The beloved Japanese automaker is looking to push hard into new technologies – specifically the green field, as it joins the fray of automakers spending towards R&D of electric cars amid stricter emissions rules.
According to a recent report citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, Subaru Corp, its parent – previously Fuji Heavy Industries – is not diving in, but treading lightly. The Japanese company, set to throw record investments in research and development in the near future, is weighing the introduction of electrified powertrains in current model ranges instead of spending more to design an all-new car and platform – since their latest architecture (used for the first time on the new Impreza) has been developed with electrification in mind as well. Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Yoshinaga confirms the push towards electrification, explaining Subaru will keep its reputation safe and avoid the need for a partnership with a rivaling automaker.
This goes against measure taken by other carmakers – such as BMW’s i and Mercedes’ EQ subbrands, but comes in line with the Renault Nissan group approach. “If there’s already an attractive Subaru model, for example the XV crossover, and if a customer in Beijing wants one but is only allowed to buy an electric vehicle, if there’s no electric version then he can’t buy it,” he explains. “Providing the choice of an EV means the customer can still desire the same Subaru.” Subaru will also prioritize electrification over connected or autonomous driving technologies, wanting to have a plug-in hybrid model on the market in 2018 and a fully electric car in 2021.