Despite being a relative newcomer to the electric vehicle market, Subaru isn’t afraid to stretch its limits. The company has unveiled two concept cars at the Tokyo Auto Salon, including its first all-electric race car. The STI E-RA Concept is a hint at what’s coming for Subaru with 1,073 horsepower from four Yamaha motors, significant downforce, and all-wheel drive linked to a “game-changing” torque vectoring system that maximizes grip and stability.
The E-RA’s 60kWh battery may not seem like much, but Subaru is confident it will be able to live on the track. It aims to accomplish a 6:40 at the Nürburgring in 2023. That isn’t as quick as VW’s ID.R (6:05), but it’s considerably quicker than road cars like Tesla’s Model S Plaid (7 minutes 35 seconds). Later in 2022, the firm plans to put the E-RA through its paces at Japanese racing circuits.
Subaru also has a crossover electric car: Solterra EV SUV
The brand also revealed a Solterra STI Concept, which is a more performance-oriented version of the upcoming crossover. Subaru did not reveal any modifications to the underbody, but the upgraded Solterra features a roof spoiler, skirt spoilers, and other customizations to signal its performance objectives.
However, while the E-RA is a testament to Subaru’s motorsport ambitions, it’s also a statement of intent. Like VW’s racer, it demonstrates that Subaru is committed to electric vehicles and can develop high-performance automobiles in addition to regular people carriers. The problem now is how to apply what we’ve learned from projects like this into mass production vehicles. In comparison even to established players like VW, Mercedes, and GM, Subaru is late to the EV party, and if it wants to compete with its competitors on the electric highway, it will need to move quickly.