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Subaru Forester e-Boxer to reach PH in 3rd quarter of 2020

The hybrid compact SUV should be a hit among eco-minded car buyers

Subaru goes down the electrified route. PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

The Subaru Forester e-Boxer mild hybrid SUV, unveiled at this year’s Singapore Motor Show, is coming to the Philippine market in the third quarter of this year, according to Tan Chong International Ltd. deputy chairman and managing director Glenn Tan. TCIL is the parent company of Motor Image, Subaru’s distributor in the ASEAN region. The self-charging model showcases the Japanese brand’s efforts to offer green mobility to its customers.

Combining electric motor power with such Subaru staple features as Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and boxer engine performance, the Forester e-Boxer is said to boast a more exciting and efficient drive while reducing harmful emissions. The 2.0-liter boxer engine (148hp, 196Nm) and the electric motor (16hp, 66Nm) work in tandem to deliver instantaneous and smooth propulsion through the so-called Hybrid Lineartronic CVT. Based on fuel-consumption tests performed in Malaysia, the e-Boxer achieves 14.9km/L in combined city-and-highway use.

This will make SUV buyers think twice. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

How does the e-Boxer system work? The vehicle changes between three drive modes automatically. EV Mode is when the vehicle is running on pure electricity, such as in slow traffic or idling, depending on the charge of the hybrid battery. Motor Assist Mode combines both electric and petrol powertrains to give maximum pull when needed. Engine Mode is where the gasoline engine propels the vehicle while its hybrid lithium-ion battery charges via a regenerative process as the vehicle decelerates.

Throttle input from the driver determines the ratio of work shared by both powertrains. A digital representation of how energy flows within the hybrid system can be seen through the 6.3-inch high-resolution display in the cockpit.

X-Mode, which comes as standard on the Forester e-Boxer, optimizes the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. It is further enhanced by the electric motor’s instantaneous torque delivery, and provides smooth, effortless and lag-free acceleration from a dead stop. This enables the driver to confidently tackle almost any kind of terrain the vehicle may encounter.

An electric motor helps the gas engine. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

The layout of the electric motor and the hybrid battery is nicely incorporated within the vehicle’s mechanical architecture. The electric motor, which is mounted inside the specially designed transmission case of the Hybrid Lineartronic CVT, is situated near the e-Boxer’s center of gravity. Other parts of the EV system, including the battery, are neatly tucked under the boot floor lining above the rear axle, giving better weight distribution to the vehicle. Said components do not interfere with the SAWD performance. With the hybrid battery nestled right under the cargo area floor, the e-Boxer apparently still manages to provide a generous 509L of cargo capacity.

In terms of safety, the Forester e-Boxer is equipped with the EyeSight driver-assist technology and some added new features. This tech includes pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lead vehicle start alert, lane departure warning, lane sway warning, and reverse automatic braking.

Special buttons give an indication of the vehicle’s capabilities. It is a good model. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

When backing up the vehicle, sensors alert the driver when a collision is imminent. The system promptly stops the car—thanks to reverse automatic braking—when the driver fails to respond to said alerts. For more safety and driving refinement, the Forester e-Boxer also comes with active torque vectoring and vehicle dynamics control.

Finally, Subaru has added a 360⁰ Around View Monitor (a term you may have heard a lot from Nissan), which provides all-around visibility when the driver is parking or maneuvering through cramped spaces. One can even perform a 360⁰ sweep of the vehicle’s surroundings with a simple touch of the infotainment screen. Such visibility is made possible by four cameras mounted on all sides of the SUV.

Excited for this Subaru model? Then hold off on that car purchase for a few more months.

Manskee Nascimento

Manskee is a music-loving petrolhead who specializes in car care. He finds peace in long drives to and from his home in La Union.