Subaru Diesel, EE20

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Subaru Diesel, EE20

Subaru is not expected to bring a disel to the US 

April 2010. Why not, why no diesel in the US? A number of reasons: it's expensive to make a diesel engine, diesel fuel itself is more expensive here than in other parts of the world so there's less saving for the consumer, US emissions are strict, and how much of a US market is there for a diesel anyway?  Diesel's reputation here isn't great- think 1970s GM, smoking MBs, and noisy oversize trucks clattering away next to you at at stop lights. Forget it, that's old school diesel. New diesels are really quiet, clean burning, efficient and zippy. And yes VW and Audi do well with them but Jeep tried and failed in the mid 00s. 
Can Subaru afford both hybrid and diesel? Note- Toyota doesn't have diesel here, they're all about hybrid and when you're partnered up with the hybrid leader, why fight it? But would enough Subaru buyers pay the premium for a diesel anyway? Which will get better MPG going forward, diesel or hybrid? Basically, if you have to pick one technology, hybrid or diesel, which one has the better long term future for improvements as well as marketing? Tough questions, but I'd bet on hybrid.

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Subaru diesel
the diesel engine shown at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show in March 2007

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7/2010 a facebook group is encouraging Subaru to bring in a diesel

4/14/10 diesel not really dead is that faint heartbeat or a mechanical pump? With Mazda announcing their plans for their diesel in 2012 at the NY auto show earlier this month,  Subaru again keeps their diesel diehards hope on life support. Back in 2008, Subaru said we'd have a diesel this year (2010) but that speech is long forgotten (did it even happen?), replaced by hybrid talking points about 2012.
Subaru's 2.0L diesel is available around the world, but not in North America.
Why not, what's wrong with us? It's expensive to make a diesel engine and diesel fuel is more expensive here than in other parts of the world so there's less saving for the consumer, US emissions are strict, and how much of a market is there for a diesel anyway?  Diesel's reputation here isn't great- think 1970s GM, smoking MBs, and noisy oversize trucks clattering away next to you at at stop lights. Forget it, that's old school diesel. New diesels are really quiet, clean burning, efficient and zippy. And yes VW and Audi do well with them.  But can Subaru afford both hybrid and diesel? Note- Toyota doesn't have diesel here, they're all about hybrid and when you're partnered up with the hybrid leader, why fight it? But would enough Subaru buyers pay the premium for a diesel anyway? Which will get better MPG going forward, diesel or hybrid? Basically, if you have to pick one technology, hybrid or diesel, which one has the better long term future for improvements as well as marketing? Tough questions, but I'd bet on hybrid. Though tomorrow or next year I might change that.
Here's a recent article that keeps the hope of US diesel enthusiasts hanging on and the rumor mill churning. And Subaru never wants to quash or confirm rumors or online chat keeps them in the news - its all good advertising.
"Subaru is open to the possibility of selling diesel-equipped vehicles in the U.S., but according to Subaru Executive Vice President Tom Doll, several things will have to happen first. In an interview with Ward’s Automotive, Doll commented on emissions regulations and the price of diesel fuel.
“The emissions requirements in the U.S. are significant. And given the price of diesel fuel, where it is right now, it really does not pay to bring the vehicle into the U.S. ,” he said, then giving hope to diesel-lovers by also stating that, “We’re trying to see what happens. As the market sorts itself out, we’ll get ready, and then look at bringing the car (here).”
Currently Subaru sells its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer diesel in Europe where it makes 145-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and gets around 34/41 mpg (city/highway) in vehicles like he Forrester 2.0D.
Two other factors will play an important role in Subaru’s decision. The first is what other automakers are doing, with VW recently announcing its new mid-size sedan (which will replace the Passat) will be offered as a diesel. Not to mention confirmation that Mazda will also bring a diesel model to the U.S. Another factor will be economies of scale. Subaru has long played a niche role in the North American marketplace, but has seen considerable growth in sales over the past year. If that growth continues and Subaru can see fit to offer the 2.0D diesel engine in models ranging from the Legacy, to Outback to Forrester, then a more sound business case could be made for the engine." the article

