Is China saving the wagon? The Neta SS electric wagon looks like it could make waves overseas, but what about Australia?
While wagons lose market traction here in Australia and plenty of other markets...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Subaru has just ripped the covers from its first battery electric vehicle, the Solterra, and the mid-size crossover is being actively considered for an Australian launch.
A twin of the recently revealed Toyota bZ4X EV, the Solterra will go on sale in Japan, Europe, China, the United States and Canada in mid-2022.
Subaru Australia general manager Blair Read said the local arm was working closely with the Japanese parent company to get the Solterra in Australian dealerships.
Speaking to CarsGuide, a Subaru Australia spokesperson stressed “the Solterra is not ruled out for the Australian market”.
“We are in ongoing discussions with the factory regarding Solterra, but we do not yet have a timeline for Australia,” they said.
However, CarsGuide understands it’s a matter of when, not if the Solterra makes it into Australian showrooms.
However, it looks like the Toyota bZ4X will beat the Solterra to Australian showrooms, with the former arriving in late 2022.
The design differences between the two EVs are subtle, but the Subaru has more closed off front end where the grille would traditionally be, a unique front apron and headlight arrangement, and different positioning of the brand badges.
They share the SUV-like cladding that extends beyond the wheel arches into the headlights, but the Solterra has a slightly tweaked tail-light cluster. The key dimensions including width, height, length and wheelbase are identical.
The Solterra – a combination of the Latin words for ‘sun’ and ‘earth’ – follows the Peugeot iCockpit interior design strategy of lowering the steering wheel so you can see the low-set instrument cluster over or through the wheel.
It features cloth materials on the dash and apart from the steering wheel badge, it’s identical to the Toyota’s cabin. There’s no word on whether Subaru has used any sustainable and recycled materials throughout the cabin.
Available in front and X-Mode all-wheel drive, the Solterra uses a 71.4kWh, 355-volt lithium-ion battery with a single 150kW motor for the FWD version and two 80kW motors – one on each axle – for the AWD.
It has a 6.6kW AC charging capacity and 150kW for DC charging. Subaru hasn’t released charging times but the driving range according to Japan’s WLTC cycle (which forms part of the WLTP cycle) is 530km for the FWD and 460km for the AWD.
Interestingly, the Toyota’s range is 460km for the AWD but 500km for the FWD – 30km less. Either way, the Subaru beats the range of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (451km 2WD; 430km AWD).
The Tesla Model Y Dual Motor Performance can drive for 480km before needing a charge and the Long Range AWD is 505km.
The Solterra rides on a dedicated EV platform jointly developed with Toyota and uses a strut type front and double wishbone rear suspension setup with coil springs. The FWD and AWD have 18-inch wheels but the AWD has the option of 20s.
Subaru has not released details on safety features or standard specification.