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The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrids is Subaru’s first ever production hybrid car, and it made it’s global debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show last week. Sales will begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 in the USA. No details were given on whether it will be introduced in any other markets.

The XV’s FB series 2.0 litre DOHC boxer engine has been modified for hybrid application. In this case, it’s paired to a 13.4 horsepower and 65Nm electric motor integrated into the CVT transmission. The electric motor gets juice from a 100V 13.5KwH NiMH battery located under a revised rear floorboard.

Passenger cabin room is reduced by about 0.7 cubic feet, while maximum cargo room with the rear seatbacks down measures 50.2 cubic feet, down from 51.9 cubic feet in the regular XV. Ground clearance remains the same at 8.7 inches.

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The chassis and suspension settings have been re-engineered to handle the added weight of the battery system, improving handling, steering and ride. In addition to chassis changes, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid added extra sound insulation, a start/stop feature, revised HVAC, new gauge cluster, keyless start and numerous other changes. The additional equipment adds about 136kg of weight to the regular XV.

Subaru has kept the XV’s Symmetrical AWD system intact, so the car continues to have all wheel drive capability. The Active Torque Split system sends power to the four wheels all the time and adjusts the torque distribution in response to acceleration, cornering and road conditions.

Other hybrid model additions include a new Active Grille Shutter system to help reduce air resistance, silver trim on a blue themed interior, an instrument cluster with a blue color scheme, and a color multi-function display that shows the hybrid system’s energy flow according to driving conditions.