9/13/08  diesel Forester review  ' ..Europeans have been driving it (the diesel) in the Legacy and Outback since January, and in about a month, after the Paris Auto Show, they'll have it in the new third-gen Forester, too. Americans...well, we'll have to wait, but we could get the boxer-diesel Forester sometime in 2010. If, that is, Subaru gets the message (wink wink) that American buyers are seriously interested...
Yesterday I drove the new Forester 2.0D through the idyllic rural roads of Austria and neighboring Slovenia, and it's an appealing piece indeed. The boxer diesel is essentially an all-new engine, sharing its bore centers with Subaru's 3.0L gas six (to help reduce machining costs) but otherwise made mostly of unique parts. The twin-cam, four-cylinder mill displaces 2.0L, feeds off a common-rail fuel-delivery system, and breathes via 16 valves and a variable-nozzle turbo. Output is 145 hp at 3600 rpm but the engine makes a manly 258 lb-ft of torque at just 1800 rpm (compared with 226 lb-ft for the Forester's 2.0L turbo gas engine).
Subaru notes several advantages to the boxer's design. Most important, the horizontally opposed configuration is naturally balanced, requiring no weight- and friction-increasing counter-rotating shafts for smooth spinning. The engine is extremely compact, thanks to a bore pitch reduced 6mm over the 2.0L gas engine. An aluminum block minimizes weight, while a low-mounted turbocharger helps drop the car's center of gravity. The engine also wears a diesel particulate filter (DPF), a closed silicon-fiber honeycomb that traps particulate matter as it passes through the exhaust.
Mated to the new engine is a new six-speed manual transmission designed especially for the boxer diesel. Subaru currently has no automatic capable of handling the diesel's lofty torque output, and given the relatively low volumes anticipated for the diesel the company isn't inclined to spend big bucks on creating a new one. Expect the manual to be the one and only transmission offering when (if?) the Forester diesel eventually makes its stateside debut..
Official (US) EPA fuel economy figures of course aren't yet available, but in Europe the Forester 2.0D is rated at an amazing 37 mpg city/highway combined. If you're a driver who likes to pour on the miles, here's your rig: With its 16.9-gallon fuel tank, the 2.0D has a range of more than 600 miles. Got a boat or a trailer? No problem. With the tank-like boxer diesel, the Forester 2.0D can tow up to 4400.
The engine lights off with a pushbutton starter and settles into a subdued clatter. You know right away it's a diesel, but the sound from beneath the hood isn't intrusive. Pull away from a stop and in a blink the turbo spools up and you're surging ahead. This isn't a quick car by any means: Subaru claims a 0-to-62-mph time of 10.4 seconds. Instead, think "stout." On an incline, the diesel powers up without fuss or undue shifting. On the autobahn, it hovered along at 90 mph with a refined thrum..
Compared with the gas Forester, the diesel will sticker for roughly 2000 euros ($2800) more in Europe. Given its superior fuel economy and enhanced "greenness" (not to mention that formidable towing prowess), the 2.0D should prove popular indeed across the Atlantic.
Even with the premium Americans currently pay for diesel fuel, the Forester 2.0D makes sense on many levels. The question is, How bad do you want it?
Send your applause Subaru's way. A few whoops and cheers wouldn't hurt, either..' by Arthur St. Antoine from

9/5/08 Diesel in Europe Fuji (SoA parent) will show Forester and Impreza 2.0L diesels at the October Paris Motor Show. The Forester 2.0D and Impreza 2.0D models will be for sale in Europe later. Legacy and Outback diesels are already available.

3/30/08 California changes emissions requirements that are used by many states. 'California air regulators on Thursday (3/27/08) slashed the number of battery-powered and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that must be sold in the state, a setback for environmentalists and health advocates. The decision is expected to affect 12 other states that had adopted California's target for zero-emission vehicles (PZEV). The California Air Resources Board voted to lower by 70 percent the number of those vehicles that automakers must sell here and in the states that intended to follow California's get-tough rules for vehicle emissions.
Instead, the air board said the six largest automakers must sell nearly 60,000 hybrid vehicles while they develop the more advanced technology that will allow mass production of pure zero-emission vehicles. Board chairwoman Mary Nichols described the move as a major step toward putting cleaner cars on the road. The plug-in hybrids envisioned by the air board have yet to be designed, she said. "We're introducing a whole new category of vehicles to the public," Nichols said. "I don't think it's a step backwards in the real world." In essence, the air board took two steps on Thursday: It cut the number of zero-emission vehicles it wants on the road by 2014, while at the same time offering an alternative — the gas-electric hybrids.
Environmentalists and health advocates criticized the lowering of the zero-emission goal for vehicles. They said the threats posed by global warming, combined with rising gasoline prices, lends urgency to greatly reducing vehicle emissions.
"We are disappointed. We think this proposal doesn't take us on the road to meeting the state's long-term global warming goals," said Spencer Quong, a senior vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientist.
Auto manufacturers said they could not meet the California standard and needed more time to make affordable hydrogen and battery-powered cars.' from the AP

