Another industry disrupter?
Subaru and Toyota are certainly no strangers to one another. Not only did the Japanese automakers previously jointly develop the BRZ and 86 rear-wheel-drive sports coupe twins, but they have collaborated on several previous projects over the years. Today, there’s yet another one in the works and this time it’s very significant. The two companies have announced an agreement to jointly develop an all-new platform dedicated solely to battery electric vehicles for both midsize and large passenger vehicles.
In addition, all-new C-segment SUV EVs (the Subaru Crosstrek falls under this category) for each brand are part of the plan. This new partnership makes a lot of sense because it combines Subaru’s all-wheel-drive technologies, of which it’s become an industry expert, and Toyota’s knowledge of vehicle electrification technologies.
Another recent example of their recent cooperation is the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, which essentially utilizes Toyota’s plug-in hybrid guts. No other specific details were provided, such as a production timeline and reveal dates, but given the extraordinary speed the industry in general has been moving towards battery electrics, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the first concepts appear in the next year or two. Collaboration between brands is also front and center these days.
BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, for example, just announced their own electric vehicle component partnership. Meanwhile, the now apparently dead FCA-Renault merger had a clear goal to jointly develop EV global platforms, among other goals. The new Subaru-Toyota battery electric vehicle platform project could also potentially pave the way for additional cooperation between the two, such as a future EV platform specifically for larger vehicles, but that’s pure speculation at this time.
This news also comes following a report claiming Toyota is potentially considering to discontinue the Prius hybrid because it has, more or less, served its purpose. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids will soon make way for pure electric vehicles and it appears Toyota, now partnered with Subaru, could be taking the big first step towards an eventual successor.