Subaru has confirmed its first electric vehicle is now set for a launch later this year.
The Subaru Solterra had been set for a “mid-2023” launch, but has now been confirmed for a launch in the second half of the year.
“Subaru Australia looks forward to launching the Subaru Solterra in the second half of 2023. With global, industry-wide supply constraints and strong demand for Subaru vehicles, at times there may be a slight adjustment to the arrival times of new products, as experienced with the Solterra,” said a spokesperson for Subaru Australia.
The electric crossover’s arrival has been creeping later and later into 2023, with the company originally announcing last year it would touch down in the first half of 2023 before delaying it to mid-year.
Subaru hasn’t specified the impact of overseas recall activity and has instead cited supply constraints. That’s different from Toyota, which hinted it was delaying the launch of the near-identical bZ4X to the fourth quarter of 2023 to obtain an updated model.
“The reason we delayed actually, despite some popular opinion and commentary, is that we want to be able to secure supply and the latest spec,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, earlier this month.
The Solterra is expected to come here solely in dual-motor all-wheel drive configuration, whereas single-motor front-wheel drive versions of it and the bZ4X are offered overseas.
The dual-motor version has 160kW of power and 337Nm of torque, up 10kW and 71Nm on the single-motor version.
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.
WLTP range figures for the related bZ4X put the FWD model at 516km and the AWD model at 470km, with claimed 0-100km/h times of 7.5 seconds and 6.9 seconds, respectively.
The AWD Solterra 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.
The electric crossover 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.
The Solterra and bZ4X are 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.
Globally, Subaru and Toyota have run into roadblocks while rolling out these models.
A crippling wheel hub bolt issue, which could cause the wheels to fall off, sparked a huge recall campaign and halted production for months – Toyota USA even offered to buy cars back – as the brands scrambled to find a solution.
The Solterra has now been recalled in the US once again after some vehicles didn’t receive the proper fix for the hub bolt issue.