After a simple initial announcement with just key portions of the EV strategically darkened, the Subaru Solterra has made its world premiere this morning.
Back in June 2019, Subaru and Toyota announced their partnership to develop a global C-segment sized electric vehicle in the form of an SUV. Proven to be a mutually beneficial partnership as seen in the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ that spawned the second-generation models, both companies will market the new EV SUV with very slight tweaks to the styling and perhaps dynamism.
In front, the hexagonal grille (now just a coloured panel) has been maintained from earlier Subaru models, but other design details are a good break away from the rather uninspiring styling such as on the Forester.
Both the Subaru Solterra and recently-detailed Toyota bZ4X will ride on the jointly developed battery electric vehicle (BEV)-dedicated platform which is simply called e-Subaru Global Platform.
Measuring the same 4.69 m long and 1.86 m wide dimensions as the Toyota, the Subaru Solterra has nearly similar dimensions with the Forester, Kia EV6 and BMW iX3 while slightly shorter than the Subaru Legacy Outback.
Toyota last month detailed their bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra will also share the same powertrain- a front-mounted motor drive unit with 204 hp or a dual-motor setup for electric all-wheel drive (AWD) with 218 hp output.
Much of the powertrain technology and finetuning in the dual-motor setup will be handled by Subaru, thanks to their expertise in AWD technology. Like all other Subaru SUV models, the Solterra will also be featured with the X-MODE AWD control system and added with a new Grip Control function that enhanced stability in all road conditions. Users of Subaru SUVs also expect the vehicle to perform well over unpaved terrains, so the Solterra comes with a proper ground clearance of 210 mm.
The topic of driving range and EV is inseparable, and as such, Subaru quotes approximately 530 km of range for the front-wheel drive variant, while the AWD with 218 hp goes to circa 460 km on a single charge from the 71.4 kWh battery pack.
Inside the interior, the Subaru and Toyota share the same low-height dashboard and top-mounted driver’s instrument panel. Currently, only one steering wheel design with regular electric power steering is available for the Solterra. With a wheelbase of 2.85 metres, the Subaru Solterra ensures rear legroom similar to a D-segment sedan, a common focal point with the current generation Subaru models.
Toyota is heading towards a different direction in steering technology in the bZ4X, offering a fully electronic steer-by-wire system that sees the oblong-shaped steering wheel rotating just 150 degrees from lock to lock.
The Subaru Solterra will only be available in North America, Europe, China and Japan from the middle of next year.