New Subaru Solterra electric SUV confirmed

The Subaru Solterra is the brand’s first electric car and will go on sale in 2022

Further details of the new Subaru Solterra have been announced. The new pure-electric SUV will launch next year and will share its technology and platform with the forthcoming Toyota bZ4X.

While details of the new car’s powertrain have yet to be revealed, it has been confirmed the Solterra will be underpinned by the “e-Subaru Global Platform”. This new platform was jointly developed by Subaru and Toyota for pure-electric vehicles, with the brand hinting that the Solterra’s dimensions will be similar in size to the current Subaru Forester SUV.

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When it arrives, the new EV will be a rival to an array of electric SUV models, including the Kia e-Niro, Volkswagen ID.4, and Skoda Enyaq.

The confirmation was accompanied by a series of dark teaser images that give a glimpse of the Solterra’s silhouette. The front appears to feature a hexagonal front grille and angular front bumper, with angled headlights featuring LED daytime running lights.

As a joint development project, the new car will merge the strongest attributes from both firms. It will make use of Toyota’s latest battery electric powertrains, and Subaru’s four-wheel drive systems, meaning it is likely to boast a decent range along with excellent handling in slippery conditions.

The jointly developed platform features a single electric motor mounted on the front axle, which is powered by a low-mounted battery pack to aid the car’s weight distribution and handling. It should also mean the packaging of the battery will have a minimal effect on interior space. This has already been seen in the bZ4X concept car, which features spacious rear seating - we’d expect the Solterra to be very similar. The platform can also be adapted to underpin other models, with both Toyota and Subaru planning a larger electric SUV model and a saloon car.

Subaru’s shift to pure-electric models follows the introduction of the hybrid e-Boxer petrol engines to the Forester SUV and Subaru XV crossover, and is part of the firm’s long-term plan to reduce CO2 emissions across its line-up. The Japanese firm is aiming for pure-electric and hybrid models to account for around 40% of its global sales figures by 2030.

To learn more about the current Subaru SUV line-up, read our in-depth reviews of the Subaru Forester and Subaru XV

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