Global Debut of Subaru Solterra Takes Place Ahead of American Reveal

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
global debut of subaru solterra takes place ahead of american reveal

While this year’s L.A. Auto Show will be the location in which Subaru shows its new all-electric Solterra on this side on the pond, the new EV – developed in conjunction with Toyota – popped up in an official capacity at a reveal event in Japan. Save for having its steering wheel on the opposite side of the cabin, the machine you see here will be much like the one appearing next week in Los Angeles.

It also looks a lot like its Toyota cousin – much more so than some industry observers expected.

As entrants to the growing all-electric compact crossover market, the Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X are the product of a joint partnership between the two Japanese giants, making the 86/BRZ more than just a one-off collab. While those two machines share a great deal in terms of styling, and some level of body similarities should be expected as a logical part of any joint project like this, it is jarring to see the entire midsection of these two rigs (outsized body cladding and all) wind up as identical units.

Speaking of cladding, is anyone else’s eye offended by the part black/part body-color door for the charging port? It’s not even half-and-half, just an extension of the jumbo wheel arch moldings. Those of you with long memories will recall one of the last Subaru to deal with this styling conundrum, the Baja, chose to simply dip its cladding away from the fuel door on its passenger-side rear fender. This solution breaks my brain.

Anyway, documents for the Japanese-market Solterra reveal both two- and all-wheel-drive variants will be available in that country, with the latter weighing about 200 pounds more than the 4,246 lb rear-driver. Cruising range on a full charge is listed as 330 miles for two-wheel-drive models and approximately 290 miles for those equipped with all-wheel drive. Keep in mind those numbers may change for our market thanks to differences in testing procedures.

Power will check-in at 201 horses (150kW) or 214 ponies (160kW) depending on the number of driven wheels. Again, these are Japanese specs that might change for America. It is odd that the single motor cranks out 150kW while the dual motor option is rated at 80kW each. Given the Subaru propensity for promoting its all-wheel-drive abilities (save for the BRZ, of course), there’s a non-zero chance that only the dual-motor variant will be offered on our shores. Of course, if the company is chasing a particular price point, anything’s possible.

Battery capacity in both models is a tick over 71kWh, with the dual motor’s extra weight explaining its relative lack of range compared to the single motor car. Whether 14 horses is enough to make up for an additional 200 lbs remains to be seen. If you’re wondering about the footprint this car throws down, know it is 8.9 inches longer and 2.4 inches wider than a Crosstrek but only marginally taller.

Subaru has committed to showing a North American spec of the new all-electric Solterra at next week’s auto show in Los Angeles. Tune in for that news when it drops.

[Images: Subaru]

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  • MisterO MisterO on Nov 13, 2021

    I give up on Subaru producing a good looking car. I give up. They just can’t do it.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 15, 2021

    "It also looks a lot like its Toyota cousin – much more so than some industry observers expected." If one starts combing through it, there are probably Toyota stamps on some or most of the components.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.