Meet the Solterra, Subaru’s first all-electric car

The blue brand goes green
by Stephen Dobie | Nov 12, 2021
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PHOTO: Subaru
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This is Subaru’s first fully electric car. And if it looks familiar, that’s because the Solterra crossover is more than a little related to Toyota’s first fully electric car. Yeah, their friendship isn’t just limited to keeping the fires of the small sports car market stoked.

Much like the BRZ and GR86 pairing, the cars appear all but identical twins on the surface, their aesthetic separated by slightly different grille treatments. You get the same powertrain options beneath each, too.

So, the Solterra launches in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive iterations. There’s not much to split them on power—the former peaks at 201hp, the latter 214hp—so you’ll surely be doing it for the genuine off-roading ability that Subaru’s developed, or else the extra weight and power of the driven rear axle will just chip away at your efficiency.

The FWD Solterra weighs 1,930kg, the AWD version 2,020kg, and both use the same 71.4kWh battery. Their range figures differ as you’d expect; the former claims around 531km on a full charge, the latter 459.

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While both Subaru and Toyota are fairly late to the plug-in SUV party, the combination of their talents ought to be pretty formidable. Subaru knows more about gnarly little 4x4s than most, while Toyota’s spent the last three decades working with battery tech in its pioneering hybrids. We’re told the Solterra’s (and bZ4X’s) battery will suffer just 10% degradation in 10 years or 241,000km of use, while it can be hooked up to 150kW fast-charging to top you up to 80% in half an hour.

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“The vehicle will be the cornerstone of Subaru’s future BEVs,” we’re told, suggesting this is the mere start of electric Scoobies.

Want to see the Solterra reach our shores?

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Subaru
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