Subaru in the spotlight at Singapore Motor Show 2023

After a three-year hiatus, the Singapore Motor Show is back in 2023. Visitors from different countries eagerly poured in the morning of January 12 after the doors to Suntec Convention & Exhibition Center were officially opened by Glenn Tan, President of Singapore’s Motor Traders Association and Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Tan Chong International.

The Singapore Motor Show lived up to expectations by featuring a wide variety of automotive brands. Taking the spotlight (and a lot of real estate by having one of the biggest exhibit spaces) was Subaru. 

Subaru’s launch featured live song performances led by singer Tyen Rasif, but literal showstoppers were the unveiling of the new WRX, WRX Wagon, and Solterra.

The Subaru WRX wagon at the driving grounds of the Changi Exhibition Center

The fifth-generation WRX and WRX Wagon are built on Subaru’s latest iteration of the Subaru Global Platform with an inner frame construction that promises better rigidity for a sporty yet comfortable drive. 

The Solterra captured a lot of attention, not only for being Subaru’s first all-wheel drive fully electric vehicle, but also for its remarkable look. There is no grille, rather the front features a sleek metal slab bearing the Subaru logo in the center. The metal blends continuously with the hood giving the Solterra a modern and stylish appearance.  Powered by Subaru’s unique StarDrive all-electric drivetrain with 72.8 kWh battery capacity, the Solterra can cover up to approximately 367 kilometers on a full charge. 

Subaru display of the new WRX wagon, WRX sedan and Solterra at Singapore Motor Show 2023

The Subaru exhibit also featured the first GT Edition of the famous Forester e-Boxer Hybrid and the striking BRZ two-door sports car.

Subaru’s lounge area was an expression of the brand’s personality outside of its vehicles—tasteful and unique. It featured its own café where visitors enjoyed coffee and unique gourmet pastries like curry donut and turtle matcha (a matcha flavored bread shaped like a turtle) served by Boulangerie Asanoya.

In the afternoon, Subaru held a driving exhibition featuring British precision driver Russ Swift. With stunts like the Subaru Forester driving balanced only on its two right wheels or the Impreza doing a 180-degree parking maneuver within less than an inch away from another vehicle, the exhibition was not only a testament to Russ Swift’s driving capability but also to the engineering genius of Subaru’s models.

The author and the Subaru WRX sedan.

I got to personally experience the new WRX and Solterra a day after its launch at the Singapore Motor Show. I appreciated the nimble handling of the WRX and WRX Wagon as I drove these two models through the twists and turns in the track prepared for Subaru’s Advanced Technology Drive at the Changi Exhibition Center. 

I relaxed in the roomy leather rear seats of the Solterra as a driver demonstrated to me Subaru’s self-parking technology. The driver didn’t need to touch the steering wheel as the Solterra successfully maneuvered itself into a parallel parking space. I couldn’t decide if it was the AI driving technology or the speed of the Solterra that impressed me most. As I sat in the back with a stopwatch, I was thrilled to see the Solterra go from zero to 100 km in less than 10 seconds. For a luxury electric vehicle, the Solterra performed like it had a powerful petrol engine minus the carbon emissions. 

As I headed to the airport after the test drive, I flipped through the photos in my phone of the different vehicles I saw at the Singapore Motor Show. Subaru’s new WRX and Solterra were among my favorites, and one thought assuaged my disappointment for having to leave so soon: that I get to see the WRX and Solterra take the spotlight again when they finally arrive in the Philippines.

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