February 2008
' Subaru has come up with a “world first” passenger car “boxer” diesel that is inherently well balanced, minimising the nuisance of secondary harmonic vibration...  there is no sudden surge of urge as there is with many turbo-diesels; the boxer just serves it up almost like a normally aspirated petrol engine. It sounds mildly sporty when driven hard but purrs on the motorway, although there is typical diesel clatter at tick-over when the engine is cold....'  more from

Feb 22, 08:  'Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd unveiled the technical details of "EE20," the world's first horizontally opposed diesel engine for passenger vehicles, Feb 19, 2008. Fuji Spent about three years to develop the EE20. The features of the engine are its lightness, smallness and rigidity. The total length is 353.5mm, 61.3mm shorter than "EJ20," the company's 2.0-liter natural aspiration gasoline engine. The bore pitch is 98.4mm, the same as that of "EZ30," the company's six-cylinder engine. The EE20 and EZ30 are produced in the same assembly line of the company's Ooizumi Factory...'

1/29/08 review from '...This 2008 Subaru Legacy Boxer Diesel is a European model meant to go on sale this spring, but we think it's surely coming to America. A wave of diesel technology is headed toward the United States, and Subaru clearly wants to be riding the crest... The new engine was given the green light for production just two years ago, prompting an engineering scramble to turn a promising concept into a reality. It was a tough challenge, but Subaru has not skimped on the technology... The power figures are impressive. The boxer diesel produces 148 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at just 1,800 rpm. The engine is capable of 60.5 mpg. This compares with the 320d's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 diesel that produces 174 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque, while the Honda Accord's turbocharged, 2.2-liter inline-4 diesel delivers 138 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the gasoline version of Subaru's 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer also manages 148 hp, but just 144 lb-ft of torque... At present, Subaru's new diesel engine is destined only for Europe, but Subaru is taking a wait-and-see approach to its introduction in Japan and the U.S. At present, the engine will not meet California's stringent air emissions regulations. "We would only introduce the car in the U.S. if it was legal in every state," says Yamamoto. "Meeting the California legislation is very hard and very expensive. We are researching it, but there is no timetable." Subaru estimates that fitting the particulate filter needed to make the engine fully compliant would add around $1,500 to the price of the car.
Nevertheless, Hirofumi Senoo, the general manager of Subaru's European test center tells us, "Diesel is the main focus for the U.S. market. It has more potential than hybrid gasoline engines because hybrids are only good for the city." Subaru will let others take the lead in the introduction of diesel to the U.S., but will be ready to strike if the market becomes receptive...' from

1/2008 review from

January 2007:  all-new 2.0-litre diesel engine, hopefully makes its first appearance in Europe in Legacy and Outback early next year. Subaru showed the Boxer Turbo Diesel engine to the European market at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show in March 2007. Considered the world’s first horizontally opposed turbo diesel engine, the 4-cylinder power plant is expected to be offered in European Subaru vehicles in early 2009 or late 2008.
The boxer layout gives the engine inherent advantages. The design contributes to rigidity, which is even more important in high-compression diesel engines than in gasoline-powered ones. Rigidity also contributes to low noise and vibration. The diesel is also compactly designed, allowing it to be used in vehicles previously equipped with gasoline boxer engines.

Subaru article on what's coming, Winter 2006

Subaru Diesel is coming.
10/5/06  " 'Odd Layout Has Its Advantages'. Though the refresh of the Legacy and Outback midsize models were key to the brands display at this years Paris motor show, theres much bigger news back at home camp. Alongside these introductions, Subaru confirmed that it would be building its own turbodiesel engine, something that its never done before. And while diesel power is a hot topic, Subarus oil burner will be different: its making a huge splash by choosing to defy convention in developing the worlds first boxer (horizontally-opposed) diesel engine.
Subaru and the boxer engine have a lengthy history; much like the Japanese brands symmetrical all-wheel drive system the boxer engine has become a hallmark of the brand. Currently, every vehicle sold in North America is powered by either a horizontally opposed four, or in upper-model vehicles a  horizontally opposed six. There are a few exceptions, most of which are domestic-bound models such as the G3X Justy (a Daihatsu), the Traviq (an Opel Zafira), and its own, tiny kei-segment R1 and R2 which use miniscule, sub-one-liter inline-fours..." more

