2022 Subaru Solterra EV fully revealed

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Subaru Solterra 1

Solterra shares its platform with the Toyota bZ4x, and comes with either a single- or dual-motor electric powertrain.

Subaru recently unveiled its first-ever pure-electric car, the Solterra SUV. However, the company’s original announcement didn’t feature a full suite of images, which means we didn’t get to see all of the car’s design features.

Subaru has now rectified this matter with a new walkaround video that reveals the Solterra’s styling in full. More importantly, the video also presents a European-spec version of the car, confirming the EV will be available outside of the brand’s home market of Japan.

The Solterra will be available in right-hand drive too, although for now only in the UK from the middle of next year.

As is apparent from these images, the Solterra shares its mechnicals (and most of its body panels) with the new Toyota bZ4x SUV, because it forms part of the two brands’ joint EV venture. So, the Solterra is powered by the same 71.4kWh battery pack, and will be available with the same choice of two powertrains.

Subaru Solterra 2

The entry-level model will have a single-motor system, which produces 150kW and has a maximum range of around 530km. Above that, there’ll be a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive option, however, the extra energy demand on the battery means that the flagship’s maximum range drops to around 460km.

Toyota and Subaru have previously said their joint EV venture will play to both brands’ strengths. As such, the SUV twins will combine Toyota’s experience with electric technology and Subaru’s four-wheel-drive and off-road expertise. However, compared with the Toyota bZ4X, Subaru is aiming for even more safety and handling stability with the Solterra.

So, the dual-motor Solterra also comes with an X-Mode AWD drivetrain setting, which Subaru says was designed for rough roads. The system can even distribute the torque between the front and rear axles to provide the most grip possible.

The front-wheel-drive model comes with 18-inch wheels as standard, while the four-wheel drive variant can be specified with either 18 or 20-inch alloys. Apart from an optional sunroof, Subaru hasn’t yet confirmed any further details.

Subaru Solterra 3

However, Subaru has said its electric SUV will have the same 150kW DC rapid-charging capability as the Toyota bZ4x, so an 80 per cent recharge should take around 30 minutes.

The Solterra is 4690mm long, 1860mm wide and 1650mm tall, which makes it around the same size as the current-generation Forester. The finished Solterra has also adopted some of the bold styling cues from the brand’s EV concept car that was unveiled earlier in 2021.

For example, the huge black wheelarch extensions and sharp headlamps have both made their way on to the finished Solterra, although the angular front end has been toned down slightly, likely in the interest of pedestrian safety.

Inside, the Solterra is similar to the Toyota bZ4x, with the two cars sharing the same digital instruments, high centre console and enormous Tesla-esque infotainment system in the centre of the dashboard. As Subaru hasn’t made any changes to the bZ4x’s body-in-white, (only the bumpers and lamp units have been changed), boot space should also be the same as the Toyota bZ4x’s at 452 litres.

This new EV will also help Subaru achieve its long-term emissions goals. By 2030, the Japanese manufacturer is aiming for all-electric and electrified vehicles to account for at least 40 per cent of its global sales.

Subaru started its shift towards electrification in 2019 by launching hybrid variants of the XV and Forester, the latter of which features the brand’s e-Boxer PHEV powertrain. By 2050, Subaru hopes to reduce average CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 90 per cent from 2010 levels.

The brand had planned to launch an electric vehicle using an adapted version of its Global Platform this year, but this project has now been scrapped.

Yousuf Ashraf

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