A report by Japanese media outlet Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun claims Subaru will release an electric all wheel drive crossover in time for the 2021 model year. Since crossover sales are exploding worldwide and electric cars are the wave of the future, combining the two makes sense. Subaru has made its reputation by building all wheel drive vehicles. In the US market, the company currently offers customers no other choices.
All future Subarus will be built on the company’s latest Global Platform, including the small Impreza sedan. The Global Platform is specifically designed to accommodate all likely powertrain options, whether gas, diesel, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric. Presumably if the company decided to offer a fuel cell vehicle at some point or one powered by moonbeams, it would ride on the Global Platform as well.
Fuji Heavy spokesman Masato Saito said the company has not made any decisions about introducing an all-electric, all-wheel drive vehicle. “We have yet to decide on any specifics at the moment,” Saito said. Subaru does have plug-in hybrid models planned for 2018 and beyond. Like all manufacturers, it is trying to comply with stricter fuel economy and emissions standards that conventional cars find difficult to meet.
Subaru is a relatively small manufacturer compared to giants like Toyota and Honda. It does not have the enormous research and development budgets available to larger companies, so must rely on outside suppliers for plug-in hybrid and electric powertrain components.
Its new Global Platform is an indication that the conventional car companies are not yet in a position to commit to fully electric cars. Instead, they intend to hedge their bets, keeping all options open so they can respond rapidly to changes in customer demands and regulatory decisions. Only Tesla is fully committed to electric vehicles. The rest are playing catch up while keeping one eye on the rear view mirror. By the time the Subaru electric all wheel drive crossover arrives in showrooms, Elon Musk will be sending space pioneers to Mars.
Source: Automotive News