Subaru Officially Unveils Solterra Crossover EV


The upcoming Subaru Solterra will not only be the automaker’s first all-electric SUV but its most technologically advanced model. It is almost identical to the Toyota bZ4X with which it is being co-developed. (Subaru)

By Sebastian Blanco

After years of producing green concepts and hybrid models, Subaru is ready to enter the all-electric vehicle (EV) game. Subaru teased the Solterra, the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, earlier this year and has now finally revealed some concrete details about this new electric SUV.

Except for its new, designed-for-electric front end, the Solterra could be mistaken for a standard Subaru model, bringing some of the company’s Outback style to a new powertrain and platform. Unsurprisingly, the wagon-esque Solterra crossover utility vehicle (CUV) will offer all-wheel drive (AWD), powered by a motor on each axle. The Soltarra’s X-Mode AWD control system also brings a new Grip Control function, which the company says will allow the Solterra to remain stable even when traversing rough roads. A front-wheel-drive-only (FWD) model will also be available. The FWD version uses a 150-kW motor on the front axle, while the AWD Solterra uses an 80-kW motor on each axle for a total output of 160 kW.

The Solterra’s grille consists of a large hexagon framed by cladded front wheel arches. The structural battery pack sits low on the chassis, under the cabin floor, which Subaru says keeps the vehicle’s center of gravity low. The electric CUV will be available with either 18- or 20-inch wheels.

The Solterra’s interior will be notable for its low instrumental panel and top-mounted meters, another first for Subaru. Other technical features include the ability to accept up to 150 kW DC fast charging and both solar and glass roof options.

While official range estimates are not yet available, internal company testing shows that the FWD Solterra will have a range of around 330 miles on Japan’s WLTC testing standard, and the AWD model should be able to go approximately 285 miles. Both models use a 71.4-kWh battery. Official EPA numbers will be lower in the United States, likely around 250 miles for the AWD, due to differences in how these tests are conducted.

Subaru says that while the Solterra is its first battery-electric vehicle (BEV), it importantly forms “the cornerstone of Subaru’s future BEVs” while remaining true to the Subaru brand. Whatever features Subaru offers in its EVs, they will have at least a little bit of Toyota engineering involved as well. Toyota and Subaru jointly developed the e-Subaru Global Platform (also known as the e-TNGA or e-Toyota Global Platform) for the Solterra and future electric vehicles from both companies, including the upcoming Toyota bZ4X.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra will go on sale around the world in mid-2022.