Depending on who you ask, an STI is either something you get after a regrettable Tinder hookup, or one of the most important names in the auto enthusiast world. Subaru’s STI models are legendary for bringing rally-inspired performance to the streets. Even enthusiasts who have no interest in owning one still have to respect the badge. And yet, as Subaru looks to electrify its lineup, the STI name may be on the chopping block, replaced by STe.
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CarBuzz recently found a trademark application that Subaru filed in Germany for “STe.” The Class 12 application is for “an apparatus for locomotion by land, air, or water,” which sure sounds car-related to us. After all, we don’t exactly get the feeling that Subaru plans to borrow a page out of Honda’s book and develop its own private jet.
Now, it’s entirely possible that Subaru simply applied for this trademark to keep someone else from using it, but it seems more likely that the Japanese automaker plans to turn STI into STe as it moves toward an all-electric portfolio. Maybe, eventually, the WRX STI could end up being a WRX STe. We’re purely in speculation territory here, so we can’t say for sure, but it does sort of make sense. After all, an electric STI would have a wildly different powertrain than its predecessors, so it would make sense that Subaru might want to change up the naming convention.
Jalopnik reached out to Subaru for comment on the trademark filing, but at the time of publication, we haven’t gotten a response. When we do, we’ll be sure to update this post. Maybe they’ll confirm it. Maybe they’ll say they can’t comment on future products. Heck, maybe they’ll even confirm an upcoming high-performance Subaru Solterra STe. Crazier things have happened.
Okay, maybe that last one is a reach. The Solterra already only has a maximum EPA-estimated 228 miles of range, and creating a high-performance version would likely reduce that even further, making a hypothetical Solterra STe a really tough sell. Not that we’d turn down the chance to drive one if Subaru ever does build it.