Tony O'Kane | Sep 30, 2009

SUBARU HAS ANNOUNCED that it will be unveiling a new hybrid concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show next month, showcasing new technology developed by the Japanese manufacturer for possible future models.

Called the Hybrid Tourer Concept, technical details released today show the car will use Subaru's signature flat-four engine and all-wheel-drive layout coupled with two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack.

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Each axle is paired with an electric drive motor. The rear motor is designed to operate independently of the petrol engine and propel the car under battery power only. The electric motor up front is mounted behind the 2.0 litre direct-injected turbocharged Boxer engine, and feeds in extra power when needed.

Power output for the new turbocharged and direct-injected engine has not been released, but the front axle motor produces 10kW while the rear motor develops 20kW.

The front motor also works to recoup energy during braking by acting as a generator. A stop-start system and Subaru's Lineartronic CVT gearbox also feature in the Hybrid Tourer Concept to maximise efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

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Subaru outlined its plans for a production hybrid model earlier this year, saying it expected to have its first petrol-electric model on the market in 2012.

Although the gullwinged concept that will appear at Tokyo might not physically resemble the production car, the big four-seater hatchback may hold some clues as to Subaru's hybrid future.

The Tokyo-bound concept car will also debut Subaru's new EyeSight + safety system, which uses vehicle-to-vehicle and road-to-vehicle telematics to prevent collisions.

The system pairs a stereo camera with a sophisticated on-board electronics suite to scan the road around the car, detecting pedestrians, vehicles and other obstacles that may pose a hazard.

Subaru's Hybrid Tourer Concept will be unveiled on October 21 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

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