Here Comes the Sun: Subaru Shows Solterra Teaser Ahead of L.A. Debut
Automakers love a good teaser campaign, despite their propensity for giving away some of the good secrets like a movie trailer that drags on too long. Subaru has jumped on this marketing bandwagon for their upcoming Solterra, which is both an all-electric compact crossover and the company’s first EV.
Playing a riveting game of I Spy with this teaser photo, it’s safe to say the Solterra will fit in Subaru showrooms quite comfortably.
Fans of the Exploding Galaxy will note the large amount of black trim over that front wheel, a visual feature usually meant to trick one’s eye into thinking a vehicle is taller than its actual dimensions. This time around, the flat black mustache seems to extend all the way forward to the front bumper and up to Solterra’s headlamp, real estate not usually consumed by this visual trickery. All of those who have foamed and frothed over the growing black wheel arches on other Subaru models are going to need smelling salts.
Piecing together the larger picture from other teaser images, there’s a solid chance the Solterra will share much with other vehicles on a Subaru dealer’s lot. Chunky headlamps appear to be a take on the Crosstrek peepers, while the rear lamps could easily be swapped for ones on the Outback or Forester. The company’s mum on powertrain details for now, other than confirming the thing will be equipped with all-wheel drive. The teaser photo shown here has an appropriate amount of lifestyle mud on its flanks.
Where the Solterra will absolutely differ from its showroom cousins is in its cabin. A photo shared by Subaru earlier this year promises an interior with a free-standing digital gauge cluster rather than a binnacle ahead of the driver, paired with an enormous infotainment screen oriented in landscape fashion. That tablet tops what reminds your author of a reverse rolltop desk cover, one which spills down between the driver and passenger to house a rotary dial for gear selection and a number of controls for secondary features. Whether they are actual buttons or haptic smartphone-style controls is difficult to discern.
Subaru has partnered with Toyota on this project, who will be producing their own variant of this vehicle called the bZ4X – you know, the one which has been spied with a Tesla-like yoke instead of a steering wheel. Given the way that modern automotive manufacturing works these days, there’s every chance in the world this platform will be pressed into duty underneath a variety of other upcoming EV models. Gotta pay for those R&D and tooling costs, after all.
Subaru will livestream the Solterra unveiling, an event scheduled for November 17 as part of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
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At least it won't have a boxer engine.
I don't know why everyone is blaming Subaru. They merely take their marching orders from Toyota --a company that hasn't hired anyone remotely matching Peter Stevens' *pinky* in talent for decades now. Yet, the sheep keep buying Toyotas and Lexuses, proving not just ugly but FUGLY isn't necessarily a turn-off. Having seen the BZ4X, which the Solterra is a clone of, it is very likely that cheap, cynical Toyota would not have authorized the X dollars it would have required to change a single line of it.