Subaru is planning on entering the electric crossover segment in the coming years, according to Japanese media outlets.
The yet-unnamed battery-powered model is still at the embryonic stage of development. However, we already know that it will ride on the new, highly modular Subaru Global Platform (SGP) that will make its debut under the all-new fifth-generation Impreza we expect to see in showrooms by the end of the year.
The crossover will be a midsize model bigger than the Impreza, which is positioned at the bottom of the Subaru lineup, and it will share more than a handful of components with either the next Forester or the next Outback. It will boast a generous amount of ground clearance to take its occupants off the beaten path, and it goes without saying that it will feature an EV-specific version of Subaru’s time-tested symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
While developing an electric off-roader is easier said than done, Subaru has previously explained that it needs to embrace electrification in order to meet the stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations that are scheduled to come into effect in the United States in the coming years. With that in mind, the EV will be designed largely for the United States market, and it could be assembled in the company’s Indiana factory.
Contacted by trade journal Automotive News, Subaru downplayed the rumors and simply stated that executives haven’t decided how electrification will play into the company’s future yet. However, spokesman Masato Saito confirmed that an electric model would most likely ride on the SGP platform, and it would likely be aimed largely at the U.S. market.
Subaru’s first-ever full-production electric model will go on sale in the U.S. in 2021, assuming the rumor is accurate. In the meantime, the company is focusing its resources on developing a plug-in hybrid model capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances.