Subaru may be new to electric vehicles, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from unveiling its ambitious initiatives to enter the EV market. According to Electrek, the automaker debuted two concept electric vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Salon. One of the cars was the first Subaru race car. The car features 1,073 horsepower, massive downforce, and AWD to maximize grip and stability.
The Solterra STI Concept was the other car unveiled. It is a sportier variant of the future first Subaru race car. Subaru didn’t discuss under-body improvements of the new Solterra. However, the new model has a roof spoiler, skirt spoilers, and other customizations to signal its performance aspirations. Take an up-close look at Subaru’s impressive new race car below.
With the first Subaru race car, the company is making waves as it makes an entrance into the electric vehicle market. Its entrance is a declaration of intent as well as a representation of its motorsport plans. Subaru, like VW’s racer, demonstrates that the firm is serious about EVs and capable of producing both high-performance cars in addition to vehicles for daily passenger transportation. Still yet, Subaru is behind the curve on EVs, even when compared to incumbents like VW, Mercedes, and GM. As a result, it may need to move quickly if it wishes to achieve any type of competitive edge or advantage with its competitors’ efforts.
The midsize Forester from Subaru, which is renowned for its all-wheel-drive vehicles, has been a segment leader in volume terms. However, the tiny Crosstrek was the greatest seller in October 2021, according to the company (by volume). According to Subaru, dealers continue to struggle with keeping the more off-road-oriented Outback and Forester models of dealer lots despite markups as high as $5,000 above sticker price.
While the Solterra is Subaru’s first step into the electric vehicle market, it will have Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. It will also feature Subaru’s X-Mode, which improves traction in low-friction circumstances and helps dub it as a great first Subaru race car. According to Subaru, when one tire is in the air, the system will regulate the brakes to bring you up and over the obstacle, making this an off-roadable EV. The 8.3-inch ground clearance is also a plus, and Subaru made a point of mentioning it at the LA Auto Show, saying it outperforms the VW ID 4 and Tesla Model Y.
In the end, the Solterra brings about two huge advantages to the American car market. It satisfies Americans’ unquenchable appetite for crossovers while also providing a Subaru race car to help secure a foothold in the electric vehicle industry. And the timing of the advantages couldn’t be better with chip shortages constraining auto supplier base and distribution networks.
Despite chip shortages, Subaru has had a very good past two years. In the United States, the carmaker continues to report record sales. The company recently showed footage of the Solterra as it was tested on off-road obstacles like staircases and offset platforms. Video footage demonstrated exactly how capable the little truck could be. It even put it up against rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace on the same track. Although the starting price has yet to be disclosed, Subaru expects to start selling the 2023 Solterra in mid-summer 2022, with a starting price of roughly $39,000 USD.