Toyota and Subaru yesterday made a very important announcement: using the former’s vehicle electrification technologies and the latter’s all-wheel-drive expertise, they will jointly develop a brand new, EV-dedicated platform.
Said platform will be designed in a way that will make it broadly applicable to multiple vehicle types, including compact and midsize sedans and SUVs.
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In fact, Toyota and Subaru announced they will kick things off by creating a new compact electric SUV to be sold under each company’s own brand.
Many will say it was about time. Unfortunately, no timeframe was given for a market release. We also have no clue about the available range since the press release only mentions “large-capacity batteries.”
This marks another chapter in the business collaboration the two Japanese automakers have agreed to in 2005. Most notably, they launched the jointly developed Scion FR-S/Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes in 2012 and recently started selling the new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (plug-in hybrid) in the U.S. using a Toyota powertrain. Once predicted for 2019, Canadian sales are due to begin this fall for the 2020 model year.
Currently, Subaru doesn’t have a single electrified model in its Canadian lineup. There have been rumours that the next-generation WRX will become a hybrid, but so far the company is staying quiet about that.
Meanwhile, Toyota offers as many as 14 hybrid vehicles combined under the Toyota and Lexus brands, although the Prius c could be on the way out.
Feeling an urgent need to embrace zero-emission, battery-electric vehicles like most of the top car manufacturers, Toyota and Subaru believe “it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond convention, crossing over industrial boundaries together with various types of other entities that share their aspirations.”