Electrification could be coming for Subaru’s high-performance “STI” trim. A recent trademark application in the German patent/trademark office first uncovered by CarBuzz attempts to secure the rights to “STe,” which may indicate the automaker plans to make hybrid or fully electric performance versions of cars in its lineup.
This is an application, not a granted trademark, nor an indication that the automaker will use this name on any cars. Automakers trademark and patent things all of the time that never see the light of day. It’s plausible that Subaru will make high-performance hybrid or electric vehicles and simply keep calling them STIs. Likewise, this trademark application is in Germany, as previously mentioned. In the United States, Subaru has not applied to trademark anything since October 2021.
German Patent and Trademark Office
It’s an interesting prospect, though. Subaru currently sells no performance-oriented hybrid vehicles. no STI, and only one fully electric vehicle, the Solterra, which is more or less a dressed-up Toyota bZ4x. At least the Subaru has an actual name. The Toyota’s name was seemingly created for the sole purpose of winning high marks in Scrabble.
Cast your mind back to 2017 and the next WRX STI was rumored to be a hybrid. That didn’t happen, at least not yet, so it might still be in the cards, and that car could be called an STe. That being said, the automaker would likely need outside help to get that done. It does make a hybridized CVT that could see a place in a performance vehicle, but it’s in the Crosstrek, which isn’t exactly performance oriented.
That being said, if anyone were going to crack the cheap hybrid performance car formula, it would probably be Subaru. If an STe arrived with a flat-four and an electric motor, I don’t think you would see many people complaining, especially in the face of a milquetoast fully electric STI.
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