Subaru is discontinuing its only hybrid vehicle, the Crosstrek Hybrid, from its lineup after dismal sales figures plagued the alternatively powered compact SUV, reports Automotive News.
The Japanese automaker made famous for its throaty boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive launched the Crosstrek Hybrid at the 2013 New York Auto Show to a warm reception by automotive journalists and the public at large—it was the marque’s first-ever hybrid vehicle.
Hybrid sales have recently been on the decline due to relatively low gasoline prices and the increased efficiency of modern gasoline and diesel variants, which side-step the added cost and compromised dynamics of battery-laden hybrids while still achieving excellent fuel economy.
The Crosstrek Hybrid managed 7.8 L/100 km (30 mpg) in the city and 6.9 L/100 km (34 mpg) on the highway, while its cheaper, non-hybrid Crosstrek sibling achieved 9.0 L/100 km (26 mpg) in the city and the same 6.9 L/100 km (34 mpg) on the highway.
Given the energy and pollution required to both produce and later dispose of hybrid battery packs and the negligible improvement in fuel economy, the net environmental impact of the hybrid model was ostensibly negative.
Powered by Subaru’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine and a permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor, the Crosstrek Hybrid produced a total output of 160 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque.
Subaru says that it will return to the hybrid market after a hiatus.
“It is important to note that we are not leaving the hybrid market permanently,” said Jeff Walters, executive vice-president of sales at Subaru of America.
The Crosstrek Hybrid has already been discontinued for 2017 in the Canadian market, but Subaru continues to list the 2016 Crosstrek Hybrid on its website for $30,495 as supplies last.
The Subaru Crosstrek Touring edition starts at $24,995 in the Canadian market, topping out at $32,295 for the range-topping Crosstrek Limited with Technology Package.