First Glance: 2023 Subaru Solterra EV

Subaru Solterra
The first-ever Subaru Solterra EV debuts summer 2022.

 


Subaru is late to the electric vehicle game, but it plans to jump in as soon as mid-2022 with its first model. Indeed, the 2023 Subaru Solterra is on its way, a vehicle built on the company’s e-Subaru Global Platform. The new model shares its underpinnings with the Toyota bz4X.

We do not know much about the Solterra apart from the teaser photo released as August drew to a close. Per the automaker, it is “the most technologically advanced Subaru to date.” This could mean several things, beginning with the architecture, which will feature two or more electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. Like every Subaru model that is not a BRZ, the Solterra will feature standard all-wheel drive.

Other factors about the Solterra include the company’s latest tech offerings, including its STARLINK infotainment system interface. We expect the company’s full range of driver-assist technologies will also be included. Moreover, some sort of autonomous driving capability seems certain. Just how far Subaru goes with that will depend on market conditions and government regulation.

Styling and Debut

The rear three-quarter view of the Solterra’s back side does not indicate much, although the crescent-shaped tail lamp design is new. Further, the spoiler is not a look we have seen before on a Subaru, suggesting it may have been ported from Toyota. In any case, we expect Subaru to introduce a new design language, at least for its electric vehicles.

No other details about the Subaru Solterra are currently available. We expect the automaker will debut the vehicle at the November Los Angeles Auto Show or perhaps as late as the February 2022 Chicago Auto Show. With a plant in Normal, Illinois, the latter will at least showcase what’s coming down the pike the following summer.

Subaru 2022 Changes

The Solterra is one model year away, but the current 2022 model year features several changes of note.

First, the sporty Subaru BRZ is all new. The tiny 2+2 sports coupe features a fresh design, although the look is not far removed from the outgoing model. What is significant about this vehicle is that it gained the brand’s 2.4-liter flat-head four-cylinder engine, making 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The engine replaces the previous 2.0-liter flat-four with 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. As before, customers have a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. Word has it that the new BRZ offers better handling thanks in part to a stiffer structure and improved suspension bits.

Second, the Forester SUV receives a refresh. The current-generation model rolled out in 2019, therefore a fresh exterior countenance for its fourth year is in order. The interior features expanded technologies, available Nappa leather, and other comfort changes. Furthermore, the Wilderness sub-brand introduced last year to the Outback expands to the Forester. The Wilderness features larger wheels, protective underbody cladding, a 9.5-inch ground clearance, and a StarTex (imitation leather) interior.

Third, the Legacy receives light changes. Two years removed from the release of the current-generation model, the midsize Legacy sedan returns with a few updates. To begin, the base model gains 17-inch alloy wheels with a black machine finish. Previously a $350 option, these wheels are now standard. The rest of the changes involve feature shuffling. For instance, the Premium model gains rear ventilation. Also, the Sport trim now includes a power moonroof and additional safety features. These particular safety upgrades comprise blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.

Safety Features

As for the rest of the Subaru lineup, we are seeing light changes, including some movement of driver-assist tech to lower-trim models.


See AlsoThe Value-Oriented 2021 Subaru Legacy

Photo copyright Subaru. All rights reserved.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

Leave a Reply