9/28/2006 ..  Subaru of Europe President Hiroyuki at the Paris motor show speech says 'I’m pleased to announce that the development of the world’s first horizontally opposed diesel engine, the Subaru Boxer Turbo Diesel is nearly complete.
The superb rotational balance of the horizontally-opposed engine allows low vibration because the pistons counteract each other to cancel it out. Moreover, with its firmly supported crankshaft, the crankcase construction is strong enough to resist huge combustion pressure. The horizontally-opposed engine’s character is proving an excellent match for a diesel engine.
Also, the adoption of a thin journal for the crankshaf  and turbo charger placed under the cylinder block enhances all the advantages of the Boxer Engine, which are “Low center of gravity” ”Low vibration” ”High rigidity & compactness” This deliver  diesel’s powerful torque from the engine to the wheels, and increases traction, making the Subaru Boxer Turbo Diesel yet another achievement of Subaru’s advanced technology.
Last but not least, the Subaru Boxer Turbo Diesel boasts lower CO2 emissions in consideration of the environment. I anticipate unveiling the Subaru Boxer Turbo Diesel engine next year at Geneva Motor Show' says  more

Links, Reviews, and Articles:
January 14-22, 2006 Subaru shows B5-TPH and R1e hybrid concept cars at the 2006 North American Int'l Auto Show in Detroit  news release

Subaru B5 concept hydbrid
concept Subaru B5-TPH  3door hatchback hybrid at 2005 Tokyo Auto Show, photo c SoA

10/14/2005: Tokyo Auto Show, Subaru  displays the B5-TPH (turbo parallel hybrid) concept car, a 3door hatchback using the 1st hybrid boxer engine. The front end is similar to the 2006 Impreza and Tribeca. With a turbo parallel hybrid powertrain there's small 13-horsepower motor between the vehicle's engine and its automatic transmission.  It's expected to produce 300+ hp, increase low end torque, improve fuel economy, and reduce emissions.
info courtesy,, "Subaru B5-TPH is a stylish coupe/wagon/crossover ..Subaru stresses is not the next Impreza
Forbes magazine "Subaru is the Roswell, NM of automakers" "Starring at the Subaru stand will be the B5 concept..
Cardesignnews "Subaru will unveil the snappily named B5-TPH concept..

3/24/06 More on a diesel in Europe, from
1/26/06 Hybrid battery experts expect lithium-ion to be the shape of things to come for hybrids from
1/5/06 Lithium-ion batteries similar to those that run notebook computers and cell phones could revolutionize the auto industry, from
10/7/05 Will Toyota to make use of excess plant capacity at Subaru's Layfayette plant for hybrid production?
9/30/05  on the  B5-TPH, for ‘Turbo Parallel Hybrid’,  Subaru is to display a high-powered hybrid concept car at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show. Called the B5-TPH, for ‘Turbo Parallel Hybrid’, the three-door coupé combines a 260 bhp 2.0 litre ‘boxer’ engine with an electric generator/motor fitted between the engine and transmission. The car’s four-cylinder horizontally-opposed petrol engine features a Miller Cycle system which improves engine efficiency by reducing pumping losses thanks to a combustion expansion stroke that is longer than the compression stroke. Normally this system makes an engine sluggish at low speeds but thanks to the electric motor, standing-start torque is boosted beyond even an Impreza Turbo’s.
The electric motor itself produces 10 kW and 150 Nm torque while the petrol engine has a 191 kW output with 343 Nm torque. A new type of manganese lithium ion battery charges to 95 per cent capacity in five minutes and operates not just in city driving but also when cruising.
10/14/05 From New Zealand
9/28/05 Small Hybrid at Tokyo auto show 10/19, from
9/27/05 Tribeca Turbo Diesel for Europe? Subaru and Saab working with Porsche
9/2/05 Japan's biggest power company teams with Fuji (Subaru parent company) to develop quick-recharge electric vehicles.
9/2/05 New Zealand Subaru is developing a pair of diesel engines!
8/19/05 Subaru hybrid update. Is a Subaru in the works; is hybrid economy over-rated?

September 7, 2005.  SoA confirms stories (see 9/2, 8/19 below etc) that parent company Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) is developing technology for future environmentally friendly vehicles, including a Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) and Lithium-ion capacitor (Li-ion) and is working toward trying practical applications for these environmental technologies in its future products.

