Subaru and Toyota are working on a joint EV crossover project and this looks to be the initial fruits of that development. It was a bit strange that Subaru was not saying much about the concept unveiled at its technology gathering for the press in Tokyo. However, LoveCars!TV!, a Japanese YouTube channel, did a walkaround that gives more details.
As with most EV development the Toyota/Subaru venture centers around a common EV platform. In this way, varying bodies can be plunked onto it offering many production vehicles from the single base.
Subaru’s EV concept shows how its venture with Toyota is bearing fruit
For Toyota, the venture brings Subaru’s all-wheel-drive systems to incorporate into the platform. Toyota helps Subaru with powertrain know-how. Combining the two is an obvious jumpstart in EV development.
Overall the body is heavily sculptured with the wheel openings pulled out for an aggressive look. The wheel openings are outlined with heavy black cladding that carries around the rockers. It picks up on both the frontend and rear end to visually lighten some of the mass of the body. It’s adding an entirely different graphic to an already busy body side.
The design line coming off of the cowl into the door in concert with the black graphic visually pinches the body mass. Since this is a crossover SUV which is mostly heavy-looking anyway it would be nice to see the design without this somewhat arbitrary element.
The EV concept’s busy sculpting and cladding is meant to add interest to the design
The front has that face-within-a-face look. It graphically adds interest with the deep-set headlight slits and side vents tied together. In some ways, it is a variation of the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept’s front end. Defining the front of most EVs is the lack of a grille opening.
The rear also picks up some of that body-within-a-body look as the front. The crease in the tailgate and body detail around the bumper helps to break up the heavy rear end. The enveloping taillights do the same.
The concept is obviously a work-in-progress
In all the concept seems to be a bit unfinished, which the blacked-out windows don’t help. This is very much a work-in-progress if the interior has not been addressed. But that’s OK. As designers work through ideas it is good to have a full-size version to determine what works and doesn’t work. Obviously, things change when you go from computer screen to real life.
What this does give us is a roadmap for where Subaru is going with its EV program. It also, possibly shares with us some of the visual synergies it will rely on once the EV goes into production. Lacking mirrors, door handles, and any badges or identification, it nonetheless gives a face to a process that probably won’t bear fruit until 2022 or 2023.
Every company wants to convey its deep dive into EV development to show its woke acknowledgment of the future of transportation.