TOKYO — Subaru's dive into electrification this year with the U.S. launch of a plug-in hybrid, and its offering of a full electric vehicle in 2021, will rely on the help of its friends — one old and several new.
The old friend is Toyota Motor Corp. The new ones are Mazda, Suzuki, Daihatsu and Hino.
Subaru has an in-house electrification project. But it is also drawing heavily from partnerships to engineer the upcoming plug-in hybrid and EV, said the automaker's chief technical officer, Takeshi Tachimori. Subaru's plug-in hybrid will pull largely from the Toyota Prius Prime's system.
"For our plug-in hybrid to be introduced this year, we have used Toyota's technologies as much as possible," Tachimori said.
But Subaru is adding a few twists, he said, including a longitudinal Subaru engine, rather than the Prius Prime's transversely mounted Toyota powerplant.
Subaru has no choice but to lean on the combined expertise of its erstwhile competitors because it is too small, Tachimori said of the push to electrify the lineup.
"We can't engage in a large-scale development," he said.