Subaru’s first electric vehicle has been revealed for the Japanese market, but it has yet to be locked in for Australia.
The Subaru Solterra crossover will launch in markets like Japan, China, North America and Europe by mid-2022.
“Whilst Subaru Corporation are yet to confirm a timeline for the Solterra in Australia, we are working very closely and future electric projects form part of ongoing dialogue between Subaru Australia and the factory,” said Subaru Australia general manager Blair Read.
The twin to the Toyota bZ4x, the Solterra will also offer a choice of single-motor front- or dual-motor all-wheel drive variants.
The front-wheel drive model produces 150kW of power and has approximately 530km of range on the stricter WLTP cycle, while the all-wheel drive model has 160kW and 460km of range.
0-100km/h times are 8.4 seconds and 7.7 seconds, respectively, in the related Toyota.
Both variants use a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery with a maximum AC charger output of 6.6kW and a maximum DC charging output of 150kW.
The Solterra is underpinned by a new electric vehicle architecture, co-developed by Subaru and Toyota, which the former calls the e-Subaru Global Platform and the latter calls e-TNGA.
The dual-motor all-wheel drive variant features a Subaru-developed X-Mode AWD control system, as in other Subaru SUVs. It’s also available with 20-inch alloy wheels, while the FWD model is only available with 18s.
There’s a choice between a solar roof option that helps trickle charge the battery or a panoramic glass roof.
The Solterra and bZ4x differ little in styling.
Exterior changes for the Solterra include a revised grille area, different fog lights, and different LED daytime running light and tail light signatures.
Interior changes are almost imperceptible. There’s no steering yoke like the Chinese-market bZ4x, but otherwise it all looks much like the Toyota down to the high-mounted digital instrument cluster and the unusual upholstery on the dashboard.
It has a catchier name than its Toyota counterpart, with Solterra a combination of the Latin words for ‘sun’ and ‘Earth’.
The Solterra measures 4690mm long, 1860mm wide and 1650mm tall on a 2850mm wheelbase. That makes it slightly longer and wider than a Forester.
Ground clearance is 210mm, or 10mm less than a Forester, while kerb weight ranges between 1930kg and 2020kg.
For context, the dual-motor Tesla Model Y weighs 2003kg.
While the Solterra has yet to be confirmed for Australia, its bZ4x twin is locked in for a local launch in the second half of 2022.
Toyota Australia’s boss has conceded it will be expensive, much like the first-generation Prius was when it debuted Toyota’s hybrid technology locally.