New Toyota bZ4X GR Sport and Subaru Solterra STI revealed
18 January 2022 - Autocar
Tokyo concepts could preview performance-inspired versions of electric SUV siblings
Toyota and Subaru have each revealed performance-inspired versions of their closely related bZ4X and Solterra electric SUVs.
The new Toyota bZ4X GR Sport broke cover at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan at the same time as Subaru showcased the new performance-themed Solterra STI Concept. The bZ4X and Solterra have been jointly developed through a partnership between Toyota and Subaru.
Neither Toyota nor Subaru has given any technical or performance details of either concept vehicle, or confirmed if they preview future road-going versions of the bZ4X or Solterra. Both machines are built on the new E-TNGA bespoke electric platform.
Toyota says the bZ4X GR Sport Concept is designed to deliver “an elevated level of environmental performance and driving pleasure”. The machine features distinctive matt black body panels and larger tyres alongside a number of exterior tweaks. The interior has sport seats and other styling additions.
The Solterra STI Concept gains a large roof spoiler and ‘under spoilers’ painted cherry red as well as a number of other exterior styling additions.
The performance focus of both machines is reflected in them carrying the GR Sport and STI badges, which are the performance arms of Toyota and Subaru respectively.
Toyota has put a major focus on expanding its performance range in recent years with the GR Supra, GR Yaris and new GR 86, and it is also working on a GR Corolla. The firm uses the GR Sport branding as a trim level for models, with performance-themed styling upgrades.
STI is Subaru’s performance wing and has a particular focus on the firm’s heritage, with all-wheel-drive machines such as its succession of Imprezas that competed in the World Rally Championship.
The top-spec powertrain for the bZ4X and Solterra features two electric motors and four-wheel-drive technology developed by Subaru, with a total of 214bhp and 248lb ft. That results in a 0-62mph time of 7.7sec, with power drawn from a 71.4kWh battery that offers an official range of more than 280 miles.