Subaru has revealed the new Solterra in Japan ahead of the model’s public debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The Solterra is the brand’s first-ever electric vehicle and was developed in collaboration with Toyota, which has its own version known as the bZ4X.
The Toyobaru twins are underpinned by a dedicated EV architecture jointly developed by both Japanese carmakers, with the one used for the Solterra being called the e-Subaru Global Platform (e-SGP, while the bZ4X rides on the e-Toyota New Global Architecture (e-TNGA).
In terms of sizing, the Solterra is a little larger than the C-segment Forester, measuring in at 4,690 mm long, 1,860 mm wide and 1,650 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm. For context, the current Forester is 4,640 mm long, 1,815 mm wide, 1,730 mm tall and has a wheelbase spanning 2,670 mm.
Subaru also says the Solterra has a minimum ground clearance of 210 mm and turning radius of 5.7 metres. The chassis is paired with MacPherson struts at the front, while the rear gets double wishbones.
As with the other Toyobaru twins, the BRZ and GR 86, the Solterra looks largely similar to the bZ4X, but it gets a few unique styling touches so people don’t confuse it for Toyota’s EV. For starters, the enclosed grille is hexagonal in shape and carries the Pleiades star cluster badge, while the headlamps have a C-shaped daytime running light signature.
Meanwhile, the bumper sports vertical intakes at the corners just like on the bZ4X, but the Solterra’s version has fog lamp units flanking the lower intake. Along the sides, you’ll find the same surfacing on both models, with distinctive crease lines just below the beltline and aft of the rear wheels. On that mention, the wheel arches have black body cladding on them, with those at the front extending further forwards into the bumper.
Moving to the rear, the same C-shaped signature is replicated on the taillights that creep into the fenders, while other shared cues include a split tailgate spoiler and a large black trim piece for the rear bumper.
While there are some notable differences between the Solterra and bZ4X on the outside, they are pretty much identical once you get in them. Subaru says the low-mounted, widescreen infotainment touchscreen and top-mounted digital instrument cluster are a first for the brand, and they certainly give the appearance of a modern living space.
The big centre screen sits above a pair of air vents and start button, with a touch panel that houses HVAC and media controls sandwiched between. There’s also a raised centre console where you’ll a gear selector dial as well as buttons to control various vehicle functions like drive modes, X-Mode and the electronic parking brake, just to name a few.
For the driver, there’s a chunky-looking steering wheel with vertically-aligned controls on either side of the airbag boss, while the black panel ahead isn’t actually all screen – it’s actually just the centre bit that shows key information like remaining range, vehicle speed, currently active safety systems, etc.
Powertrain-wise, the Solterra will come with front- and all-wheel drive electric setups, both featuring a 355-volt lithium-ion battery that has an energy capacity of 71.4 kWh. The battery supports AC charging up to 6.6 kW and DC fast charging up to 150 kW, but no charging times are available for now. There’s also the option of a solar roof for the Solterra.
Following Japan’s EV plug standard, the Solterra uses a Type 1 (SAE J1772) connector for AC charging, while a CHAdeMO connector is for DC fast charging – This could change in other markets the model is sold in.
With a FWD powertrain, the Solterra tips the scales at around 1,930 kg (2,205 kg gross), offers approximately 530 km of range following the WLTC standard, has 18-inch wheels, and comes with a single AC synchronous electric motor rated at 204 PS (201 hp or 150 kW).
The AWD model gets two electric motors, each rated at 109 PS (107 hp or 80 kW) for a total system output of 218 PS (214 hp or 160 kW), along with a further option of 20-inchers. The downside of having all-wheel drive is an increased heft of about 2,020 kg (2,295 kg gross) and reduced range of approximately 460 km.
The sales launch of the Solterra will begin by the middle of next year in markets like Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe and China. Oh, one more thing. If you’re wondering what the name means, it is a combination of the Latin words for “sun” and “earth.”
The post 2022 Subaru Solterra revealed in Japan – brand’s first EV with up to 530 km range, 218 PS; AWD and FWD appeared first on Paul Tan’s Automotive News.