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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
thanks toyota subaru to gain an electric crossover ev platform

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]

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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...

  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged