Subaru is one of the world’s most trusted car brands. So fans have long been awaiting a fully-electric Subaru EV. Months ago, Subaru teased the model name Solterra but revealed little more. Now, after some Subaru twitter leaks, the official reveal is finally here. This morning, the automaker officially unveiled the Japanese version of the 2023 Subaru Solterra.
|FWD Subaru Solterra||AWD Subaru Solterra|
|Drivetrain||Single front axle electric motor||Dual, front and rear axle electric motors|
|Battery||71.4 kWh Lithium-ion battery||71.4 kWh Lithium-ion battery|
|Weight||4,250 pounds||4,450 pounds|
|Range||330 miles||285 miles|
|Options||Sunroof||Sunroof, 20-inch rims|
The international 2023 Subaru Solterra reveal
At the end of 2018, Subaru announced its first plug-in hybrid drivetrain as a submodel of the Crosstek. The drivetrain was a big hit with Subaru fans. However, it left many wanting a Subaru battery electric vehicle.
In 2021, Subaru revealed its upcoming fully-electric vehicle would be named the Solterra. The automaker added that the Latin words for sun and earth inspired the name of the Subaru EV.
Subaru announced that American fans would have a chance to see the Solterra in-person at the LA auto show. But with the November 17th debut still a week away, Subaru International revealed the Japanese version of the new car.
Subaru International uploaded a one-minute teaser video of the Solterra and a spec sheet. The 2023 Subaru Solterra will be a five-seat crossover SUV. It will be fully electric, also called a battery-electric vehicle (BEV). In addition, Subaru will offer it with optional AWD and sunroof.
The teaser video shows a couple camping next to their Solterra, rising with the sun, driving through woods all day, and then watching the sunset over an ocean. The new Subaru Solterra signals an increasingly electric future for the 4×4 SUV.
The 2023 Solterra will be one of the largest Subarus
The 2023 Solterra will be one of the longest and heaviest cars Subaru offers. According to Subaru, it will be a 112-inch wheelbase crossover SUV. The 2023 Subaru Solterra will have a longer wheelbase than the Crosstek (104.9-inches), Forester (105.1-inches), and Outback (108.1-inches). The five-seat Solterra’s wheelbase will be just one inch shorter than Subaru’s three-row SUV, the Ascent (113.8-inches).
Most Subarus weigh less than 4,000 pounds. The eight-seat Ascent tips the scales around 4,430 pounds. The FWD Solterra will weigh 4,250 pounds, the AWD model 4,450. This makes the Subaru EV relatively light for electric vehicles. EVs tend to outweigh their ICE counterparts, then make up for their bulk with regenerative braking.
You can buy a Subaru EV with a 300+ mile range or AWD–but not both
Despite its weight and size, the 2023 Solterra will be very much a Subaru. The Japanese automaker is offering the new car in FWD or AWD. The AWD option features two electric motors, one to drive the front wheels and one to drive the rear wheels.
Every 2023 Subaru Solterra will be a capable offroader. The EV boasts a minimum of 8.25 inches of ground clearance. It will even have an 18.7-foot turning radius.
Unfortunately, the AWD option will add 200 pounds to the Subaru Solterra’s weight. In addition, it will cut around 50 miles off the Solterra’s range.
The Solterra offers other familiar Subaru features. For example, the Subaru EV comes with disc brakes on all four wheels. But with regenerative braking, drivers will likely use these hydraulic brakes less than they would on a more traditional car. In addition, the Solterra rides on the familiar strut-style coil spring suspension up front and double-wishbone type coil spring suspension in the rear.
This new AWD electric vehicle drivetrain was a joint project between Toyota and Subaru. Subaru claims that engineers from the two companies developed the technology in a spirit of “friendly rivalry.” But in truth, Toyota owns 20% of Subaru. Toyota will build the new Subaru Solterra in a Toyota factory alongside its own bZ4X.