As more and more manufacturers are introducing their first electric vehicles, Subaru has finally decided to throw its hat in the ring with the all-new 2023 Subaru Solterra. As one of the smaller players in the automobile industry, Subaru has decided to partner with Toyota for its first EV, leveraging the larger company’s research and development capabilities. This means that the new Solterra shares a platform with the upcoming Toyota bZ4X, but Subaru has attempted to put its own unique spin on the vehicle to make its first electric SUV worthy of the Subaru name.
Subaru’s First All-Electric SUV
The Solterra is a two-row compact SUV that is very similar in size to the popular Subaru Forester and offers similar capabilities. The largest difference between the two is, of course, their methods of propulsion. All current Subaru models use their trademark four-cylinder boxer engine, a unique engine configuration that improves safety and handling through its low center of gravity. The Solterra takes these principles a step further with its all-electric powertrain. The floor-mounted 71.4 kWh battery and low-slung electric motors not only keep weight concentrated close to the ground, but they also free up additional cabin space and allow for a much longer wheelbase for greater stability./
Moving to electric motors also allows for an even more capable all-wheel drive system. Subaru is renowned for its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, but an EV opens up new possibilities and greater capability. By using separate front and rear electric motors, the Solterra can distribute power as needed while eliminating the need for a bulky central driveshaft. With a total of 215 horsepower available, the Solterra is also more powerful than the Forester on top of having the advantage of instant electric torque. Combined with over 8 inches of ground clearance and Subaru’s X-MODE, the Solterra is ready for adventure.
A New Chapter for Subaru
We expect that the new 2023 Solterra will be a popular addition to the Subaru lineup when it begins hitting dealers in mid-2022. While it will likely carry a higher price tag than the Forester, its enhanced capability, lower operating costs, and environmentally-friendly nature will likely be appealing to anyone shopping for a new Subaru SUV. If the Solterra proves as popular as we expect, it shouldn’t be long before the company starts rolling out more electric models to complement its current gasoline-powered lineup.