Subaru XV Hybrid Gets Thrown Around on a Dirt Course.

Statistically, only around 15% of SUV vehicles sold in developed world today ever go off-road, and that number is probably a lot lower in Japan, as an off-road trail is a rarity.

Most SUV's and cross-overs sold in Japan never even feel the softness of gravel as even the shoulders of Japanese highways are paved with solid tarmac.

It is pretty obvious thus, that if someone decides to go off-road,  they need to make a reservation, pay a sum of money, attend a lecture course, and chances are it will all be very very far.

Once all that is complete you are given a silky smooth dirt track to throw your SUV around, but when you can have a professional rally driver to help you out, even the most boring and "safe" course can bring a bit of excitement. 

So without further ado, team Subaru and Watch-Impress took the Plasma Green Pearl XV Hybrid, traveled all the way to Northern Island of Hokkaido and handed the keys over to Toshi Arai who's been driving Subaru Impressa WRX Sti Group N championship and has led his own Team Arai to numerous victories in PWRC to see whether the all new XV Hybrid is anything more than an AWD Prius.

 The XV ended up in good hands as Mr. Arai was showing it no remorse.

 But the XV held up to the task effortlessly taking all corners without even a hint of losing control.

According to Mr. Arai, XV hybrid is much more capable than the standard XV due to significant low and torque and extra power coming from the electric motor.

An interesting concept is developed by Subaru to have hybrid system play a role in vehicle dynamics control and power out of overseer.  

I was also impressed at how flat it remains throughout sharp corners, despite the added weight from the battery the XV seemed perfectly balanced and sporty. 

Great work by Subaru to create this small crossover SUV that can be as fun and safe on the asphalt and on the dirt.

Full story (Japanese)
http://ad.impress.co.jp/special/subaru1308_2/
(Translated)
http://www.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fad.impress.co.jp%2Fspecial%2Fsubaru1308_2%2F
Youtube video:





Subaru XV Hybrid is available from Subaru Japan starting from 2499000 Yen, but is on a substantial back-order as customers placing their orders now, should be expecting deliveries well into next year.

I expect to do a full photo review of XV 2.0i-L in November.
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