In the summer of 2019, Subaru and its shareholder Toyota announced the joint development of electric vehicles for both brands. Toyota is responsible for the drive unit as part of the collaboration, while Subaru is bringing its all-wheel drive expertise to the project. The Solterra is the first model that Subaru applies to the “E-TNGA” (Toyota Electric New Architecture) electronic platform. The compact crossover celebrated its first public presentation at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the fall of 2021.
The word Solterra is made up of the Latin terms “Sol” (Sun) and “Terra” (Earth). With this, Subaru wants to express its respect for nature and signal the better ecological balance of an electric motor.
Solterra is not exclusive to all-wheel drive
By the way, Subaru calls the global E-Subaru platform. It was flexibly designed by Toyota and allows front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Unusual for Subaru: Like the Toyota BZ4X, the Solterra will instead be available with front-wheel drive. In this design, a 150 kW / 204 hp electric motor is used on the front axle. The drive configuration that debuted in Los Angeles suits the brand best. Combined, both electronic machines deliver 80 kW / 109 hp and a maximum of 168.5 Nm, each driving a single axle and thus ensuring all-wheel drive, with a power of 160 kW / 218 hp and a maximum torque of 336 Nm. Perhaps more power will be released for a later version of the STI.
Subaru has taken care of developing the all-wheel drive system itself. The “Star-Drive” and “X-Mode” assistance systems distribute the drive between the wheels in a traction-optimized manner depending on the driving condition, weather and ground conditions. Away from the familiar track, Grip Control technology, which includes a hill start and descent assist, ensures confident progression.
WLTP range up to 500 km
The lithium-ion battery placed in the bottom has a capacity of 71.4 kWh. A front-wheel drive vehicle, which weighs a good 1.9 tons, should be able to travel up to 500 km according to the WLTP standard. Subaru specs a WLTP range of 466 kilometers for the all-wheel drive vehicle, which weighs more than two tons and is the only confirmed variant for Germany so far. The Solterra can be recharged with charging capacities ranging from 6.6 kW (alternating current) to 150 kW (DC). With the latter, an empty battery can be filled to 80 percent of its capacity in 30 minutes. The intensity of recuperation can also be affected by the driver’s seat.
Otherwise, the dimensions of the Model E will depend on the Toyota Twin. It is 4.69 meters long, 1.86 meters wide, and 1.65 meters high. Subaru limits the wheelbase of the five-seater to 2.85 metres. The ground clearance of 21 cm confirms that Solterra can also do some terrain. Front-wheel drive rolls on 18-inch wheels with 235/60 tires, and the all-wheel drive version can optionally be equipped with 20-inch rims and 235/50 tires.
Subaru grill closed
Visually, Solterra is also based on the Toyota BZ4X. The radiator grille is largely closed, the wheel arches and chassis edges are covered with plastic. With its coupe-like roof, Solterra follows the current trend towards crossover models. Then the undercarriage fully corresponds to the lines of conventional SUVs.
For the interior, Subaru envisions the latest version of infotainment and connectivity. The Japanese install a 12.3-inch touch screen in the middle of the dashboard. An additional digital cockpit is located in front of the driver. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are also available, as is the option to wirelessly charge smartphones and remotely control some of the car’s functions via an app. With the rear seats facing up, the luggage compartment holds between 453 and 497 liters – depending on whether the boot floor is in the upper or lower position.
Market launch mid 2022
The assistance package traditionally called “Eye-Sight” on Subaru includes technologies such as Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist, a system that recognizes cross-traffic behind it when maneuvering, and has integrated automatic braking if an obstacle is detected when parking. The Solterra is also the first Subaru ever to have a 360-degree panoramic view camera and a warning device that detects approaching traffic from behind when exiting. LED headlights work in tandem with the high beam assistant as standard.
The new Subaru Soltera will be on the market from mid-2023 as a representative of 2023. In addition to Japan, the USA, Canada and China, Europe will also be serviced from the start. Prices in Germany start from a total of 57,490 euros; After deducting the innovation premium currently applied, the Solterra is available in the basic equipment Comfort from €49,515. Below are, among other things, automatic two-zone air conditioning, electrically opening tailgate, 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, front seat heating and an on-board assistance package.
Top version with panoramic glass roof
On top of that, the platinum version costs no less than 59,990 euros. Here, equipment also includes things like a Harman/Kardon audio system, 20-inch rims and heated front and rear seats upholstered in man-made leather. The role of the top model was played by Solterra Platinum plus, which is offered by the Japanese from 60,990 euros. As a USP, it offers a panoramic glass roof which the adjustable sun visor can be opened electrically by voice commands if desired.
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Subaru is developing its first electric car in cooperation with shareholder Toyota. Not surprisingly, the younger partner takes care of all-wheel drive. The electric SUV will be launched worldwide in 2022 under the name Solterra and will cost at least 57,490 euros in Germany.