. Seeing how the automaker has been working with electronics giant NEC to develop lithium-ion battery packs since 2002, such a battery could very well make it into the production hybrid, but Subaru has also been tinkering with lithium-ion capacitor technologies for some time.

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