Can new Subaru Solterra EV win Tesla cross-shoppers?

When the Solterra goes on sale in mid-2022 in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe and China, Subaru will be pitching the brand’s outdoorsy awd DNA as much as the vehicle’s electric drivetrain.

“The essence of Subaru cars remains the same even with this battery-EV model,” Chief Technology Officer Tetsuo Fujinuki said. “The Solterra is our all-wheel-drive EV, so you can feel that it is a Subaru car when you ride it.

“Other EVs are not fun to drive,” he said in a claim rivals would dispute.

The U.S. — Subaru’s biggest global market by far — will account for the lion’s share of Solterra sales, Nakamura predicted. But overall volumes will still be small, he conceded.

Aside from distinguishing the Solterra from Tesla and its Model Y, Subaru faces another challenge: differentiating it from the recently unveiled electric Toyota bZ4X. The Solterra is the badge-sharing stablemate of the bZ4X and a spitting image of the Toyota, from the oversized wheel cladding and beveled back fender to the funky wraparound taillight motif.

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