Toyota BZ4X GR Sport, Subaru Solterra STI electric SUV concept twins revealed

Toyota and Subaru have treated their jointly-developed electric SUVs to sporty exterior and interior upgrades, affixed with GR Sport or STI branding – but the concepts gain no more power over their standard counterparts.

Toyota and Subaru have used the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon enthusiast motor show to reveal sporty concept variants of their jointly-developed 2022 Toyota BZ4X and 2022 Subaru Solterra electric SUVs – but there’s no word on of the two vehicles will reach production.

Revealed within hours of one another, the Toyota BZ4X GR Sport and Subaru Solterra STI concepts both add a selection of sporty exterior and/or interior parts to Toyota and Subaru’s first dedicated electric vehicles – but no improvements to their electric motors or chassis.

While the standard Toyota BZ4X and Subaru Solterra were co-developed by the two companies on a shared electric vehicle platform – and will be manufactured on the same production line – only the Toyota is bound for Australian showrooms, likely towards the end of this year.

The BZ4X GR Sport Concept treats both its exterior and interior to upgrades, which include larger (likely 21-inch) wheels, Bridgestone sports tyres, red brake calipers, GR badging, sports front seats and matte black body panels – though the base car’s bumpers, side skirts and wheel arches have been carried over to the GR Sport show car.

Meanwhile, the Solterra STI Concept concentrates on exterior changes, adding a rear roof spoiler, cherry red splitters and skirts, black 20-inch alloy wheels and mirror caps, and cherry red accents on the wheel spokes.

With no changes to the vehicles’ powertrains detailed, the BZ4X GR Sport and Solterra STI concepts either draw power from one 150kW electric motor on the front axle, or two 80kW electric motors (split across the axles) for all-wheel drive.

The lack of performance upgrades should come at no surprise to Toyota and Subaru fans, given the GR Sport nameplate is applied to vehicles with sporty looks but no substantial performance improvements – while STI branding is affixed to a catalogue of sporty-looking accessories in Japan.

It’s not clear if the Toyota and Subaru concepts will enter production. However, Toyota Japan offers GR Sport variants of a wide array of its models – from the C-HR small SUV, to the HiLux ute – while STI accessories can be optioned on most new Subaru models in the Japanese market.

In the latter’s case, the Solterra STI Concept was revealed alongside ‘STI Performance Concept’ versions of the Subaru WRX, BRZ and Levorg wagon (or WRX Sportswagon), adding similar cherry red body parts, black wheels and enlarged rear spoilers to those seen on the electric SUV.

Whether the production versions of the Toyota BZ4X GR Sport and Subaru Solterra STI concepts would be offered in Australia is yet to be confirmed.

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