Subaru Solterra electric SUV previewed ahead of debut

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Subaru Solterra preview 2

Subaru shows first look of new electric SUV it is developing on a platform it co-created with Toyota.

Subaru’s first electric vehicle, a Europe-bound SUV built on a new EV platform co-developed with Toyota, will be given the name Solterra.

The C-segment SUV, due to go on sale next year, is twinned with the recently revealed Toyota bZ4X concept. The Toyota bZ4X has been confirmed for Australia and will be Toyota’s first fully electric vehicle here, but Subaru is yet to comment on the Solterra.

The two machines are being jointly developed as part of a wider partnership between the Japanese companies. Subaru says the Solterra name is a fusion of the Latin words for sun and earth and has been chosen “to appreciate mother nature and further advance the form of coexistence with it”. Japanese media had previously reported that the car could be called the Evoltis.

The Solterra will be similar in size to the existing combustion-engined Forester. It will use the bespoke EV platform that Subaru partnered with Toyota to develop, known as e-TNGA.

The architecture is designed to be highly adaptable to allow for vehicles of different lengths and can be used for front, rear and four-wheel-drive layouts, thanks to the ability to fit motors to both axles. It can also accept multiple battery sizes. Toyota is planning to develop six EVs on the e-TNGA platform.

Beyond the use of the shared platform, Subaru has released no further technical details of the new EV.

Earlier this year, Subaru displayed an electric concept car at a technology briefing in January (pictured), and it’s expected that the eventual production EV will take styling cues from it.

Subaru’s first EV is a major step in its electrification plans. The firm has recently introduced mild-hybrid versions of its Forester, Impreza and XC and is aiming for at least 40 per cent of its global sales to be either electric or hybrid by 2030.

Subaru had previously planned for its first electric car to be based on an existing model built on its own Global Platform, but it changed that concept due to its new partnership with Toyota.

James Attwood

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