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2023 Subaru Solterra EV video teaser shows more metal

The 2023 Subaru Solterra EV has been teased once more this time in a video that depicts it in the wilderness. It starts off showing a vibrant green valley before giving us a glimpse of the all-electric crossover in the middle of the forest partially hidden behind a leaf. We see more of the car’s design in between cuts of nature and animals, showing that the Solterra is essentially the more rugged sibling to the upcoming production version of the Toyota bZ4X Concept.

We get two clear angles of the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV. The first is its side profile, which essentially reveals that it looks similar to its Toyota sibling. However, there are clear differences because the Subaru has significantly more ground clearance as evident in the massive gaps between the top of the tire and the wheel well. The C-shaped taillights are connected by a single LED strip instead of a separate one that branches down. While both crossovers will share the same multi-beam LED headlights, the daytime running light patterns are different with Subaru using the same C-shaped pattern found in its current lineup instead of Toyota’s single light strip accenting what appears to be chrome trim.

In the second half of the 30-second teaser, we see the Solterra driving on the road and going off-road, revealing its silhouette, which is the same as the bZ4X. These scenes also show off the crossover’s extra ground clearance, which is most evident in the initial parts because you can see the other edge of the road between the wheels. The video then cuts into the interior, which looks identical to its sibling but housing Subaru’s Starlink interface instead of Toyota’s latest infotainment system. The wheel designs are also significantly different with Subaru going for a multi-spoke look instead of a simpler five-spoke one as found in the Toyota bZ4X Concept.

Subaru and Toyota co-developed the Solterra and bZ4X on the latter’s e-TNGA architecture, which has been specifically developed for battery-electric vehicles. There will be some key differences, though. Subaru’s version, dubbed the e-Subaru global platform, will be tailored specifically for that brand’s ethos and rugged, outdoorsy image. That means the Solterra could get a dual-motor layout, effectively giving it AWD as standard. In terms of size, both the Solterra and bZ4X will be similar to the Forester and RAV4, putting them at the heart of the competitive compact crossover segment. This will be the second vehicle that Toyota and Subaru would have created together, the first ones are the 86 and BRZ sports cars, which just entered their second generations.

The 2023 Solterra will be the first model with a unique, brand-specific version of Toyota’s modular e-TNGA platform. As part of a larger partnership of Japanese automotive brands, more companies will use these underpinnings for their upcoming battery-electric vehicles. Suzuki, Daihatsu, and Mazda, which are also part of the alliance, could use it for global market EVs. The former two are Toyota’s partners in developing an e-TNGA variant specifically for subcompact and compact cars.

Expect more battery-electric models to follow suit after the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV. Considering how modular the underpinnings are, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Subaru added more EVs based on the e-Subaru global platform. With Toyota already planning at least six or seven e-TNGA-based EVs, there’s no reason why Subaru won’t bring more out.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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