Car News

Subaru Solterra Makes Debut as Brand's First Global EV

Subaru has just launched the Solterra, the brand's first EV that will be offered globally, developed in partnership with Toyota. It is sized between the Forester and Outback, will offer all-wheel drive, an estimated range of up to 530 km, and will charge at up to 150 kW.

Thanks to numerous teasers – as well as Toyota revealling its bZ4X, which shares its platform with the Solterra – we had already seen much of the new EV. With the final design now confirmed, we see that Subaru has given the Solterra a unique front fascia that does a convincing job of emulating the rest of the Subaru lineup, and doing so without a large grille opening.

Last night's global reveal focuses on the Japanese-spec Solterra – expect North American details next week – but most of what's on offer here isn't likely to change. Subaru showed two drivelines, one with the brand's trademark all-wheel drive, and one that drives just the front wheels. Oddly for an EV, the power output is nearly the same between the two, with a single 201-hp motor in the FWD model and the AWD version getting two 107-hp motors for a total of 215 hp.

A 71.4-kWh lithium-ion battery is standard and Subaru says that it offers a range of up to 530 km for FWD and 460 km for AWD. That's based on the Japanese WTLC test cycle – which, like the  European WLTP, exaggerates range, but to a lesser extent – so expect lower figures for Canada. Charging happens at up to 150 kW, and while official charge times weren't given, that should mean going from 10 to 80 per cent charge in about half an hour.

Solterra offers a large 12.3-inch infotainment screen as well as a fully digital dash, mounted binnacle-free and high up above the steering wheel. Haptic buttons are placed below the centre screen for commonly used functions. It also has a centre console that seems surprisingly tall and wide for an EV, taking up much of the space between the front seats. The roof panel will be offered both with a glass roof as well as a solar roof in Japan.

Tech includes a smartphone app to control features like locks, windows, and climate control. The model will offer Subaru's first automatic parking feature and it will be controllable from outside the EV. Subaru's X-Mode off-road drive mode will be offered, and Solterra will have a new Grip Control function to keep the vehicle running at your desired speed on rough roads.

The Subaru Solterra will arrive at markets worldwide, including Canada, in the middle of 2022. Expect Canada-specific details as well as pricing closer to the vehicle's arrival at showrooms.