Subaru Solterra electric SUV will arrive in 2022
The brand’s first electric SUV will be built on mechanical platform co-developed with Toyota
The Subaru Solterra will be the Japanese brand’s first electric car when it arrives in Europe next year. The Solterra will be built on the e-Subaru Global Platform – a new platform dedicated to electric vehicles, which has been co-developed with Toyota. This platform also serves as the underpinnings for the upcoming Toyota bZ4X mid-size electric SUV.
In a statement, Subaru said: “In this development, the two companies combine their respective strengths, such as Subaru’s long-accumulated all-wheel-drive technology and Toyota’s outstanding vehicle electrification technology, to create a new SUV with attributes that only an all-electric vehicle can offer.”
The new platform can also be adapted for multiple electric vehicle types, which we expect will be used throughout Toyota’s range of “beyond zero” all-electric cars. Subaru hasn't released any other details on the Solterra yet, but the teaser image does hint that the new electric SUV will share some styling cues with the brand's XV SUV.
Subaru electric-car concept
Subaru has already shown a concept car that points towards a production version of its joint-venture SUV. The unnamed vehicle (pictured above) was shown in January 2020, and its angular styling gives us a hint towards the future of Subaru design. While technical details are scarce, we expect both the Toyota and Subaru SUVs to offer a range of around 310 miles (500 kilometres). There's no information on power or battery size, nor whether multiple variants, specifications or trims will be offered.
In a joint statement issued in 2019, the two brands said they'd be combining their respective strengths, including Subaru's expertise with four-wheel drive and Toyota's experience with hybrids and electrification, in order to "take up the challenge of creating attractive products with appeal that only [electric cars] can offer." The statement added that this agreement "represents a new area of collaboration that especially focuses on the urgent need to respond to [the requirement for] electrified powertrains and components."
As is the case with electric-car platforms developed by the likes of the Volkswagen Group and PSA, the platform being pursued by Toyota and Subaru will be capable of underpinning a wide variety of models, including an executive saloon and a larger SUV in the future.
Toyota has said it plans to start mass-producing electric cars in China in 2020. After launching in China, the company will gradually introduce them to Japan, India, the US and Europe, with 10 pure-electric models being available worldwide within the next few years. It's promising to take a "co-operative stance" and work together with various other companies and partners to drive electrification. Its electric-vehicle strategy includes 'ultra-compact' vehicles like personal and mobility scooters, as well as electric cars adapted to the needs of various global markets and the development of high-performance batteries.
This isn't the first time Subaru and Toyota have worked together; Toyota owns a stake in Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, a connection which lead to the development of the rear-wheel-drive Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86. The companies have had a collaboration agreement in place since 2005. Aside from this, the two brands have concentrated largely on hybrid technology (what Toyota calls a 'self-charging' setup). Toyota contributed to the development of the Crosstrek, a plug-in hybrid SUV model that Subaru sells in the US. Subaru has recently launched an 'e-Boxer' hybrid version of its distinctive internal-combustion engine. The brand says that from now on, all of its pure-electrification efforts will be focused on the Toyota collaboration.
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