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Subaru Solterra With X-Mode Is No Big Deal - Why Fans Want A Wilderness Trim

Subaru says the new 2023 Solterra all-electric SUV will be distinctly Subaru, but it will share X-Mode with Toyota. Here is what fans want in Subaru's first-ever all-electric SUV.

Subaru just announced its first-ever all-electric 2023 Solterra SUV would make its global premiere on November 10, 2021, for U.S. customers. When Toyota announced its version of the same model it shares with Subaru, the automaker says the bZ4X will come with Subaru's X-Mode. That's a disappointment because X-Mode is what sets Subaru apart from the competition.

The deal Subaru made with Toyota, which now owns 20 percent of Subaru Corporation, says Toyota will share its electric vehicle and battery technology. In turn, Subaru will share its Symmetrical all-wheel-drive technology with Toyota. It's a deal Subaru had to make to survive in the new world of electric vehicles. Subaru doesn't have the resources to build an EV.

2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV features, specs

The new Subaru Solterra EV will come with X-Mode, and it will feature a new "Grip-Control" that Toyota says was newly developed and installed as a new feature for X-Mode. "By leveraging motor drive characteristics, it is suited to everything from everyday driving to light off-road driving and more, achieving off-road performance exceeding expectations in BEVs," Toyota said in the announcement.

Toyota's all-electric bZ4X will now have the same off-road capability as the Subaru Solterra, and it's why Subaru will need to differentiate itself by offering a Solterra Wilderness trim level.

2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV features, specs

Subaru's STEP 2.0 mid-term management progress report says Subaru's core values are adventure, all-wheel-drive utility, safety, reliability and longevity, and capability.

Subaru says, "We will further enhance our deep relationship between Subaru and our customers, making us different from other brands." We have to assume this also means Toyota.

What sets Subaru apart?

The automaker's values include safety, fun-to-drive, all-weather capable, off-pavement ready, and a low center-of-gravity. With the Solterra sharing its all-wheel-drive technology with Toyota, the all-electric bZ4X will have the same capabilities.

When Subaru announces the all-new all-electric 2023 Solterra SUV will it have the same X-Mode as the bZ4X, or will it be equipped with a dual-function X-Mode with deep snow and mud settings for improved performance while navigating steep trails?

The STEP 2.0 mid-term management progress report says, "With highly responsive electric motors, Subaru's all-wheel-drive capability and driving dynamics will be further enhanced."

To set the new 2023 Subaru Solterra apart from Toyota and other EVs, the new all-electric compact SUV will need a new Solterra Wilderness trim level for Subaru's active customers to go further off-road.

The new 2023 Subaru Solterra can't be your typical urban commuter. If the all-electric SUV will be distinctly Subaru and incorporate its core values, it must have a rugged "go-anywhere" attitude for outdoor enthusiasts. Will Subaru of America offer a new Solterra EV Wilderness trim? We will find out on November 10, 2021. 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 Global


XTman (not verified)    November 3, 2021 - 1:10AM

Yes, Subaru would have to work really hard to differentiate the Solterra from its Toyota twin. A Wilderness version of the Solterra is a good idea. Nevertheless, the as-published range per charging means that all the wilderness it could get would be next the town mall. To make it truly "Wilderness" it needs a declared range of at least 400 miles which in real world trail driving would shrink to 340 miles. In remote deserted areas, where there are no charging stations, only 1 month long hiatus, in a sunny location, would enable the roof's solar panel to let the Solterra get out to a nearest charging station.