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Subaru shows off its first electric vehicle, the Solterra SUV


Subaru Corp. Solterra electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) during an unveiling event in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.
Enlarge / Subaru Corp. Solterra electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) during an unveiling event in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.

Toru Hanai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Thursday morning in Tokyo, Subaru unveiled its first-ever battery-electric vehicle. It’s an electric crossover called the Solterra, and it has been developed in partnership with Toyota alongside that brand’s forthcoming EV, the bZ4x.

At the heart of the Solterra—or more accurately its core—you’ll find a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion traction battery, between the axles and underneath the floor of the passenger compartment. It has been designed in both front- and all-wheel-drive variants, with either a 150 kW (201 hp) AC synchronous motor driving just the front wheels, or a pair of 80 kW (107 hp) motors, one powering each axle, for a total output of 160 kW (214 hp).

Subaru says that the FWD Solterra has a range of 329 miles (530 km) and the AWD Solterra a range of about 285 miles (460 km). However, those range estimates were generated using the WLTP test standard, which does not accurately reflect the less-energy-efficient driving style required for North American roads.

When it’s time to top up again, the Solterra can DC fast charge at up to 150 kW; although Subaru hasn’t said how long that takes, Toyota has said that the closely related bZ4x will recharge to 80 percent in 30 minutes.

The Solterra's interior is a bit of a departure from the usual Subaru ergonomics.

The Solterra’s interior is a bit of a departure from the usual Subaru ergonomics.

Subaru

Unlike the bZ4x and its Tesla-aping yoke, there’s a real steering wheel for the driver of the Solterra, which has an interior dominated by a large infotainment system.

US specifications for the Solterra are expected when the car goes on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.



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