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The New Subaru EV That Caught Everyone By Surprise

Subaru enters the EV era with a surprise all-electric performance car. Check out a candid interview with its developer and what it means for customers.

Subaru Corporation has the all-new 2023 Solterra all-electric compact SUV, but more is coming from the Japanese automaker. Subaru and Subaru Tecnica International unveiled a surprise all-electric STI E-RA performance sports car that will be the forerunner to more electric vehicles coming from Subaru.

Hiroshi Mori, Director of Product Planning at Subaru Tecnica International (STI), told the Japanese automotive publication Response the STI E-RA was developed for Subaru to survive in the carbon-neutral era. He says a child born today, when he is an adult, EVs will be commonplace in the world.

2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV
Hiroshi Mori, Director of Product Planning at STI

A new all-electric STI 2-door coupe

Mori says, "Unfortunately, Subaru does not currently have a mass-produced all-electric car, which is a 2-door coupe, as the base. I'm worried about what to do with that, but I would like to develop a base that can make such a car."

The all-electric STI E-RA performance sports car is built to break records on the Nurburgring, but it's also the test vehicle that will bring a new all-electric WRX STI and future STI sports cars. When asked if the car will cultivate the technology that will be the basis of the electrification strategy of STI in the future, Mori says, "Yes, that's right.”

2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV

Subaru's core value is all-wheel-drive, and Subaru Corporation and STI will develop the technology using a four-wheel independent all-wheel-drive technology with four-wheel torque vectoring. The tech will be the basis for all-electric STI sports cars and electrified all-wheel-drive SUVs like the Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek.

How much power does the STI E-RA produce?

Under the body of the sleek-looking EV sits four electric motors produced by Yamaha Motor. They each provide 268 horsepower for a total of 1073 horsepower. Peak torque for the system is 811 lb-ft.

The current lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 60 kWh, but a one-lap attack of the Nurburgring determined that. Mori says to increase "acceleration performance or cruising range, we will have to increase the battery capacity."

Because electric cars will be commonplace in the next 15-20 years, he plans to make a car that has "all the classic STI driving characteristics, even if it's an EV."

The STI E-RA was a surprise reveal by Subaru, but it's the forerunner and test vehicle for more all-wheel-drive all-electric models coming in the future. Mori wants an all-electric 2-door coupe sports car and an all-electric WRX STI, and Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek EVs are also coming. Stay tuned.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru


Russell Casey (not verified)    January 24, 2022 - 12:24AM

This is encouraging. I was hoping that Subaru was not going to rely solely on Toyota for EV technology.

JEREMY S MOORE (not verified)    January 24, 2022 - 6:46PM

Really disappointed in how long it's taking them. At least make the Forester Hybrid available in the US and have a plug-in soon