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The all-new electric Subaru Solterra SUV has a unique name, but from where does it come? The word Solterra has a Latin meaning that might hint at a particular feature. Though not everything has been revealed about the SUV just yet, so we’re not sure if the name is implying or not. The Solterra shares a lot with the Toyota bZ4x, but thankfully the name is much less confusing.

What does Solterra mean?

Blue-green 2023 Subaru Solterra EV parked in a forest, what does its name mean?
2023 Subaru Solterra EV | Subaru

The 2023 Subaru Solterra comes from two Latin words meaning “sun” and “earth.” An electric vehicle named after the sun and our planet? Could it be because it is electric and therefore environmentally friendly, or is there something else? What if, like a few other electric vehicles, the Solterra uses the sun to power itself?

Subaru’s SUV will make a massive splash since it is geared toward off-roading and uses driving outside to power itself. Especially when off-roading, drivers are in fear of losing power to their EV constantly. Relieving this “range anxiety” is something on which many automakers have focused. Some solar panels could be the exact solution a vehicle like the Solterra needs.

Does the 2023 Subaru Solterra have a solar panel?

Blue-gray 2023 Subaru Solterra EV parked near a field, for information on release date, price, and specs
2023 Subaru Solterra EV | Subaru

From the information and photos available so far, there is no visible solar panel. However, the Tesla Cybertruck has one built into its bed, which is virtually invisible in photos. Subaru could even create a solar panel roof, and we’d never be able to tell. The possibilities are endless, or we’re just thinking way too far into the name.

If the Solterra name comes from the earth and sun because of a significant feature, it must be massive. Subaru has something up its sleeve that no one has ever seen before. This vehicle would become very successful if Subaru developed a secondary power source using the sun (and earth?) that isn’t a solar panel on the roof. It will also be the first to use this technology, but not the last.

What is the 2023 Subaru Solterra?

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is the first electric vehicle from Subaru, entering the compact SUV market. Developed in partnership with Toyota’s bZ4x, the two vehicles share quite a bit, including design. We already know that, unlike the bZ4x, the Solterra comes standard with all-wheel drive and “Grip Control.” Grip control is Subaru’s new off-road cruise control technology, which we expect to see in future vehicles as well.

As reported by CarAndDriver, the name Solterra means sun and earth. It could very well be hinting at solar power being attached to the vehicle. However, it is only speculation, and Subaru has given us no concrete evidence to believe that’s where the name comes from. Whether that feature is present on every Solterra, an optional item, or doesn’t exist at all is unknown. Since other automakers, like Tesla, have done something similar, it’s possible with a brand like Subaru. Although, there is always the possibility that Subaru just thought it was a cool name.


3 Major Differences Between the 2023 Subaru Solterra and 2022 Toyota bZ4X