Subaru Teased an All-Electric STI

Alex Healey
· 3 min read
Subaru
has been slower to embrace electric cars than other major auto brands, but that appears to be changing with the news that its
first electric SUV
is scheduled for 2023.
The Subaru Solterra will stand alongside the automaker’s long-standing Forester SUV, as a reliable family vehicle that appeals to the mainstream.
But the Japanese company has another side to it too. Subaru has long been known in the world of motorsports for developing high powered, off-road rally cars, like the
Subaru WRX STI
.
And in a move that’s sure to excite race fans, Subaru is now teasing an electric STI, which could become one of the world’s first electric rally cars.
Would an electric STI have a place on the market?

What do we know about Subaru’s electric STI?

STI stands for Subaru Tecnica International, which is the name given to Subaru's renowned motorsports program, and whenever you see a Subaru model with “STI” attached, you know it’s going to be souped up to the eyeballs.
The WRX STI for example, features a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine, and cranks out 305 horsepower, compared to the regular WRX which has a smaller, less powerful engine.
We know that any car with the STI tag is going to be fast, but how will Subaru convert a high-octane, gas-powered racer into an EV? As
Kelley Blue Book
explains, we’re not sure yet.
So far, all we’ve seen from Subaru is a teaser photo showing the nose of a car emerging through smoke, but the headlights and general proportions look very similar to the WRX.
Subaru has promised more details soon, with the “STI E-RA Concept” expected to make its first public appearance at the Tokyo Auto Salon this January.
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An electric STI might appeal to an underserved market

When it comes to high-performance, race-ready EVs, there are the single-seater cars used in the Formula E championship—but these vehicles are not mass produced or available to buy.
More accessible are electric sports cars, like the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Roadster, but these models are not designed for racing, and certainly not for off-road rally driving.
Currently, the only comparable electric vehicles to an STI rally car are the Corsa-e Rally from Vauxhall, the Skoda RE-X1 Kreisel, and the Ford Fiesta ERX, but they are all prohibitively expensive, and not available in the U.S. anyway.
Consequently, if Subaru can get the electric STI developed and released within the next couple of years, they could tap into a neglected market, and pave the way for more high-performance, off-road EVs in years to come.

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