First Full EV
Today Subaru joins the burgeoning electric vehicle fray with the introduction of its first full electric model — the all-new Solterra. Sporting a name derived from a combination of the Latin words for sun and earth, the 2023 Subaru Solterra stays true to the brand’s ethos with an advanced all-wheel drive system, off-road capability and the latest advanced safety systems.
The exterior styling of the brand-new 2023 Solterra EV is a bit of a departure from other vehicles in the Subaru lineup, although some similarities are evident. The front fascia mimics hexagonal grilles found on other models; however, since the new Solterra is all electric it doesn’t need an actual grille opening for engine cooling. Slim LED headlights flank Solterra’s solid fascia along with stylish LED running lights. A low hoodline and thin A-pillars are designed to provide better forward visibility as well as optimum aerodynamic performance.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra’s short overhangs (the amount of vehicle ahead of the front wheels and behind the rear wheels) combined with pronounced wheel arches and 20-inch wheels give the new EV a strong silhouette. Sculpted doors contribute to a look of forward motion, even when the crossover is standing still.
New EV Platform
When it goes into production, the Solterra will be built on a new e-Subaru Global Platform engineered in partnership with Toyota as dedicated battery-electric vehicle architecture. Batteries get stored beneath the floor as part of the vehicle’s structure, which also provides a lower center of gravity as well as improved rigidity and body strength.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra employs two electric motors — one powering each axle — to create a new Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Total output for the EV comes in at 215 horsepower with 246 lb-ft of torque, which should provide spritely performance along with excellent traction on slick roads and rough pavement — or even no pavement.
Range and Charging
Carrying a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Solterra is expected to have a driving range of at least 220 miles — plenty of single-charge distance for an off-road adventure or a typical daily commute. Charging can be done at Level 2 AC or DC fast-charging stations, which adds significant range in a short time period. Alternatively, the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV can be charged at home from a standard 110-volt outlet.
Off-Road in Silence
Thanks to all-wheel drive and 8.3 inches of ground clearance, the new Solterra will be as ready for off-road adventure as its gas-powered siblings. Solterra will also be equipped with Subaru’s X-MODE, which improves off-road performance as well as grip control for controlled hill descents.
The Solterra is about the same length as Subaru’s stalwart Forester crossover, but with a considerably longer wheelbase. This increased distance between the axles pushes the wheels to the corners of the vehicle (contributing to those short overhangs mentioned earlier), which makes for a more spacious cabin. And since the all-electric Solterra has no drivetrain or transmission to work around, the EV has a flat floor — adding storage space up front as well as adequate legroom for rear-seat passengers. The aft seats can also be folded to further expand the roomy cargo area.
When it hits showrooms, the 2023 Subaru Solterra will have an all-new infotainment system with a large 12.3-inch touchscreen display, giving the interior a clean, high-tech look. A digital driver display also adds to the techy vibe. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be standard equipment, as well as a wireless phone charger in the center console.
As with every Subaru, the Solterra gets the latest advanced safety features and driver-assist technologies. The new EV includes automatic emergency braking, automatic pre-collision throttle management, lane departure warning, a blind-spot monitor with lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking. The Solterra also has a 360-degree surround view camera — a first for Subaru — as well as standard LED headlights with high-beam assist.
Coming Next Year
The 2023 Subaru Solterra will be sold worldwide. Subaru’s first full electric vehicle will likely roll into U.S. dealerships during the first half of next year.