Future 3-Row Subaru EV Crossover Digitally Carries the Ascent Moniker but Fights Kia's EV9

Subaru Ascent EV rendering by vburlapp 8 photos
Photo: vburlapp / Instagram
Subaru Ascent EV rendering by vburlapp2024 Subaru Ascent2024 Subaru Ascent2024 Subaru Ascent2024 Subaru Ascent2024 Subaru Ascent2024 Subaru Ascent
Things are looking great after Subaru of America announced its April 2024 and year-to-date sales performance – after no less than 21 months of consecutive growth, in April, deliveries jumped almost two digits, while during the first four months of the year, the surge was of at least 7%.
Naturally, passenger cars are on the backburner at Subaru, too – their little BRZ plummeted almost 38% during the first four months of the year, the Impreza compact dropped more than 19% along with the Legacy sedan compared to the same period last year, and the WRX performance sedan dropped by almost 39%, the worst among its peers.

Meanwhile, crossovers are shining brighter than ever. The classic best-selling nameplate is, of course, the Forester compact CUV, followed by the smaller Crosstrek and the practical, sixth-generation Outback CUV station wagon. Naturally, Subaru is thinking about adding even more high-riding models to the family, right?

Well, Toyota recently announced it would produce an all-new, large three-row SUV at their facility in Indiana, where it also makes the current Highlander, the bigger Grand Highlander, the Lexus TX cousin, and the Sienna minivan. Logic – at least across the rumor mill – dictates a possible connection between that model and Subie because they are partners for EVs with the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra.

The same could occur with the all-new, three-row battery-electric SUV that will be assembled in the US as part of the company's new $1.4 billion investment in its Princeton, Indiana facility, which could create 340 new jobs and raise the total investment in Toyota Indiana to $8 billion. Naturally, Subie could get a rebadged model out of there quite easily.

Well, it already has – albeit solely in the parallel universes of vehicular CGI, thanks to the imaginative realm of digital car content creators. Over there, Vince Burlapp (aka vburlapp on social media or is a prolific virtual artist who loves to dream of all the latest models across the wide-ranging automotive realm – and his unofficial proposal for the future Subaru three-row EV crossover still carries the Ascent nameplate around back.

That doesn't mean the ICE-powered version is out of the question when the time comes for the introduction of the second generation of the nameplate. In fact, SIA (Subaru of Indiana Automotive), located in Lafayette, Indiana, could easily take care of the successor for the mid-size crossover that was introduced on the North American markets in 2018, while Toyota handles the build for the EV model in Princeton.

After all, Subaru has already announced four EV models that would arrive in 2026, all sold in the US because that's where the bulk of its global deliveries go, and since Toyota owns 20% of Subie, it is easy to guess that at least some of these SUVs will continue the relationship between the Solterra and bZ4X. That way, they would both have an answer for the rising popularity of the Kia EV9.

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Editor's note: Gallery includes official images of Subaru Ascent.

About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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