Crossovers

The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is way, way cooler in Japan

Order books are now open for a sportier, STI-tuned version of the automaker's lifted hatchback. Only in Japan, though.

Hope you like orange.

Subaru

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is basically an Impreza hatchback with a lift kit and some body cladding, much like the Outback is a lifted Legacy. It has a hybrid variant, but it's not particularly...fun. Over in Japan, though, Subaru's giving its hybrid hatch a sportier dressing, and I'm a bit jealous.

What you see here is the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid tS, a special edition that relies heavily on parts from STI, Subaru's performance division. The outside's adorned with orange-highlighted STI parts, including new fascia elements, new wheels and STI-emblazoned fog lamp bezels.

Inside, there are more orange elements, extending to the dashboard, the door trim and the seats, which feature special STI logos. The side sills have STI logos, as well, as does the leather-wrapped steering wheel, which -- you guessed it -- sports some orange stitching. If you went to the University of Illinois or your father is a Florida fruit-grove magnate, this is the car for you.

Don't worry -- the changes aren't just ornamental. STI has added a number of updates to the car's dynamics, including a new, sportier suspension, additional tower bars and draw stiffeners. It'll still handle a bit like a crossover, as it's not any lower, but it should be a bit sharper in the corners.

The model is available only in Japan, and the tS model starts at ¥3,326,400, which directly converts to $31,579. That's not a bad deal for a hybrid that actually cares about how it drives.

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid tS
Subaru
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