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Subaru, National Ski Patrol ink partnership extension including avalanche dog sponsorship

The National Ski Patrol and Subaru have partnered for the last 25 years.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The National Ski Patrol (NSP) and Subaru are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their partnership this year and extending the automaker's sponsorship of NSP and their programs for an additional two years.

"NSP is thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with Subaru," said National Ski Patrol Executive Director Meegan Moszynski. "Hitting the 25-year mark means that Subaru continues to support NSP as it evolves and grows, and we value that loyalty and longevity. NSP and its members believe in Subaru and its vehicles; just like a Subaru, this partnership has been top of the line with a consistent focus on safety."

Subaru National Park Service avalanche dog Subaru has sponsored training for numerous avalanche dogs and their handlers.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Over the last three years, NSP and Subaru have begun transitioning their partnership to a new phase with additional marketing initiatives including the NSP-Subaru Ambassadors. You may have seen their custom wrapped vehicles - there are 10 of these across the U.S.

Subaru WinterFest, a winter infotainment series that tours the country occurring at various ski resorts. At the events, Subaru collects information forms from attendees. For each form collected, Subaru donates $1 to the Subaru NSP Avalanche Rescue Dog Scholarship Fund.

NSP and Subaru have sponsored avalanche dogs and their handlers to attend the Wasatch Backcountry Rescue International Dog School and Colorado Rapid Avalanche fall programs. The scholarship fund helps teams who might not otherwise be able to continue training their dogs due to the high cost of the courses.

"For 25 years, Subaru has relished working with National Ski Patrol on impactful initiatives that make the slopes a safer place to be," said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. "We know our Subaru owners are devotees of winter sports, and through our ongoing work with NSP, are excited to continue bringing fun, safe initiatives to skiers across the country."

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The Solterra is Subaru's first EV.

Subaru

Months of teases and rumors are over, as Subaru has just taken wraps off of its Solterra electric SUV. The EV was developed in conjunction with Toyota, whose own electrified SUV debuted earlier this year. Subaru unveiled the SUV at an event in Japan, and while the U.S. version won't be shown until next week, this international reveal gives us a great idea of what we'll see.

Subaru Solterra The Solterra is nearly identical to the Toyota bZ4X in several key areas.Subaru

Since Subaru worked jointly with Toyota on the EV program, the Solterra is more than a close relative of Toyota's bZ4X – it's nearly identical, down to the powertrain. Up front, the Subaru EV splits from its Toyota counterpart with fake grille panels, but the vehicle's sides and overall shape are practically interchangeable. The Solterra's interior is almost a mirror image of the bZ4X, but there's no yoke steering wheel.

The Japanese specs aren't remarkable, but they're nothing to sneeze at, either. The crossover comes with a 71.4 kWh battery that should deliver a 250-mile range by EPA standards. Two drivetrains are offered, including a front-wheel drive version with a 150-kW motor and an all-wheel drive model with two 80-kW motors.

Subaru Solterra Subaru will show the Solterra at the LA Auto Show next week.Subaru

Subaru will announce the North American version of the Solterra next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. There may be minor differences in equipment and appearance, but the Subaru EV we see here should be close to the vehicle shown off in Japan. Subaru says that Solterra deliveries will start in mid-2022.

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New sports car

Toyota announces pricing for 2022 GR86

The new GR86 gets more power and chassis refinements.

Toyota

Toyota and Subaru are among few remaining automakers still building small sports cars. The 86 and BRZ twins are a rarity these days: Two-door, rear-drive sports cars with available manual transmissions. Even so, the cars were down on power and needed structural improvements to truly stand out, both of which they got for the 2022 model year. Today, Toyota announced pricing for the 2022 GR86, which starts at under $30,000.

2022 Toyota GR86 Pricing is reasonable at under $30,000.Toyota

The new GR86 addresses many of the complaints that buyers had about the last generation cars. A new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is on board that makes 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque – both improvements on the previous model's 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration improves from a 0-60 mph time of 7.0 seconds to 6.1 seconds for cars equipped with the manual transmission(MT) and from 8.0 to 6.6 seconds for cars with the automatic transmission (AT).

2022 Toyota GR86 Power and torque are both up for 2022. Toyota

Toyota says that the GR86's chassis is stiffer for the new model year, thanks to new front cross-members and bracing under the hood. Engineers focused on weight control for the cars, resulting in a curb weight of just 2,811 pounds for MT models and 2,851 for AT models. For reference, that's between 400 and 500 pounds more than the tiny Mazda Miata, depending on transmission choice.

2022 Toyota GR86 Small sports cars are a dying breed.Toyota

The base GR86 with manual transmission starts at $27,700 before destination and the top GR86 Premium with automatic transmission starts at $31,800. Pricing for the 86 is reasonable, no matter which way you cut it, but there's a bonus that makes the deal even sweeter. Every buyer of a 2022 GR86 will get a one-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), which includes the ability to attend a high-performance driving event and admission to other NASA events.

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