Subaru usually isn’t the first manufacturer that comes to mind when it comes to electric vehicles. The Japanese-domiciled brand is better known for its turbocharged boxer engines, symmetrical all-wheel-drive and family-friendly off-road prowess.
However, that’s all about to change with an all-electric crossover called the Evoltis. Co-developed with Toyota, it will be Subaru’s first proper foray into the EV scene. We saw an early conceptual mockupy back in January, yet what interests us most is how it’ll look in production form, so lets digitally envisage further, while noting that at this point, it’s not clear if the SUV will be a compact- (think Toyota RAV4), a medium- (like the Subaru Ascent) or an in-between size.
At first glance you could almost be staring at something from Ingolstadt; the faux hexagonal grille exudes a hint of Audi and its hawk-eye DRL lighting signature is futuristically Germanic. Elsewhere, the styling is an assortment of contrasting blocky cladding and tense, angular surfaces.
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Being an EV allows the wheels to be pushed out to the furthermost corners for an athletic stance, while the contrasting roofline provides a very cab-forward aesthetic. Regular side mirrors replace the camera-based ones from the concept, and the frameless windows don’t make the transition into production either.
Out (the) back, the view is monolithic with flat surfacing and steeply-raked tailgate glass. Slim LED taillights span the width of the hatch and cascade vertically into 90-degree corners with virtually no curves anywhere.
Beneath The Bodywork
The Evoltis will sit on Toyota’s spacious e-TNGA platform (electric Toyota New Global Architecture) co-developed with Subaru. Its flexibility enables front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and most importantly for Subaru, all-wheel-drive configuration.
Whilst we’ve yet to lay eyes on the interior, expect the latest in infotainment and connectivity, with dominant touchscreen displays, wireless charging, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. It’s unknown if the Evoltis will use Subaru’s Eye-Sight X or Toyota’s Safety Sense (TSS 3.0) suite of driver assists. Either way, we could see Level 3 semi-autonomous driving as an option at least.
Reports indicate the e-TNGA architecture has can accommodate battery packs ranging from 50 kWh to 100 kWh. It would enable the Evoltis to achieve a range of 186 miles (300 km) for the 50 kWh pack and 372 miles (599 km) for the 100 kWh variant.
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Performance-wise, expect somewhere around 215 hp (160 kW) for the base dual-motor variant, and 402 hp (300 kW) for the higher performance dual-motor setup. The latter would be a fantastic combination for go-fast cosmetic and handling upgrades under the STi-branded banner.
Amped Rivals & Reveal
By the time it launches, it’ll face increased competition in the form of Volkswagen’s ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-e, Nissan Ariya, Genesis JW midsized EV, and Hyundai Ioniq 5. Pricier alternatives include the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Tesla Model Y, Audi e-Tron, and upcoming Cadillac Lyriq.
An official reveal could come as early as 2021 or 2022 – possibly in pre-production form. However, Subaru could be push this back due to the pandemic and arrival of Toyota & Panasonic’s jointly-developed solid-state batteries, which will enter limited production from 2025.
What are your thoughts on Subaru’s electrified new crossover? Share your views in the comments below.