By this point, it's no surprise when a car maker announces they're planning a new crossover. Subaru's newest SUV, for example, will be the Solterra. The name combines the Latin words "sol," meaning sun, and "terra," meaning earth. Subaru says the name expresses the brand's commitment to deliver traditional SUV capabilities in an environmentally responsible package."
In other words...it's going to be an electric vehicle.
What do we know about the Solterra? Not a lot of firm details. The Solterra is coming in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle. We know it will be an EV SUV that runs on Subaru's new e-Subaru global electric platform, a joint development project with Toyota. Subaru has confirmed that the Solterra will have standard all-wheel drive and "state of the art safety technology." Subaru also says it will have "ample back seat and cargo room."
Initial teaser photos for the Solterra looked more hatchback-like. However, Subaru's latest side profile photos reveal a vehicle that looks more like the related (and far less charmingly named) Toyota bZ4X.
Subaru has not yet provided us with information on the Solterra's powertrain, projected EPA range or how much it will cost. But we can expect the vehicle will follow its combustion SUV brethren, skewing toward the affordable, practical and active lifestyle end of the EV spectrum.
On paper, the Solterra should be a major hit for Subaru. The brand naturally appeals to nature lovers and people who care about the environment, but cars like the Outback and Forester have trailed behind competitors getting more fuel-efficient hybrid and electric versions to market. (And competitors are making buyers aware of that.) A zero-emission vehicle that embodies everything people love about current Subarus and comes in at a reasonable price point should go down very well with buyers.