Subaru has announced that its first fully electric vehicle, due to go on sale in 2022, will be called Solterra.
The small electric SUV was confirmed by Subaru in December as on schedule and headed to the U.S. It will be built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform that has been co-developed with Toyota, combining Subaru’s all-wheel-drive expertise with Toyota electrification tech.
Although Subaru hasn’t yet shown the Solterra beyond the badge and profile shot from today’s release, you can still get a very good picture of what it will look like—because the Toyota side of that development project has already been shown in a production-bound concept called the Toyota bZ4X Concept.
Teaser for Subaru Solterra electric crossover due in mid-2022
Expect the Solterra to be about the same size as the Subaru Forester, albeit somewhat lower and sleeker. And given the nature of the project, which doesn’t plan on a combustion engine,
The name is formed by combining the Latin words for Sun and Earth. Although it also sounds like a hint that Subaru plans to use solar power in a new way—or like a solar-panel brand in and of itself—the outdoorsy vehicle brand didn’t make any such claim. Subaru otherwise describes the model as “a truly capable and durable Subaru SUV” and one that’s of course engineered to be safe, versatile, and capable.
Just as with previous jointly developed vehicles between the automakers—the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 being the prime example—you can expect slight differences in trim and equipment while the designs remain essentially the same.
Toyota-Subaru electric vehicle platform
This isn’t the first time Subaru and Toyota have partnered for plug-in vehicles either. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid offering 17 miles of all-electric range, 35 mpg combined, and the same kind of all-wheel-drive capability you can find in other Subaru models, is built around Toyota’s hybrid system.
So far, the Crosstrek Hybrid is strictly a compliance car, available only in states that have adopted California’s ZEV mandate. We’ll soon see if the Solterra will be more widely available.
The Subaru Solterra will be sold in Canada, China, Europe, and Japan, as well as in the U.S.