The Subaru B5-TPH, a new type of high-performance hybrid-powered vehicle, made its North American Debut yesterday at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. The B5-TPH concept vehicle features the company’s emerging Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) powertrain system and lithium-ion battery technology in a sporty two-seat grand touring car.

This high-technology Subaru vehicle is part of the company’s broad approach to environmental responsibility that also takes into account current vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency, as well as reduced environmental impact from all facets of automobile development, production and marketing.

"Subaru has always been, and will continue to be, committed to safeguarding the natural environment that so many of our customers avidly enjoy," said Kunio Ishigami, chairman, president and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. "We will continue to make these technologies a priority in our product development, manufacturing and business processes."

The Subaru B5-TPH carries a revolutionary powertrain system beneath sporty bodywork. This vehicle’s TPH powertrain is a strategically important technology for the power source of clean-energy vehicles and will be incorporated with the Subaru core technologies including the Subaru Boxer Engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

 The Subaru TPH powertrain in the B5-TPH places a thin, 10-kW motor generator between a vehicle’s engine and its automatic transmission. The combination of the motor-generator and the turbocharged Subaru Boxer Engine 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. This superb, all-range performance has been enabled by electric motor-assist, a feature that is designed to boost engine torque at low speeds.

 For even greater efficiency, the TPH gasoline engine adopts the Miller Cycle. A Miller-cycle engine leaves the intake valve open during part of the compression stroke, effectively shortening the compression stroke to avoid detonation. However, due to the turbocharger, the cylinder still packs a larger "charge" than would a conventional-cycle engine. In the Subaru B5-TPH, the Miller Cycle turbo boxer engine operates up to 30 percent more efficiently than a conventional gasoline engine.

Subaru is addressing the need for lower vehicle emissions today with PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle) models made in its U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana. PZEV vehicles meet California’s SULEV (Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) standard for 15 years/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.

Mike Husleag
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