PHOENIX — Subaru's partnership with Toyota Motor Corp. that launched a couple of nifty sports cars, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86, is going in a new direction that is more suited for the all-wheel-drive specialist.
The 2023 Solterra, Subaru's first EV, is a Latin portmanteau for sun (sol) and earth (terra).
Engineering and design of the Solterra and bZ4X was handed equally between the two companies, though the crossovers are being assembled at a Toyota plant in Japan.
Like most everything Subaru, the Solterra will only be sold with awd. The bZ4X is available with front-wheel drive and awd.
Subaru owners are eager to protect the planet, so an EV is natural white space for the brand. And because the EV market is still unfolding, Subaru is leaning on a bigger partner to until scale improves.
The five-passenger, four-door Solterra joins perhaps the most crowded EV segment: compact and midsize crossovers. It will be in the company of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Volkswagen ID4 and Kia EV6, with more on the way, notably the bZ4X and Nissan's Ariya.
Journalists had an opportunity to drive the Solterra last week in and around Phoenix, in on-road and off-road settings.
Car and Driver calls the Solterra a "homework assignment turned in late," were it not for its off-road prowess.