Toyota and Subaru originally announced plans to collaborate on a dedicated platform for electric vehicles back in June 2019. The first fruit of their labour is a week away from being officially unveiled as the Auto Shanghai show in China will see the world premiere of a fully electric SUV. We're going to discover Toyota's version first, with a Subaru equivalent reportedly called "Evoltis" likely not far behind.
Likely to be part of Toyota's "Beyond Zero" sub-brand for all things electric, the zero-emissions SUV is showing off its face with a blue corporate badge signalling its eco-friendly nature. The lack of a conventional front grille is also a sign there's no combustion engine underneath the bonnet. There is a lower grille and could serve a functional purpose by cooling down the EV-related bits and bobs, while the upper panel appears to have a closed-off design.
Gallery: Toyota e-TNGA
Previously described as being "very European in the DNA and design," Toyota's new electric SUV will ride on the e-TNGA platform and is expected to compete in the midsize segment. It's worth mentioning the vehicle coming to Auto Shanghai won't be a production model as the teaser image here actually depicts a concept.
It remains to be seen how close it will be to the road-going model, which will be the first of six bespoke Toyota BEVs coming this decade. There are plans for a small compact vehicle co-developed with Suzuki / Daihatsu, along with a midsize crossover, MPV, and saloon models as well as a large SUV. These will get fresh names unrelated to existing vehicles to further signal they're part of a new breed of green models.
Following the concept's debut next week, the production model will go on sale in Europe "in a couple of years," according to a statement made by Toyota Europe's sales and marketing chief, Matt Harrison, in an interview with Automotive News Europe in December 2020. Details about the EV are shrouded in mystery, but we do know the e-TNGA platform is being engineered to accommodate front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive setups as well as different types of electric motors and battery packs (from 50 kWh to 100 kWh).
Due to be built in Japan, the RAV4-sized SUV will lead the way for a new family of electric vehicles, joining the second-generation Mirai fuel cell hydrogen saloon, Lexus UX 300e, and the battery-powered Proace van.