"The Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) is a revolutionary powertrain system to be applied to hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) that the company plans to test launch in the Japanese market in 2007. The TPH is a strategically important technology for the power source of clean-energy vehicles and will be incorporated with the Subaru core technologies including the horizontally-opposed Subaru Boxer Engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive System. FHI has been developing the TPH in view of its future mass production. The TPH system places a thin, 10-kW motor generator between a vehicle’s engine and its automatic transmission. The combination of the motor generator and the turbo-charged Subaru Boxer engine, which adopts the Miller cycle, creates a system that not only provides power in the mid-speed ranges when the turbocharger is active, as with conventional turbo models, but it also delivers excellent acceleration and fuel economy for practical use. This superb, all-range performance has been enabled by motor assist, a feature that is designed to boost engine torque at low revolutions. Compared to the SSHEV (Sequential Series Hybrid) system that FHI had previously developed, the TPH excels in cost performance as it uses a more compact motor and a smaller battery. In order to bring out even better driving performance from the TPH, Subaru is planning to equip the system with highperformance manganese lithium-ion batteries, which are currently under development at NEC Lamillion Energy, Ltd. That company was jointly established by NEC and FHI in 2002 for the development of secondary batteries.
The Lithium-ion capacitor (Li-ion) is anticipated to broaden the possibilities for batteries in future automobiles. The Li-ion capacitor drastically enhances energy density, while retaining the inherently superior capability of instantaneous charge/discharge and the high durability of regular capacitors. The Li-ion capacitor’s negative electrode uses newly developed Li-ion occlusive carbon material, while its electrolyte is also made of Li-ion. The technique called pre-doping enables occlusion of large amount of Li-ion on the negative electrode in this new capacitor, which helps boost the capacity of the negative electrode, and increases the electrical potential difference, thereby making achievement of high voltage
possible without deterioration in positive electrode performance. Furthermore, the principle of the Li-ion capacitor holds the potential for greater versatility and increased performance of capacitor occlusion. Many new materials to be used for high-energy accumulation in capacitors have been tested, and some
progress has been made in that area of research. The application of certain new materials to the positive electrode, combined with the pre-doping technique of the Li-ion capacitor, will theoretically double the estimated accumulation capacity of capacitors available in today’s market. FHI is currently conducting performance tests on prototype cells of the new Li-ion capacitor. The eventual successful commercialization of Li-ion capacitors for compact cars would open up many other
business opportunities, including helping to meet the increased demand for new hybrid buses, trucks, and passenger vehicles. This new capacitor also has the potential to be an alternative to conventional lead batteries in the future.
PZEV Vehicles  Subaru currently manufactures PZEV vehicles in its U.S. plant. PZEV vehicles meet California’s SULEV (Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) exhaust emission standard for 15years/150,000 miles. Additionally, they meet the zero-evaporative emission standard and have a 15 year/150,000 mile emission defects and performance warranty. The SULEV standard is 90 percent cleaner than the average 2003 model year vehicle. According to the Air Resources Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency, gasoline vehicles meeting PZEV emissions standards sometimes even have lower emissions than some hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles. These vehicles with PZEV emissions rating have such tight pollution controls, and the burning of fuel is so complete, that in very smoggy urban areas, exhaust out of the tailpipe can actually be cleaner than the air outside. In fact, 28 percent of all 2005 model year Subaru vehicles sold in the state of California met the PZEV requirements. What separates the Subaru PZEV vehicles from other competitors is that no sacrifice in performance was made to achieve the emissions rating. In fact, Subaru makes the most powerful PZEV engine available in the U.S. today."

August 20, 2005 from (edited)...  the news this week that Subaru plans to produce the R1e electric car is some of the most mouth-watering news we can imagine for EV fans. The R1 is already on sale in Japan with a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) but since the R1e electric concept car was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show 18 months ago, the fans have been begging for the car to go into production.The R1e electric vehicle will be powered by an advanced, high energy density, manganese lithium-ion battery that FHI developed in conjunction with NEC and in Japan the battery can be charged by taking power from single-phase 22V AC outlets traditionally used for home air conditioners in Japan. Utilising advanced power control technology, the R1e is designed to travel more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) on a charge, and with its 2+2 layout in such a small-car form factor, the R1e looks to be immensely practical and an ideal alternative to ICE vehicles which are expected to be feeding a heroin-like (keep you poor and make you sick) addiction for fossil fuels which could be costing US$10 a gallon by 2009.
Shorter than typical Japanese minicars, the R1E offers easy parking and flexibility, courtesy of its 2 + 2 cabin.
The Subaru R1E features a 2 + 2 layout. While its high-performance battery and advanced power control technology place environmental considerations at the forefront, the R1e also has strong sporting pretensions, with the ICE R1 on sale in Japan apparently highly regarded for its go-kart-like handlking and spirited performance from its diminutive 660cc motor.
The R1e will be powered by a light, compact, brushless motor with high output and excellent reliability. We can’t wait!
Interestingly, whereas now we see a car with an “e” descriptor designation the car is electric, we expect the ICE acronym will grow in popularity over the coming years as it can no longer be assumed that a car has an internal combustion engine.

