Subaru hybrid steals the show in Singapore

SINGAPORE—The recently concluded Singapore Motor Show held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre presented over 30 automotive brands. No less than 140 cars and motorcycles took to the stage, with over two dozen of them being launched officially or being shown for the first time in the region.

As always, the major highlight of this year’s motor show was the unveiling of the automotive industry’s latest models. One of the concept cars that stole the show was the exceptional Subaru VIZIV Tourer Concept, which bore design similarities with the Subaru WRX STI—albeit with a sleeker and much more aggressive exterior.

The head-turning Subaru Viziv Tourer Concept

Additionally, Subaru displayed the 2019 editions of the Subaru XV 2.0i-S with + Package, the Subaru Outback 2.5i-S with Touring Package, the Subaru Forester 2.0i-S with Ranger Package, and the Subaru Forester 2.0i-L with Airborne Ranger Package.

The main attractions of the show were the unveiling of the hybrids and electric cars. Six hybrids and electric cars were unveiled this year, including the Jaguar I-Pace, Nissan LEAF, Nissan Serena e-POWER, Range Rover Sport Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Hyundai Kona Electric, and last but definitely not the least, the new Subaru Forester e-Boxer.

Unboxing the e-Boxer

Perhaps the best news for Filipino motorists is that the Subaru Forester e-Boxer will be the very first hybrid SUV to be launched in the Philippines. This will spark craze and excitement, as the trend for eco-friendly technology is growing exponentially and demand by Filipino SUV enthusiasts are consistently at an all-time high in the country.

(L-R): Motor Image CEO Glenn Tan, Motor Image Pilipinas Gerry Hernandez and MIP’s Uzzi Asuncion pose for photos for the Philippine motoring media

Adding more good news is that the Subaru Forester e-Boxer was made available for test drive in a dynamic road track. It was an opportunity to be able to exclusively drive the Forester e-Boxer and experience its Eyesight and all-wheel drive capabilities.

The new Subaru Forester e-Boxer at the test drive site

The dynamic track was composed of a long stretch to test its acceleration, a slalom section to test its handling, a skid section or S-turn to test its grip, a wet surface turn to test wet-weather cornering, and a speed bump course to showcase the vehicle’s rigid body construction and superb suspension tuning.

The 2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0 i-S EyeSight

Compared to the stock all-new Forester, the new Forester e-Boxer is heavier because of the battery components for its electric hybrid powertrain. The acceleration feels a tad slower due to the added weight, but at the same time, the still-robust acceleration generates much less engine noise.

Inside Subaru’s state-of-the-art interactive showroom with Virtual Reality (VR)

Even if the Forester e-Boxer is heavier, it is still very nimble and stable as it reacts directly with the driver’s steering and throttle inputs, ensuring that the driver is able to keep the car under control even in extremely slippery conditions. I experienced this in the Slalom, S-Turn, and the Wet Surface sections. Lastly, the Forester e-Boxer offered rigid chassis and optimum shock absorption for harsh roads that I barely felt the bumps on the road during the Speed Bump Course.

The 2019 Subaru XV 2.0 i-S EyeSight

The hybrid SUV boasts a proprietary dual-engine mechanism, which consists of a lithium-ion battery pack that activates at lower speeds to conserve fuel while the petrol engine kicks in at higher speeds. While driving and with no battery charged, the engine is used to charge the battery.

Ultimately, the all-new Subaru Forester e-Boxer is the only Japanese SUV which combines surefooted all-wheel drive handling with motor-assisted Boxer performance and electric-hybrid fuel efficiency—not to mention the EyeSight active safety system. Surely, the all-new Forester will be one SUV (hybrid or not) to look out for in 2019.

The author with Subaru’s Motor Image CEO Glenn Tan at the Subaru booth in Suntec Centre
A display of the Subaru Forester e-Boxer’s hybrid and all-wheel drive systems
The Subaru showroom in Singapore showcases iconic Subaru sports cars like the XT and SVX from the 80’s and 90’s, and the legendary STI WRC rally car (above)

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