We’re reporting to you from the 2019 Singapore Motor Show, where Motor Image has officially previewed the new Subaru Forester e-Boxer, which is the hybrid version of the fifth-generation (SK) SUV model.

As with most Subaru models, a boxer engine is the primary source of motivation. In this case, it is a FB20 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated, direct-injected flat-four petrol unit with 145 PS at 6,000 rpm and 188 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The mill makes slightly less power compared to latest XV (156 PS/196 Nm) but this is remedied by a 13.6 PS/65 Nm electric motor. The motor is placed within the Lineartronic CVT, and draws power from a 4.8 Ah lithium-ion battery under the rear cargo floor, which is recharged via regenerative braking or the engine.

Completing the powertrain is Subaru’s full-time Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with X-Mode and SI Drive modes. In terms of operation, the hybrid SUV is capable of running purely on electricity at low speeds for a limited distance like when setting off from a stop.

At medium speeds, the engine and electric motor work together for better efficiency, while at high speeds, only the engine is used to propel the car whilst keeping charging the battery. There are no dedicated modes for the powertrain to run on a specific power source – the system decides which is best.

Visually, the car doesn’t differ significantly from a standard Forester, with the addition of ‘e-Boxer’ badges being one of the ways to spot one. The same is true of the interior, with the only change being the upper dashboard display, which now has a dedicated screen to view the hybrid system’s status.

Open the boot, and you’ll also notice a slight change to accommodate the battery – the Forester e-Boxer has a slightly smaller cargo space of 509 litres compared to the non-hybrid variants’ 520 litres.

The equipment list for the Singapore preview car includes dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, a powered sunroof, leather upholstery, powered seats (with memory function for the driver), an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 18-inch wheels and the EyeSight active safety suite of systems.

If you’re wondering if the Forester e-Boxer will come to Malaysia, there has been no concrete plans so far, according to Glenn Tan, managing director of Tan Chong International, in an interview following the model’s reveal. As for the regular, non-hybrid SK Forester, that model is expected to arrive by the mid-2019, echoing Tan’s exact statement on the matter in August last year.