The three letters that have always designated the hottest of Subaru’s rally-bred offerings, STI (short for Subaru Tecnica International), are being used for an EV for the very first time. Subaru has just teased a concept it calls the STI E-RA and it announced the study will be fully revealed on January 14, at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Information on this upcoming project is quite limited, but the manufacturer did say the STI E-RA is a
Study model for future motorsport vehicles toward a carbon neutral era.
STI is showcasing the STI E-RA CONCEPT developed in a new project launched with an aim of gaining experience and practice in new technologies in the world of motorsport which is making its way toward a carbon neutral era.
No mention is made about a possible production model spawned by the concept, but in the sole teaser shot provided, the vehicle appears to wear some production-ready headlights that get C-shaped running light LED strips, as well as some very clearly defined projectors within the light clusters.
It doesn’t appear to have a Subaru badge up front, at least not one that’s visible in the teaser, which shows the front fascia obscured by some steam or smoke. There also appear to be some slats on the point of the upper part of the C-shaped DRLs, although we’re not sure what’s actually there; two additional cutouts are visible in the front part of the hood.
Another thing we are not sure about is the body style. It could very well be a rally-inspired electric sedan, but it could also be a coupe or even some type of higher-riding crossover-type vehicle. We hope it’s the first and not the last of these, because while there already are plenty of cool electric crossovers (even Subaru’s own Solterra), there aren’t that many fun electric sedans and one bearing an STI badge sounds like it could do the trick.
One part of the package that we can safely speculate upon is the fact that this STI E-RA vehicle will surely have a dual-motor setup to bestow it with all-wheel drive. Despite the fact that Subaru has made no mention of this yet, we’re pretty sure this will prove true, although we don’t know what kind of performance Subaru will give it.
It will surely be more than the brand’s first EV, the Solterra, which even with two motors, one driving each axle, still only produces a combined 215 horsepower. We expect a production-spec STI EV from Subaru to make upward of 300 horsepower, maybe closer to 400 horsepower in order to overcome the extra weight of the batteries and to give it performance similar to gas-burning models that wear this badge.