The Subaru Forester Hybrid is officially sold out for model-year 2023, with the brand opening up expressions of interest for the 2024 range – which has yet to be detailed.
“Following increased consumer demand of our hybrid variants, MY23 Subaru Forester Hybrid L and Hybrid S AWD are now sold out,” the company told CarExpert in a statement.
“Currently, participating Subaru Retailers are taking pre-orders for MY24 Subaru Forester. A pre-order is non-binding and requires payment of a refundable deposit of $500.”
“As detailed vehicle specifications, pricing and delivery timing for MY24 Subaru Forester have not been confirmed at this time, they will be confirmed to pre-order customers a later date, after which a pre-order customer will be offered an opportunity by their participating Subaru retailer to enter a binding purchase contract.”
“We look forward to sharing more information about MY24 Subaru Forester in due course.”
The 2023 Subaru Forester Hybrid was available in two specifications – Hybrid L and Hybrid S – which were largely aligned with the equivalent 2.5i-L and 2.5i-S petrol models irrespective of the drivetrain.
Power in the Forester e-Boxer comes from a 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder petrol engine teamed with a small electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.
On its own the Boxer engine makes 110kW and 196Nm, while the e-motor contributes 12.3kW and 66Nm. Subaru doesn’t quote combined outputs for e-Boxer models.
Subaru quotes a 0.7L/100km improvement over 2.5i models on the combined cycle (6.7L v 7.4L), but the gap widens on the urban cycle (7.5L v 9.3L).
In May, Subaru Australia’s managing director Blair Read told CarExpert that Forester Hybrid wait times were between six and eight months – it appears it’s gotten longer since.
The current-generation Subaru Forester is nearing the end of its life. First launched in 2018, a typical six- or seven-year product cycle points to a new model launching in 2024 or 2025.
Mr Read said in May: “The next big big thing, because by then every model in our range will have gone through a new generation model, Forester is next” – indicating an all-new model isn’t far off.
CarExpert recently reported Subaru’s latest financial results, where the company detailed plans to introduce three all-electric SUVs atop the Solterra by the end of 2026, as well as plans to ramp production of electrified vehicles across its various manufacturing plants.
You can read our report here, though the presentation also mentions a ‘next-gen HEV’ built at its ‘Main’ and Yajima plants from 2025. Currently, the Main Plant produces the Levorg, Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX, and BRZ, while the Yajima facility builds the Outback, Impreza, Crosstrek and Forester.
Additionally, Subaru Corporation’s presentation mentions its Kitamoto Plant, formerly used to produce industrial products, will be tooled to produce the brand’s next-gen HEV transmissions from 2025. It’s unclear whether there are multiple new-generation hybrids to be assembled at the Main and Yajima plants, though we’re pretty confident that the new Forester is one of them.
The next Forester should also be the first Subaru to utilise Toyota’s hybrid technology, given the brand recently confirmed it would be sourcing batteries from Toyota Motor Corporation with its new electrified push.
It means the next Forester could have a lot in common with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, though it’s unclear whether Subaru will continue to supply its Boxer engines with Toyota hybrid components bolted on, or utilise Toyota drivetrains.
The current Forester Hybrid uses Subaru’s e-Boxer technology, which adds a small electric motor to the CVT, which is more like a mild-hybrid with electric drive assistance rather than a full hybrid akin to Toyota’s popular tech.
Toyota will also be supplying hybrid components to Mazda, another company in which it has a minority stake. Mazda recently revealed a CX-50 Hybrid for China and is expected to reveal a version for the North American market also using Toyota tech.
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