Subaru is officially joining the electric party. The brand has confirmed that the all-new Solterra - which has been co-developed with the Toyota bZ4x - will arrive in Australian showrooms in 2023.
This is a major development for the brand, adding an all-new, all-electric model to a line-up that has focused on hybrid powertrains in recent years.
Blair Read, Managing Director Subaru Australia, said the addition of the Solterra would mark the beginning of a new era for the brand - both locally and around the world.
Read more about the Subaru Solterra
“We are excited to confirm Subaru Australia will continue its electrification journey with the introduction of our first battery electric vehicle, the Solterra, in 2023,” Mr Read said.
“Solterra starts a new era for Subaru by combining electric vehicle technology with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive. This delivers the all-terrain capability Subaru owners have enjoyed for decades.”
Subaru Australia has confirmed that the new model will retain the brand’s trademark all-wheel drive capability thanks to a pair of motors - one on each axle. The combined output of the two motors will be 160kW of power. Thanks to a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery Subaru claims the Solterra will have a driving range of approximately 460km (according to the Japanese WLTC testing standard).
Unfortunately, Subaru hasn’t revealed exactly when the new model will arrive in Australia or how much it will cost. However, it’s very likely that the Solterra, given its technology, will become Subaru’s most expensive model in Australia.
That title is currently held by the incoming WRX Sportwagon tS, which is priced from $57,990 (plus on-road costs). In terms of SUVs, similar to the Solterra, the dearest Forester currently on offer is the 2.0 Hybrid S which starts at $47,190.
Looking at the Solterra’s likely rivals though, they start at a much higher price point than the hybrid Forester. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 ranger begins at $75,900 for its all-wheel drive variant, while the all-wheel drive Kia EV6 GT-Line is priced from $82,990.
In terms of how it will fit into the line-up, Subaru has provided dimensions for the new model. The Solterra measures 4690mm long, 1860mm wide and 1650mm tall. That makes it marginally larger than the Forester, which is 4640mm long, 1815mm wide, 1730mm tall. Where the Solterra has a noticeable difference is wheelbase, with the electric SUV measuring 2850mm between the axles, which is 90mm more than the Forester which should mean a larger, more spacious cabin.
Subaru says it will provide further details about the Solterra in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.