Toyota and Subaru are getting together to make a new platform and vehicle. But if you were hoping for this to be the announcement of a new 86 and BRZ, then you might be disappointed.
The two automakers will be getting together to develop a fully electric vehicle platform. And a fully electric vehicle. And to approximately zero surprise, that vehicle is going to be an SUV.
Subaru and Toyota have been partnering on vehicles for quite a few years. And that goes beyond the joint development that gave us the rear-drive sports car that’s shared between the brands. The hybrid powertrain that’s been on again, off again in the Subaru Crosstrek came from Toyota. Toyota has also produced the midsize Camry sedan at the Subaru plant in Indiana, with the deal lasting from 2005 until 2016, when Subaru needed the capacity to increase production of its own vehicles.
This latest venture, the two say, is to develop “a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles for midsize and large passenger vehicles.”
While that platform is intended for each automaker to build its own vehicles on a common architecture, likely to save on development costs and time, there will be a closer link as well.
Subaru and Toyota say that they will be jointly developing an entire vehicle. A C-segment SUV, RAV4 and Crosstrek size, that is, that will be battery powered, but sold by both companies under their own brands. Much like the 86 and BRZ.
The two cite Toyota’s expertise in electrification and Subaru’s in all-wheel drive as part of the reason for the partnership.
The release calls the auto industry “in the midst of a once-in-a-century period of profound transformation.” With not just a need for electrified powertrains but also increased connectivity and autonomy. With both companies working on many of the same initiatives, the two said that increasing their collaboration “especially focuses on the urgent need” to develop electrified powertrains and components.
Collaboration helps the two automakers when it comes to development, but also ensures battery supply.
Subaru also announced that as part of this agreement it will shift its existing electric vehicle development to the new project. But that it will “continue its efforts to create an attractive BEV SUV for our customers.”
Don’t expect to see the fruits of this partnership for a few years.