Are they America-bound?
Almost exactly one year ago, Toyota and Subaru announced an agreement to jointly develop an all-new battery-electric platform for future midsize and large passenger vehicles. C-segment (think Subaru Crosstrek) SUV EVs are also included. The combined expertise of Toyota electrification technologies and Subaru's all-wheel-drive experience makes an awful lot of sense. The name of this architecture is e-TNGA. This past January, the first result of this partnership was revealed, a nameless SUV design study concept wearing Subaru badges.
Fast forward to today and some leaked images have appeared online courtesy of China's National Patent Office. There are actually two different vehicles shown here, one is a midsize crossover with supposedly three rows of seats, and a compact SUV. Technical details remain a mystery at this time, including battery sizes and power output.
Design-wise, both bear a striking resemblance to that bold Subaru concept, specifically the front-end styling and enhanced wheel arches. There are even traces of the current Toyota RAV4. The smaller SUV also has a sloped rear-end styling similar to that of the Lexus UX. The larger one has a more conventionally styled side profile, hence it having enough space for that third row. Looking more closely at them both reveal hidden door handles and extremely narrow side mirrors, which are probably cameras. Interestingly, the midsize SUV's "side cameras" are located further up on the A-pillar.
Question is whether or not these patent sketches are the actual production models or new concepts? Aside from the side mirrors/cameras, we'd say they look awfully close to production-ready.
Bear in mind Toyota's goal of launching up to ten vehicles based on this new platform within the next few years. Will one or both be sold in the US? There's a good likelihood the larger of the two is headed our way, but we can't confirm anything just yet. Will Subaru's upcoming own version be sold here as well? Again, it's too soon to know.
In any case, the e-TNGA platform will play a vital role for both automakers as the electric vehicle market as a whole expands massively.