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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.




Subaru WRX STI S209 2020 review – US-only special driven on UK roads

24 Apr 2020
BMW i8 coupe

BMW i8 review

21 May 2020
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan review

31 Mar 2020

Most Popular


Aston Martin DBX review - the first performance SUV to deliver on its promise

Aston Martin's first SUV is more than a good SUV, the DBX is the best car the British firm makes
10 Aug 2020
Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Trofeo revealed – sober-dressed BMW M5 rival finally arrives

Some seven years after the launch of its executive saloon, Maserati has given it a V8 – with 572bhp
10 Aug 2020

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020