Toyota and Subaru announced Friday that they will expand their partnership into connected-car programs and a co-developed electric vehicle platform. Toyota will also be taking a larger ownership stake in Subaru, while the latter will acquire equity in Toyota for the first time.
While the partnership includes plans to build the second-generation sports coupe currently sold as the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, both companies identify CASE (connected, autonomous/automated, shared and electric) demands as the core need for cooperation and cost-sharing.
"Our companies, both of which have long pursued driving enjoyment, now want to pursue the possibilities of making ever-better cars suitable for the CASE era by bringing together our strengths and by further deepening our relationship," said Toyota President Akio Toyoda in the joint announcement.
Neither identified the end product that will come of their connected-car or autonomous vehicle collaboration plans, three key programs were called out for future development: work on a new jointly engineered battery-electric vehicle platform, co-development of new all-wheel drive models, and broader implementation of Toyota's hybrid powertrains in Subaru nameplates.
The new BEV platform is expected to underpin models from both manufacturers, and the companies said it will employ both electrification technology from Toyota and all-wheel drive technology care of Subaru.
2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
"By taking our relationship one step further and mutually honing our technologies, we will strengthen our ability to respond to CASE and other demands, and will accelerate our shared aspirations for making ever-better cars," said Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura.
On the hybrid front, Subaru's only current model to offer Toyota's gasoline-electric powertrain is the Crosstrek Hybrid, which is currently exclusive to the North American market.