Subarsize Me: 2023 Subaru Solterra EV Longer Than Forester, Taller Than Crosstrek, Heavier Than Base Ascent
Subaru plans to unveil its Solterra electric vehicle to the public at the LA Auto Show on November 17th. First, we glimpsed details of the Subaru EV in a Subaru twitter leak. Then, Subaru International published a specification sheet for the Japanese market this morning. This battery-powered five-seat SUV will be large for a Subaru.
|FWD Subaru Solterra||AWD Subaru Solterra|
|Drivetrain||Single motor: front axle only||Dual motor: front axle and rear axle|
|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 2023 Subaru Solterra: a heavyweight
The 2023 Solterra will be one of the longest vehicles Subaru offers. The Subaru battery electric vehicle will also be one of the heaviest. The five-seat crossover SUV rides on a 112-inch wheelbase–according to the automaker. This means its is 112-inches from one axle to the other. For comparison’s sake, the Subaru Crosstrek rides on a 104.9-inch wheelbase, the Forester a 105.1-inch wheelbase, and the Outback a 108.1-inch wheelbase. Only the Ascent, with its third row of seating, is longer: 113.8-inches.
The 2023 Solterra will also be very heavy for a Subaru. Almost every Subaru weighs less than 4,000 pounds. Only the Ascent weighs more (4,430 to 4,603 pounds). The recent specifications sheet spills the beans. The FWD Solterra will weigh 4,250 pounds. The AWD Solterra will have one additional motor and thus weigh 200 pounds more: 4,450 pounds. This makes it even heavier than some AWD Ascents.
The other dimension of the Subaru EV
When Subaru published the specification sheet on the Japanese model of the Solterra, it revealed several other key statistics on the car. Its bumper-to-bumper length will be 184.6 inches (that is longer than a Forester, shorter than an Outback). The SUV’s overall width will be 73.2 inches. Its height will be 65 inches (the lifted Crosstrek is only 63.6 inches tall).
The amount the FWD model will be able to carry, both car and cargo or gross vehicle weight (GVW), is 4,861 pounds. The AWD model will have a higher GVW: 5,059 pounds.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra passenger cabin will have room for five people. The overall cabin length is 76.4 inches, and its width is 59.6 inches. The cabin height is regularly 45.7 inches but gives up 0.7 inches to the optional sunroof.
The 2023 Subarue Solterra will probably wear its weight well
The 2023 Solterra signals Subaru–and the industry’s–shift to electrification. Electric vehicles are often heavier than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. While electric motors often weigh less than gasoline motors, current lithium-ion batteries are very heavy.
But electric cars and crossovers, such as the Subaru Solterra, wear their weight gracefully. Torquey electric engines help EVs accelerate faster than ICEs. Take for example the record-breaking Tesla Model S Plaid.
In addition, an EV’s weight is centered in its battery pack, low in the frame. This lowers its center of gravity to keep it nimble. Finally, an EV’s regenerative braking helps to slow it down and extends its range.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra’s weight and length do not appear to affect its performance. Firstly, every Solterra promises a minimum of 8.25 inches ground clearance. Secondly, it has a turning radius of 18.7 feet. This is not as tight as the Impreza’s 17.7-foot turning radius but beats the Subaru Ascent’s 19-foot turning radius.
The Solterra will ride on a familiar Subaru chassis with disc brakes front and rear. Front suspension is strut-style coils while the rear is double-wishbone type coil suspension. Steering is rack assist type, though the steering pump is electric.
FWD Solterras will feature a single 200 horsepower electric motor powering the front axle. They will likely have a range of 330 miles. AWD Solterras will boast two 107 horsepower engines, one at the front and one at the back of the car. The AWD models will weigh 200 pounds more and have a range of about 285 miles.
One possible reason the Solterra departs from other Subaru specs is that it was developed as a joint project between Toyota and Subaru. It shares its dimension with the Toyota bZ4X and will, for the time being, be built by Toyota. This is because engineering an EV is expensive and Toyota owns 20% of Subaru.