Thanks, Toyota: Subaru to Gain an Electric Crossover, EV Platform

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

This is what handing 16.8 percent of your company’s ownership to another automaker gets you. Just days after BMW and Jaguar Land Rover announced an electric powertrain agreement, Subaru and Toyota claim a new, shared electric vehicle platform is on the way, as well as a jointly developed crossover.

The effort will mean Subaru — a brand with only a single (Toyota-assisted) plug-in hybrid on the market — will finally have the means to enter the growing EV field.

Not only will the two companies develop a new platform, they’ll also jointly develop a new compact electric utility vehicle, selling it under both brands. Think of it as a greener, more spacious BRZ/86.

The platform itself would serve to underpin a range of CUVs and passenger cars positioned in the C and D segments, with each company bringing something desirable to the table, Toyota claims.

“By combining their respective strengths, such as the all-wheel-drive technologies that Subaru has cultivated over many years and the vehicle electrification technologies that Toyota is employing to bring together other companies that share its aspirations, the two companies intend to take up the challenge of creating attractive products with appeal that only BEVs can offer,” the automaker said in a public release.

Despite its growing volume, Subaru doesn’t have the necessary funds to go it alone on the EV front. Or the hybrid front, for that matter. Last year’s introduction of a plug-in Crosstrek was a product of Toyota’s significant stake in the company and Subaru’s resulting ability to utilize its partner’s technology.

Partnerships, of course, are all the rage today — a solution to spiraling development costs necessitated by emerging technologies and ever more stringent emissions requirements. Both Toyota and Subaru felt that, in order to compete, they needed to create a business model that went “beyond convention.”

In a statement tacked on to Toyota’s release, Subaru said, “Following this agreement with Toyota, Subaru will now shift its existing BEV development resources to this new joint project. Within this new framework, Subaru will continue its efforts to create an attractive BEV SUV for our customers, while improving efficiencies in terms of engineering, development, purchasing, and other areas through the new joint project.”

The announcement came with no timeline attached.

[Image: Subaru]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Sigivald Sigivald on Jun 06, 2019

    EV schmee-V. I'd much rather see a hybrid Outback and Forester. (I agree that 993 has an excellent point about AWD sysetms. And one that a ... hybrid would also allow!)

  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Jun 06, 2019

    Subaru hybrids haven't exactly been flying off the dealer lots, apparently dog loving lesbians just aren't into those green technologies.

    • Ryan Ryan on Jun 06, 2019

      Stingray65, the 1990's called...

  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.
  • TheEndlessEnigma A '95 in Iowa, I'm thinking significant frame and underbody rust issues.
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