Subaru may halt diesel development

20 October 2005

  • Company to focus on hybrid engine
  • Diesel development could be axed
  • Tokyo concept has hybrid engine

Subaru is developing hybrid engines

Subaru dropped a significant hint at the Tokyo Motor Show that it will halt the development of its diesel engines. It is considering offering petrol-electric hybrid engines instead.

The company showed off the B5 TPH concept car, powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged hybrid engine. It mixes 260bhp performance with the promise of 50mpg economy – and a senior official told What Car? that part-electric engines like this could be launched on the next generation of Subaru models.

'This technology could leapfrog diesel engines altogether,' he said. 'Subaru has not offered diesel engines before because they do not make sense where we sell our cars.'

The company sells around 650,000 cars worldwide and the US, where diesel is unpopular, takes the lion's share with 200,000. The main diesel market – in Europe – only accounts for 50,000 annual sales.

'It's hard to justify the cost of developing and building diesel engines for those numbers,' the insider added.

The news could mean that Subaru axes its diesel development programme, which is still in the early feasibility stages.

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