Subaru has begun teasing the 2023 Solterra all-electric SUV, the brand's first EV. It's being developed as part of a joint-venture between Subaru and Toyota and the Japanese automaker is marketing it as a safe and versatile SUV.
The Solterra name is actually a portmanteau of the Latin words for sun (sol) and Earth (terra). Clever naming aside, Subaru was clear to point out in a press release that by working together with Toyota, it can bring its years of all-wheel drive experience together with Toyota's electrification technology.
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The electrification push by Subaru is not surprising. Governments around the world are pushing for it, with many phasing out internal combustion engines (ICE) altogether. Actually, even Japan is mulling over a plan to ban ICE cars by 2035, although it's being met with much resistance. Regardless, if Subaru wants to be able to continue selling in the U.S., and especially parts of Europe, then the move is a necessary one.
Considering that Tesla has a greater market capitalization than Ford, while producing six times fewer vehicles, surely any automaker would want a piece of that success.
It's also no surprise that Subaru and Toyota worked together on this project. The pair worked together on the GT86 and BR-Z twins back in the late 2000s, bringing a fun and affordable real-wheel drive sportscar to driving enthusiasts. And if governments are mandating that automakers all switch to electric, then why not work together again and split development costs?
While the teaser image above gives us little as to what the Solterra will look like, it does have a very similar profile to the Toyota bZ4X concept. Honestly, we wouldn't at all be surprised if the two vehicles end up looking strikingly similar, as was the case with the "Toyobaru" twins.
Either way, here's everything we know about the Subaru Solterra so far.
Subaru Solterra 2023 release date
Subaru announced that the 2023 Solterra will go on sale sometime in 2022. It will deliver vehicles to the U.S., Canada, China, Europe and Japan.
Subaru Solterra 2023 price
Subaru has not announced a price for the Solterra, but we can make some educated guesses. Among Japanese automakers, Subaru vehicles generally tend to be priced a little higher. Not only is this an issue of production — Subaru simply does not manufacture or sell at the scale of Honda or Toyota — the company tends to focus on key areas, like all-wheel drive, in ways that its competitors do not.
Either way, considering the increased demand on batteries, we suspect that the Solterra will see a starting price in either the upper $30K or low $40K range.
Subaru Solterra 2023 range
The most expensive part of any electric car is its battery pack. Some automakers, like Mazda with its MX-30, have opted for a smaller battery as most people don't drive more than 130 miles on a daily basis. Tesla, on the other hand, has given its buyers high mileage options to assuage range anxiety concerns.
Regardless, Subaru has always marketed itself as the outdoorsy brand, one meant to take on long road trips towards scenic mountain trails. To keep up with this, Subaru will likely pack a giant battery underneath the Solterra. We expect the Solterra to have a range of at least 300 miles. Anything less might turn away longtime Subaru fans.
Subaru Solterra 2023 features
Being a Subaru, expect a solid all-wheel drive system coupled with advanced safety features. In the press release, the automaker said, "Subaru engineers worked to bring together the brand’s all-wheel drive capability, superior driving dynamics and world leading passive safety in a versatile, dedicated EV platform. The result is a technologically advanced full-electric SUV that is also a truly capable and durable Subaru SUV."
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