Following the all-new, fifth-generation Subaru Forester‘s launch for the ASEAN region in August 2018 in Taiwan–the Japanese carmaker’s biggest market for the nameplate according to regional distributor Motor Image–it’s now its hybrid version’s debut at the ongoing Singapore Motorshow.
Dubbed as the Subaru Forester e-Boxer to denote its combined electric motor and signature petrol-powered boxer engine layout, with the former putting out the equivalent of 13 hp and 65 Nm of torque with a compact lithium-ion battery–charged by converting kinetic energy generated by braking–while the latter is a heavily-revised, horizontally-opposed 2.o-liter FB20 mill that produces 143 hp and 188 Nm of torque.
Power is transmitted to all four wheels via a Lineartronic CVT. From standstill or at low speeds, the Forester e-Boxer is propelled forward through electric power alone “to conserve fuel,” but once the vehicle picks up pace, the naturally-aspirated internal combustion engine kicks in.
The Forester e-Boxer makes use of the Subaru Global Platform which, according to the brand, has been designed from the start to accommodate conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrians, resulting in a negligible difference in height of the cargo floor between the hybrid and petrol versions. However, while Subaru claims space is not compromised in the Forester e-Boxer as it offers more than 500 liters of cargo-carrying capacity, it does sacrifice the spare tire as the lithium-ion battery pack resides underneath the cargo area where the spare tire should be.
As to when will the Subaru Forester e-Boxer officially go on sale and how much it will cost, Motor Image Chief Executive Officer Glenn Tan was coy with the ASEAN media though in a private meeting with the Philippine contingent, he shared that it will reach our shores in 2020.
So, with turbocharged Subaru Forester now gone seemingly in favor of the hybrid Subaru Forester e-Boxer, will the market–both locally and internationally–accept the change? We’ll have to wait for 2020 to find out, for the Philippine market at least.