Subaru and Toyota will partner to create a brand-new electric vehicle platform, both automakers confirmed Thursday. The Japanese companies will jointly develop a compact SUV on this architecture, a version of which will be sold under both brands.
"The two companies intend to take up the challenge of creating attractive products with appeal that only BEVs (battery electric vehicles) can offer," the automakers said in a statement.
Subaru and Toyota say this collaboration will play off the strengths of both companies. Toyota will bring its vehicle electrification expertise to the table, while Subaru will provide the all-wheel-drive system. Following the launch of the upcoming compact SUV, the companies say the new electric vehicle platform will be flexible enough that it can underpin a range of C- and D-segment sedans and SUVs.
This won't be the first time Subaru and Toyota have partnered on vehicle development; the companies initially formed a collaborative partnership in 2005. The first co-developed vehicles were the small, rear-wheel-drive Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 twins (as well as the now-deceased Scion FR-S). Last year, Toyota applied its hybrid electric vehicle technologies to Subaru's Crosstrek, resulting in the Crosstrek Hybrid.
Neither automaker provided a timeline as to when this new vehicle platform will be finished, nor did they say when we could expect the first EV SUV to launch. But since we're talking about ground-up development here, it's reasonable to assume the fruits of this shared labor won't arrive for quite some time.