Subaru Corporation (Subaru) launched a teaser regarding their first electric car in the form of an SUV. This zero-emission car candidate carries the name Solterra. According to the press release, the names were taken from the Latin “sol” and “terra”. It means “sun” (sun) and “earth” (earth) which makes sense when referring to the development of electric cars.
This car was built using the new e-Subaru Global Platform. The manufacturer does not work alone. They joined several other brands such as Daihatsu, Suzuki, BYD, and Toyota. The question arises; is this the same as the electric concept car Toyota has shown before? Yep, the manufacturer with the T logo has introduced the bZ4X Concept at the last 2021 Shanghai Motor Show. An electric-powered SUV, a member of the 7 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) that will appear starting in 2025. The difference is, the Toyota bZ4X uses the e-TNGA which Toyota claims combines Toyota’s electrification technology with Subaru’s all-wheel drive technology.
In the Subaru teaser itself, there are two images broadcast to the public. First in intact appearance but disguised dark in most of the body. The most clear item shown is the form of a headlamp which contains four LEDs and a Daytime Running Light (DRL) shape that is almost circular. Not exactly the same as the Toyota bZ4X Concept, but implies a similar design pattern. It seems that each brand makes its own design. Then the roof pillars are also visible to the back. The similarities with the bZ4X can be seen starting from the chrome frame to the small glass on the C pillar. Finally, it is just the Solterra name emblem complete with the EV code under it.
A collaboration, of course, aims to design the most ideal combination of cars. Each manufacturer will mutually contribute their expertise and excellence. Like the relationship between Toyota and Subaru, it can create the right synergy for an EV. Toyota provides electrification technology, while Subaru is known for its four-wheel drive system. Trying to realize delicious performance and control.
Enough drawn from the design of the bZ4X concept itself. The composition is unique, it has a long wheelbase and a short overhang. Implied design uniformity with the Toyota RAV4 and Lexus NX. Filled with complicated and futuristic curves. A simpler composition is likely to be applied by Subaru. Given that they are still relatively conservative in terms of design.
According to Subaru’s official statement, the development of Solterra with Toyota is not only attached to the platform. Subaru Solterra will be positioned for the C segment or medium SUV market. This means that the Subaru Solterra is projected to directly fight the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y.
There is no picture of the cabin. But if you refer to the Toyota bZ4X, the interior looks futuristic. Designed with a “Drive Module” which provides the driver a direct connection between road and driving information. The instrument panel is positioned low so that outside visibility feels roomy. In addition, the bZ4X Concept for the first time comes with an airplane cockpit-style steering yoke and a steer-by-wire system. To note, this optimistic design is part of the concept.
The technical specifications for Solterra have not yet been disclosed by Subaru. What’s easy to guess is Subaru’s signature all-wheel-drive system. Can indicate two electric motors each at each axle. If so, the stun-powered boosters are definitely not playing games. Can we hope that it will be able to compete with the performance of the Tesla Model X even further. Solterra is also the first model to introduce the e-Subaru Global Platform. Indicates a variety of other power lines in the future.
The Toyota bZ4X Concept is still in the concept stage. Meanwhile, the Subaru Solterra displayed is a mass product ready for sale. But you have to be patient until the middle of next year. Subaru targets the electric SUV to begin arriving in mid-2022 for the markets of Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe and China. The same territory is also targeted for the production version of the Toyota bZ4X Concept in the future.