August 19, 2005, Tokyo, from Subaru plans to debut a hybrid version of the Legacy with a turbocharged engine that delivers 30-percent better fuel economy than a conventional gasoline-powered model, according to media reports....

August 16, 2005 Drivers upset as hybrids fall short on fuel economy By James R. Healey, USA TODAY
So many people have complained about disappointing fuel economy of gas-electric hybrid cars that the federal government is telling automakers to consider putting more realistic mileage labels on their cars or do a better job warning buyers that they won't get the advertised mileage. Poor fuel economy has been among hybrid owners' top gripes, according to consultant J.D. Power and Associates, as much as three times as high as for other small cars and even surpassing that of owners of gas-thirsty sport-utility vehicles. EPA testing rates hybrids at 47 to 63 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving, depending on model and equipment. Honda and Toyota, the only hybrid sellers, don't dispute that hybrids fail to deliver that. But they say hybrids' fuel-economy shortfall isn't much different from that of gas engines. Grundler says manufacturers can publicize any fuel economy numbers as long as they are no higher than what the vehicles receive from EPA. "They would simply print a different label based on information they have developed."
Hoping to clarify things for automakers, EPA is taking the unusual step of circulating this statement: "Long-standing EPA policy allows manufacturers to voluntarily use lower fuel-economy label values when they believe that a vehicle may be inappropriately represented by the EPA-calculated label." But nobody's willing to go first. "If your competitor is advertising EPA (fuel economy ratings) and you're not, you're at a disadvantage," Honda spokesman Andy Boyd says. Instead, Honda has "definitely been stepping up our efforts" to tell buyers they might not get the fuel economy they expect. The risk of disappointing mileage-conscious hybrid buyers will grow as more hybrids hit the market later this year. "The last thing we want to do is discourage further development and market penetration of this (fuel-saving) technology," Grundler says. "Potential reputation damage to the technology is a very valid point. We hope that doesn't come out of this," Michels says.

February 2005 :
(this article has been edited)
Tokyo - Toyota Motor Corp and Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd plan to form a technological partnership in hybrid vehicles, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported without citing sources.

Hybrid vehicles run on both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, such as a gasoline engine.
Under the partnership, Toyota is expected to supply its hybrid power system to Fuji Heavy, which will use it to make hybrids a mainline product in the North American market, which accounts for 35% of its sales, the business daily said.

In return, Fuji Heavy is considering supplying Lithium ion batteries to Toyota for use in hybrid vehicles. This battery that Fuji Heavy co-developed with NEC Corp may be suitable for cars because it is small and highly vibration-resistant, it said.

Subaru is too small to be able to justify production of its own hybrid system and can't sufficiently reduce production costs, according to a report in Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper. Subaru would therefore scrap its own system, and roll out a Toyota-powered car in 2008.
"Until now, Fuji Heavy has been developing its own hybrid vehicle technology. But the firm intends to fully incorporate the Toyota hybrid vehicle technology, which has a lead in the field with its Prius passenger car, because its overall output was only about 590,000 vehicles in 2004 and the cost burden would be too big if it tried to commercialize the technology on its own," the newspaper said in a report posted on its Nikkei Net Interactive website.

It noted US automaker General Motors Corp, Fuji Heavy's top shareholder, formed a partnership with Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG in December to jointly develop hybrid vehicle technology. But it said that effect is believed to focus on developing technology for use in large vehicles with engine displacements of 4.5 liters or more, and is not expected to be applied anytime soon to vehicles with engine displacements of around 3 liters, Fuji Heavy's strength.
"For this reason, Fuji Heavy aims to save time on development by teaming up with Toyota, which is challenging GM for the title of the world's leading automaker in terms of global sales," the report said.