Subaru is heading into the future with the launch of its first-ever electrified model, the Solterra SUV. This electric vehicle (EV) is coming to North America and Europe in 2022, and this is our first look at the compact crossover.
If you think the Solterra bears more than a passing resemblance with Toyota's own EV, the bZ4X, you'd be right. The two share the same platform, and both align closely in terms of dimensions and design.
FWD and AWD variants
Subaru says the Solterra will come in either front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) variants. The FWD model features a 150 kW motor that delivers 201 hp to the front wheels, while the AWD variant gets two 80 kW motors powering each axle to 160 kW or 214 hp.
In either model, a 71.4 kWh battery pack comes standard. On the FWD model, it's good for about 530 km of range according to Japanese standards. The AWD model gets a considerably lower 460-km range, but that's understandable given the power and control boost.
DC fast charging support
Like the Toyota bZ4X, the Subaru Solterra supports fast-charging up to 150 kW. Over at Toyota's side, fast charging the bZ4X to 80% takes 30 minutes. We don't know if it's the same story with the Solterra. Still, the feature is nice to have, and it should swell some concerns about range anxiety.
X-Mode AWD control
While the Solterra's interior is relatively run-of-the-mill for an electric car, it does get the benefit of Subaru's X-Mode. It's an AWD control feature that's present on Subaru's other gas-powered models. The system claims to "enhance the sense of security on rough roads." A new Grip Control feature has also been added, enabling the vehicle to run at a constant speed while stabilizing on rough roads.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra will be available in the US, Canada, and Europe sometime next year. There's no word yet on a local release, so don't hold your breath. We have a long way to go before EVs become mass-market vehicles in the Philippines. As such, something like the Solterra could be a compelling candidate to help usher in the electric era.