While this year’s L.A. Auto Show will be the location in which Subaru shows its new all-electric Solterra on this side on the pond, the new EV – developed in conjunction with Toyota – popped up in an official capacity at a reveal event in Japan. Save for having its steering wheel on the opposite side of the cabin, the machine you see here will be much like the one appearing next week in Los Angeles.
It also looks a lot like its Toyota cousin – much more so than some industry observers expected.
As entrants to the growing all-electric compact crossover market, the Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X are the product of a joint partnership between the two Japanese giants, making the 86/BRZ more than just a one-off collab. While those two machines share a great deal in terms of styling, and some level of body similarities should be expected as a logical part of any joint project like this, it is jarring to see the entire midsection of these two rigs (outsized body cladding and all) wind up as identical units.
Speaking of cladding, is anyone else’s eye offended by the part black/part body-color door for the charging port? It’s not even half-and-half, just an extension of the jumbo wheel arch moldings. Those of you with long memories will recall one of the last Subaru to deal with this styling conundrum, the Baja, chose to simply dip its cladding away from the fuel door on its passenger-side rear fender. This solution breaks my brain.
Anyway, documents for the Japanese-market Solterra reveal both two- and all-wheel-drive variants will be available in that country, with the latter weighing about 200 pounds more than the 4,246 lb rear-driver. Cruising range on a full charge is listed as 330 miles for two-wheel-drive models and approximately 290 miles for those equipped with all-wheel drive. Keep in mind those numbers may change for our market thanks to differences in testing procedures.
Power will check-in at 201 horses (150kW) or 214 ponies (160kW) depending on the number of driven wheels. Again, these are Japanese specs that might change for America. It is odd that the single motor cranks out 150kW while the dual motor option is rated at 80kW each. Given the Subaru propensity for promoting its all-wheel-drive abilities (save for the BRZ, of course), there’s a non-zero chance that only the dual-motor variant will be offered on our shores. Of course, if the company is chasing a particular price point, anything’s possible.
Battery capacity in both models is a tick over 71kWh, with the dual motor’s extra weight explaining its relative lack of range compared to the single motor car. Whether 14 horses is enough to make up for an additional 200 lbs remains to be seen. If you’re wondering about the footprint this car throws down, know it is 8.9 inches longer and 2.4 inches wider than a Crosstrek but only marginally taller.
Subaru has committed to showing a North American spec of the new all-electric Solterra at next week’s auto show in Los Angeles. Tune in for that news when it drops.
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