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Subaru on Track for Another Record Year

New products critical to growth.

by on Apr.01, 2013

The new Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid at its NY Auto Show debut last week.

Subaru is on track for its sixth consecutive year of increased demand – and another annual record, according to its new U.S. president.

The little maker defied the industry trends by posting a string of sales increases even during the worst automotive downturn since the Great Depression. It has gained even more momentum since the U.S. automotive market began to rebound three years ago. For 2012, Subaru sold 336,441 units: a 26% increase compared with the previous year.

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Tom Doll, promoted last month from COO to President of Subaru of America, said during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show that sales have gotten off to another strong start in 2013, lifting expectations for another year of record sales. Since 2007, Subaru is the only carmaker to post a continuous string of sales increases over the last five years.

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Subaru Readying First Hybrid

Maker hopes higher mileage will fuel further growth.

by on Jan.23, 2013

The Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept shown at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show featured a hybrid drivetrain.

Subaru is getting ready to roll out its first hybrid as it continues to refresh its product line, which has doubled in its market share in the U.S. over the past five years.

Officials from the Japanese automaker declined to offer any details about the new hybrid, which is expected to make its debut at the New York Auto Show at the end of March. But Kenichi Yamamoto, director of product management and coordination at Subaru of America, confirmed parent Fuji Heavy Industries is working on a hybrid model.

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Other Subaru officials also acknowledged that a hybrid vehicle was in the works and could debut this spring.

Yamamoto explained that Subaru’s interest in hybrid vehicles follows the steady expansion of hybrid sales in Japan. Hybrids now account for a large and growing share of the new vehicles sold in Japan particularly those from Toyota, Honda and Nissan, Japan’s three largest automakers.

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First Look: 2013 Subaru Legacy and Outback

More good news for NY Auto Show-goers.

by on Mar.30, 2012

The 2013 Subaru Outback will formally debut at the NY Auto Show next week.

We almost don’t need to bother going to next week’s NY Auto Show.  Almost.  But while virtually everything planned for the media preview has already been previewed in advance there’s still nothing like checking out the sheet metal in person.

For now, though, enjoy these images of the latest offerings to break cover.  Subaru previously revealed the new XV CrossTrek.  Now, it’s providing pics of the new 2013 Legacy and Outback models, both getting moderately extensive updates.

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But what may draw the closest attention is the fact that Subaru claims the 2013 Legacy will deliver segment-leading 32 mpg fuel economy.

Among other things, both updates will be offered with the maker’s new EyeSight system, a lower-cost way of providing such advanced safety systems as Adaptive Cruise Control, Vehicle Lane Departure Warnings and Pre-Collision Braking.

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Subaru Bringing New XV Crosstrek to U.S. Market

“Next-generation crossover” to debut in New York.

by on Mar.23, 2012

Subaru will introduce the new XV Crosstrek at the NY Auto Show next month.

Subaru is bringing its “next-generation crossover,” the new XV Crosstrek, to the U.S. market and will give potential American buyers a closer look at the New York Auto Show next month.

The latest crossover in the Japanese maker’s expanding line-up will share its basic underpinnings with the latest-generation Impreza.  But the CUV will get a bit more ground clearance improving its off-road capability – or at least its ability to maneuver through snowstorms and other suburban hazards.

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The Subaru XV Crosstrek will feature four-wheel independent suspension and will share the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system offered in all Subaru products save the maker’s new BRZ sports coupe – the latter developed as part of a joint venture with Toyota.

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Subaru Models to Get “EyeSight”

Low-cost stereo camera system adds range of safety features.

by on Mar.19, 2012

Subaru's EyeSight system uses a pair of forward-looking cameras to add a variety of safety features.

Think of it as the “democratization of technology.”  Hi-tech systems routinely make their debut on luxury models and, if they prove popular, usually migrate down-market – often with mainstream manufacturers coming up with more inexpensive, but equally effective, alternatives.

So it goes with EyeSight, a camera based system that Subaru will be bringing to the States later this year.  The system uses a pair of cameras mounted on either side of the rearview mirror to look out on the road ahead.  It’s a lower-cost alternative, the maker claims, than the radar-based safety systems currently in use by luxury makers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

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EyeSight’s stereoscopic cameras can spot obstacles – such as a pedestrian – and bring the vehicle to a complete stop from speeds up to 19 mph.  That’s similar to the CitySafety system first introduced by Volvo a few years back.

At speeds over 19 mph, the Subaru version of Pre-Collision Braking can still slow the vehicle down – often times giving the driver enough time to avoid an accident and otherwise reducing injuries and damage.

The EyeSight system adds Lane Departure warning, alerting a distracted or drowsy motorist who might inadvertently drift out of their lane without signaling.

And the new Subaru system also offers adaptive cruise control, which can adjust a vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe distance from the traffic ahead at speeds of up to 87 mph.

Subaru claims EyeSight unblinkingly watches a broader swatch of the road ahead than current radar-based systems.

There are several down sides to vision-based technologies, however.  They need a clean windshield, which means they may not operate properly if the glass is iced up on a cold winter morning.  And they are sensitive to fog, which can reduce their effectiveness, as well.

How much cheaper the EyeSight system will be remains to be seen, but expect to find out next month, Subaru promising to reveal all during the 2012 New York Auto Show.  The first cars to get the new technology will be the 2013 Legacy and Outback, though Subaru hints EyeSight will control the trickling down of technology to its lower-priced models in the future.

First Look: 2012 Subaru Impreza

Maker claims top AWD mileage.

by on Apr.07, 2011

Subaru will bring the new, 2012 Impreza to the upcoming New York Auto Show.

It’s going to be a busy couple press days at the upcoming New York Auto Show, Subaru the latest to reveal plans for a major launch in the Big Apple.

The automotive arm of Fuji Heavy Industries will roll into Jacob Javits Center with an all-new version of the compact Impreza, both in 4- and 5-door configurations, it promises, the image shown here of the sedan.

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The design is modern, if not exactly breakthrough, featuring a coupe-like curved roofline and more muscular flared wheel wells, front and back.  Narrower headlamps and a revised grille provide a generally more sporty look.  Industry reports have been suggesting the new car should deliver a bit more length and width improving what has been one of the more cramped offerings in the compact segment.

But what could be the real draw is the promise by Subaru that the new Impreza will yield an estimated 36 miles per gallon on the highway.   As it stands, that would make the new 2012 model the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive passenger car on the U.S. market.

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