James Gent

James Gent

November 10, 2021 5:33 pm


Subaru’s new electric Solterra SUV will make its online global world premiere this evening ahead of its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17.

Conceptually teased in January 2020, and renamed ‘Solterra’ (basically ‘sun’ and ‘earth’ to emphasise the SUV’s environmentalism) in May 2021, Subaru’s first electric vehicle is set to go on sale in North America in mid-2022.

Developed in tandem with Toyota’s new bZ4X – like the joint-venture behind the Subaru-Toyota BRZ-86 – the new Solterra sits atop the new e-SUBARU Global Platform, but is expected to use the same electric drivetrain as the Toyota. The bZ4X is built on top of a BEV-dedicated ‘e-TNGA’ platform, which was co-developed with Subaru.

The front-wheel drive bZ4X features a single 150kW electric motor twinned with a 71.4kWh battery pack, and while this option might carry over to the Solterra, Subaru’s example will more than likely be available as standard with the all-wheel drive setup that features two 80kW motors and, combined, provides 10kW more power. Range from the lithium-ion battery is likely to be in the same 450km ballpark.

With both sharing the same platform, dimensions are unlikely to be too dissimilar either. Toyota’s bZ4X stands 1,650 mm high, sits 1,860 mm wide and 4,690 mm long, and features a 2,850mm wheelbase. The FWD and AWD version tip the scales at 1,920 kg and 2,005 kg respectively.

Inside, as confirmed by teaser images and video, the more digitally-focused cabin is dominated by an enormous centre infotainment screen. Where Subaru may offer some distinctive flair though is in the aesthetics. In a surprisingly illustrating preview of the new electric SUV in a teaser trailer posted back in August, the Solterra features less aggressively slim head and taillamps compared with the Toyota but features more angular bodylines and a more prominent faux front grille.

Other than being “loaded with next-generation technology” and featuring “ample back-seat and cargo room”, no other details have been confirmed about the Solterra.

This evening’s online launch, set to take place at 7:30 pm Eastern Time, will be presented by Subaru President/CEO Tomomi Nakamura and the Project General Manager.

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