The car is currently on display at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, while its sales in the U.S. should start in 2022.
The name Solterra was created using the Latin words for “Sun” and “Earth” to underline Subaru's commitment to environmental responsibility. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the Solterra is packed with electrification and in-vehicle technology, but maintains the Subaru heritage.
The car is built on the new e-Subaru Global Platform (sister to Toyota e-TNGA), jointly developed with Toyota. The Subaru Solterra is actually a very similar vehicle to the Toyota bZ4X. It appears that only details will differ between the two.
The company promises a spacious SUV for 5 passengers, with useable cargo space and a flat floor with generous legroom.
According to Subaru, the all-electric range should exceed 220 miles (354 km) - there is no word of "EPA" in the press release. This is for the dual motor, all-wheel drive version (160 kW output), which makes us wonder whether there will be a front-wheel-drive version offered.
"With an estimated range of more than 220 miles with standard symmetrical all-wheel drive, convenient home charging, and a national network of charging stations, Solterra owners can explore the open and back roads with confidence."
For reference, in Japan the car is expected to go in the WLTC test cycle up to 460 km (286 miles) for the AWD version and 530 km (329 miles) for the FWD version. Both are equipped with a 71.4 kWh battery.
Since the US press release does not include many details (battery capacity, or even whether there will be a FWD version offered), we must wait for further announcements.
Subaru underlines a focus on all-wheel-drive capabilities:
"Solterra comes standard with a new Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system that now channels smooth linear output from Subaru StarDrive® Technology, providing outstanding traction and capability in all kinds of weather and terrain. Subaru StarDrive delivers substantial on-demand torque at all speeds with Power and driver-selectable regenerative modes.
Like other Subaru SUVs, the Solterra is equipped with X-MODE® offering increased performance in low-friction and off-road conditions. The all-new Solterra features grip control that incorporates hill ascent and descent assist. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance, 215 horsepower, and 248-lb-ft of torque, the all-new model provides versatility in both off-road and city driving."
Subaru announced a suite of standard driver assist technology, which includes:
- automatic pre-collision braking
- automatic pre-collision throttle management
- lane departure warning
- Blind Spot Monitor with Lane Change Assist
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Safety Exit Alert - new safety feature notifies occupants, before exiting the vehicle, of obstacles and pedestrians with an audible and visual warning
For the first time in a Subaru there will be a 360-Degree Surround-View Camera system. Standard will be Multi-element LED Headlights with High Beam Assist.
With standard driver and front passenger frontal airbags, side curtain airbags, side pelvis/torso airbags and a driver’s knee airbag, Subaru aims for the prestigious TOP SAFETY PICK+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Inside we can find a 12.3-inch touchscreen, standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a wireless charging phone dock in the center console.
"Smartphone connectivity includes Remote Start, Smart Navigation, and Remote Lock/Unlocking all contribute to a more convenient and connected drive. Also with a smartphone, Climate Control system can automatically warm up or cool down the vehicle before departure, even when garaged."
Gallery: 2023 Subaru Solterra (U.S.)
2023 Subaru Solterra preliminary specs (U.S.)
- EV Range (estimated) - 220+ miles
- Horsepower 215
- Torque (lb.-ft.) 248
- Passenger volume (cu.in.) 95.7
- Cargo volume from upper row (cu.in.) 27.7
- Cargo volume from lower row (cu.in.) 30.3
- Total passenger & cargo volume (cu.in.) 126
- Rear cargo opening width (in.) 41.3
- Wheelbase (in.) 112.2
- Length (in.) 184.6
- Height (in.) 65.0
- Width (in.) 73.2
- Seating Capacity 5 passenger
- Ground clearance (in.) 8.3