Speculation

Subaru picks up Solterra (Soltera?) trademark for possible electric SUV

Subaru trademarked the Wilderness name long before the Outback Wilderness debuted.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Editor's Note: Subaru has confirmed this news in a press release on May 11, 2021. Click here to read more.

Subaru has sought to trademark the word 'Solterra' from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The filing is the type that comes when an automaker is about to announce a new product.

What could Subaru be cooking up? A quick look at Toyota will give you the answer. You see, Toyota and Subaru have an agreement to co-develop products together. That includes the Toyota GR 86, which is modified slightly and sold as the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota Prius Prime, which has donated its powertrain to the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

A few weeks ago, Toyota revealed the bZ4X Concept, an all-electric SUV that will come to market as the bZ4X is the very near future. That concept is just the start of Toyota's electric future and they've detailed what to expect a little more fully via a news release and some trademark searching.

Toyota bZ4X Concept face front The Toyota bZ4X Concept is slightly smaller than the modern Subaru Forester but has about as much inteiror Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

It's been said all along that Subaru plans to make its own version of that vehicle, and for a long time it's been thought that it was going to be the Evoltis. But, and this is a big but, Evoltis sounds a little more like a concept name rather than a production name. Take 'Viziv'. That's the working name the automaker gave to its Ascent three-row SUV when it was creating it just a few years ago. 'Ascent' feels more in line with the 'Forester' and 'Crosstrek' nomenclature, no? The same for 'Solterra'.

Now there's the Solterra vs. Soltera debate. USPTO has the trademark filing listed under 'Soltera' but a simple click-through reveals that the mark request is actually for 'Solterra'. The double 'r' makes the most sense as Solterra would be the combination of Latin words: 'soltis' means sun and 'terra' means Earth. That fits perfectly with the Subaru company styling.

When reached out to for comment, Subaru replied, "We cannot comment."

Even if the Solterra name isn't used for the new EV, it is possible that we'll see it down the road on a trim level or new style of vehicle. As they say on Reels, stay tuned.

Subaru Solterra A trademark search reveals Solterra is in the process of being trademarked by Subaru.Photo courtesy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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New sports car

2022 Subaru BRZ pricing announced

The BRZ is all-new for 2022.

Subaru

Earlier this year, Subaru announced the all-new BRZ sports car, which is coming this fall to replace the previous generation of the car that was discontinued in 2020. It, along with its Toyota cousin, the 86, get more power, updated interiors, and better technology than their predecessors.

The BRZ Premium is the base trim of the car. It starts at $28,955 after destination. Adding an automatic transmission drives the price up by $1,600 to $30,555. The BRZ Limited starts at $31,455 after destination, which shifts to $33,255 with an automatic transmission.


2022 Subaru BRZ The BRZ's compact size and manual transmission make it enthusiast friendly.


The 2022 BRZ gets a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 228 horsepower. Part of the appeal of small, sporty cars like BRZ is that they are infinitely more fun to drive than larger, more computerized vehicles. To that end, the car comes standard with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. Buyers can opt to swap in a six-speed automatic transmission, but that almost defeats the point of the car. A Torsen limited-slip differential, vehicle stability control with track mode, and 17-inch wheels round out the car's standard performance features.

Inside, the BRZ comes with an 8-inch touchscreen that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and dual-zone automatic climate controls. A new gauge cluster display can show amps, coolant temperatures, or the car's lateral g-forces, and when track mode is engaged, the tachometer shifts from a circular to a color linear graph.


2022 Subaru BRZ An updated interior and tech are highlights of the new BRZ,

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