Ahead of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru is presenting its first-ever plug-in hybrid model with the all-new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Essentially, it is the XV that we all know and love, but with the addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which differs from the e-Boxer setup used in the hybrid version of the XV.

Subaru refers to its plug-in hybrid system as ‘StarDrive’, and it consists of a FB20 2.0 litre four-cylinder boxer petrol engine that outputs 137 hp at 5,600 rpm and 182 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.

The mill is paired with a Lineartronic CVT that integrates two electric motors within it, with the first acting as starter motor and power generator for the 8.8 kWh, 25 Ah litihum-ion battery. Meanwhile, the other e-motor (118 hp/201 Nm) drives the wheels and feeds power back into the system through regenerative braking.

With StarDrive, Subaru retained its well-known, full-time Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, so regardless if there is enough charge in the batteries or not, power is always routed to all four wheels via a single, electronically-controlled, multi-plate transfer clutch at end of the transmission.

The total system output is rated at 148 hp, and there are plenty of efficiency figures to go along with it. Subaru claims a total range of 772 km from a 50 km fuel tank, with an EPA-estimated combined fuel consumption of 14.88 km/l (35 mpg).

If you do decide to run the Crosstrek Hybrid in pure electric mode, the battery provides a range of about 27 km. As this is a plug-in hybrid, you’ll be able to charge the battery via a Type 1 connector cable, with Subaru saying it’ll take about five hours for the battery to be full charged with a 120-volt power source, and about two hours on a 240-volt outlet.

As with most other PHEVs, a smartphone app allows you to change the car’s charge setting and control the vehicle’s air conditioning system remotely, as well as access live telemetry.

On the exterior, the Crosstrek Hybrid is distinguished from a regular Crosstrek by the prominent charging port on the left side of the vehicle that boasts the words ‘PLUG-IN’ on it, along with a number of dedicated badges on the sides and rear of the car.

The interior revisions are similarly reserved, with the addition of a button for the powertrain modes just above the X-Mode button; dedicated screens for the display above the eight-inch infotainment touchscreen; and model-specific instrument cluster dials.

Unfortunately, the position of the battery under the cargo area means the cargo floor is raised by 15 cm, which results in 141 litres less boot space compared to a standard Crosstrek.

The Crosstrek Hybrid will arive at Subaru dealers in the United States near the end of this year, and will be available in an exclusive exterior colour called Lagoon Blue Pearl, which is one of four available hues.

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