Subaru Reveals Its First Electric SUV, Co-Developed with Toyota

2023 Subaru Solterra
The Subaru Solterra made its digital global debut today. Subaru Corporation

The U.S. won't see its version of the Subaru Solterra all-electric SUV until next week but the company's Japanese version has already been made public. The model, which was co-developed with Toyota, is a close replica to that company's BZ4X.

Subrau's Solterra has a face that features a grille-like design but instead of the traditional piece is a body panel that has paint matching the body of the model. The company's emblem sits front and center on that panel.

There's a strong use of cladding that many on Twitter criticized for being straight from the 1990s General Motors playbook. The ruggedized lower bumper plastic blends into the wheel arches but doesn't actually cover the area of the SUV where mud splatter and loose rocks would traditionally hit.

Solterra's headlamps are reminiscent of the Subaru Outback's and it comes with small, round fog lamps. Just above them is the mounting point for front license plates. Below is an imitation skid plate. Subaru has confirmed that adaptive LED lighting will be available.

The automaker has shown the first images of the model with it wearing gloss black side mirrors, and a blue paint job. There are what appears to be non-functional matching roof rails.

The rails have a gloss black metal roof between them. The automaker has said that a panoramic moonroof will be available and that the metal roof will feature integrated solar panels, likely similar to the way that the Hyundai Sonata employs similar technology in its car.

The rear of the model appears to be nearly identical to the BZ4X. Their wheels are different with the Solterra available wearing up to 20-inchers.

Underpining the Solterra is shared architecture that matches a 71.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack with the buyer's choice of one or two electric motors. Customers who opt for one get a front-wheel drive model. Two results in all-wheel drive.

Official U.S. estimates for the range of the Solterra are not public yet.

Subaru says that the model is capable of charging at speeds up to 150 kilowatts, which can bring the battery up to an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

Unlike some other electric vehicles, the Solterra comes with a heat pump, which helps the model's range in cold weather situations.

The interior of the Solterra shares a lot from the BZ4X, but not all. The Solterra doesn't have the yoke steering wheel that Toyota showcased in BZ4X models bound for the China market. Instead, it has the same traditional circular wheel that was in the BZ4X concept.

Wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, a fully automated parking assist system, and phone-as-key technology will be available.

Subaru plans to start selling the Solterra in the U.S. in 2022 as a 2023 model. More details regarding the U.S. version of the vehicle are expected next week.