New 2022 Subaru Solterra electric SUV unveiled
The brand’s first electric car has been jointly developed with Toyota and will be launched in mid-2022, available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive forms
Subaru has taken the wraps off its first electric car. The Solterra is a zero-emissions SUV that shares underpinnings with the recently unveiled Toyota bZ4X. It’ll rival the likes of the Audi Q4 e-tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y when it arrives next year.
Two versions of the Solterra will be available, both powered by a 71.4kWh battery. The front-wheel-drive version of the new SUV produces 201bhp from its single electric motor and is capable of covering up to 330 miles on a charge. The all-wheel-drive Solterra, meanwhile, gets an additional electric motor on the rear axle, which increases power output to 215bhp, but also reduces range to around 285 miles.
However, the dual-motor version of the Solterra also features an 'X-Mode AWD' setting for the electric drivetrain, which Subaru says has been designed for use on rougher roads, while a new 'Grip Control' function allows the car to maintain a constant speed and remain stable off-road.
The Solterra will be around the same size as the current Subaru Forester SUV and is built on the new e-Subaru Global Platform, dedicated to electric vehicles. The platform was co-developed with Toyota; as mentioned above, it also underpins the bZ4X. Notably, the battery serves as a part of the structure in both cars, which promises a low centre of gravity and strong rigidity.
The Solterra's black wheelarches, angular styling and sharp headlights are shared with its Toyota sister car, with the Subaru set apart only by a different front grille and rear light arrangement. The same is true inside, with the Solterra also featuring a digital gauge cluster and large central touchscreen for the infotainment.
Subaru's car is capable of the same 150kW rapid charging speed as the bZ4X, so a top up from near-empty to 80% from a fast enough charging point should only take around half an hour. Boot capacity should be the same as the bZ4X, too – that model offers 452 litres of luggage space.
Prices for the Solterra have yet to be revealed, but we expect it to start at around £40,000 to match rivals like the Skoda Enyaq iV and Volkswagen ID.4. Front-wheel-drive Solterras will come with 18-inch wheels as standard, while the all-wheel-drive model will be offered with either 18 or 20-inch alloys. A sunroof will also be available as an optional extra.
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