Something Is Happening To Subaru's Beloved Boxer Engine

Rumor

All will be revealed at Geneva next month.

For years Subaru held out. And for years it managed just fine, but not anymore. Electrification is here to stay and sticking with internal combustion engines may not only be bad business but also probably illegal due to government-imposed emissions caps. But Subaru has already proven (twice, in fact) that hybrids will be in its lineup. The previous and current Crosstrek crossover is available as a hybrid and the giant leap forward today’s Crosstrek represents over its predecessor proves the Japanese automaker is doing things right. And it won’t end there.

According to Autocar, Subaru will debut not one, but two hybrid-engined models at Geneva next month.

Both will be powered by an electrified version of its famed boxer engine. What still remains a mystery is which two models will be the test dummies for this new powertrain. Also unknown is the size of the boxer engine and whether it’ll be a straight-up hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. More than likely, the model of choice will be the Impreza and/or Forester. They are two of its top-sellers and since the Crosstrek already has a hybrid offering, why bother with a second one so soon?

The choice of the Impreza, which shares a common platform with the Crosstrek, Forester, and now the new 2020 Legacy, would make sense for a very good reason: the next-generation WRX and WRX STI.

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Both of those rally-inspired performance sedans are still based on the previous generation Impreza and complete redesigns are forthcoming. We asked Subaru at Detroit last month for a more precise timeline, but the response was only "in due time.” Could a hybrid or plug-in hybrid Impreza preview an electrified next generation WRX/WRX STI? Easily. But this is nothing more than speculation on our part. Heck, Subaru could surprise us with an electrically boosted BRZ for all we know. In any case, the answers will arrive in only a few weeks’ time.

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