Subaru XV Hybrid tS – STI-tweaked model offered in Japan

Subaru's performance arm turns its attention to jazzing up a sensible hybrid crossover

It’s easy to find high-performance hybrids if you look towards the top end of the market (think BMW i8s as a minimum, Porsche 918s and McLaren P1s as a maximum), but not so simple finding eco-friendly fun further down the food chain.

Since the Honda CR-Z disappeared, the concept of a sporty hybrid disappeared with it. Unless you live in Japan, where Subaru has just launched the XV Hybrid tS – a hybrid crossover tweaked by Subaru Technica International.

Best-known for hot Impreza models, STI has taken the standard XV – a crossover based on the Impreza hatchback sold in some markets – and upgraded it for a sportier drive.

Suspension has been the main focus: The XV Hybrid tS gets uprated springs and dampers front and rear, a strut tower brace at the front, and STI ‘draw stiffeners’ – components that link the suspension mounts with the centre rails under the chassis for improved rigidity.

STI is also responsible for the deeper front bumper, but stops short of tweaking the XV Hybrid’s 2-litre boxer engine and hybrid system, which develop the standard 148bhp and 145lb ft of torque.

It does extend to visual tweaks though. You can’t fail to notice the orange details for instance – found on that STI front spoiler, the side skirts, the rear spoiler, the 17-inch alloy wheels, the STI badging front and rear, and throughout the interior.

The changes – in Subaru’s almost-certainly-directly-translated words, ‘serve to heighten driver anticipation and the joy of ownership’, while intriguingly the STI suspension parts are there to ‘offer a feel-good experience in all road conditions and better driving skills to everyone who drives it.’

Crikey. Either way, it’s good to see some effort being made to improve the lot of hybrids at a non-supercar level, though we suspect the market would be limited in Europe. In Japan, the car starts around 3.3 million Yen, equivalent to £24,500, and goes on sale in the autumn.

Recommended

Prodrive P25 revealed – Subaru Impreza 22B restomod
Goodwood FoS – P25
Subaru

Prodrive P25 revealed – Subaru Impreza 22B restomod

Homage to iconic 22B packs 400bhp wrapped in new carbonfibre body
24 Jun 2022
Best hybrid cars 2022
best hybrid 2021
Hybrid cars

Best hybrid cars 2022

Can high-performance fun and a plug really coexist in one car?
31 Jan 2022
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid 2022 review – a direction worth taking?
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid – header
Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid 2022 review – a direction worth taking?

The Flying Spur Hybrid remains a brilliant luxury cruiser, but sacrifices charisma for its newfound efficiency
19 Jan 2022
Subaru STI E-RA Challenge Project concept reveals FIA E-GT ambitions
Subaru STI E-RA Concept – front quarter
Subaru

Subaru STI E-RA Challenge Project concept reveals FIA E-GT ambitions

Subaru’s ‘near-future’ concept racing car has been designed to FIA E-GT regs
14 Jan 2022

Most Popular

McMurtry Spéirling fan car claims Goodwood FoS hillclimb record
McMurtry Spéirling
Electric cars

McMurtry Spéirling fan car claims Goodwood FoS hillclimb record

The McMurtry Spéirling has dethroned the Volkswagen ID R as the fastest car to complete Goodwood hillclimb
26 Jun 2022
BMW M 50th Anniversary special previewed for the first time
BMW M 50th
BMW M4 coupe

BMW M 50th Anniversary special previewed for the first time

Think BMW M’s M3 Touring, M2 and XM were enough to celebrate the big 50? Think again…
27 Jun 2022
‘It was as if Jesus himself had blessed Porsche with a new suspension system’
Jethro opinion header
Porsche

‘It was as if Jesus himself had blessed Porsche with a new suspension system’

The deifying of Porsche has left Jethro with a worrying affliction – Porsche fatigue
28 Jun 2022