Subaru Solterra debuts in Japan as the brand's first EV

The Solterra crossover is a twin of Toyota's BZ4X.


The Solterra is Subaru's first production EV.


While it won't make its debut in US-spec form until next week, the Japanese version of Subaru's new Solterra electric crossover was just unveiled on Wednesday afternoon and it should be exactly like what we'll get in America -- save for the steering wheel on the other side, of course. The Solterra is Subaru's first production EV, and it's a twin of the Toyota BZ4X that we've already seen in production form.

Compared to the BZ4X the Solterra has slightly more traditional styling elements -- and I really mean slightly, as this crossover still looks weird as hell. The Subaru's front end has a hexagonal black trim piece that gives the impression of a grille, though what's found within is just a body color panel. The Solterra also has different headlights and a more rugged lower bumper design with round fog lights and a faux skid plate. At the sides everything is identical, with the Solterra getting the same strangely shaped black plastic fender flares, and the only changes at the rear are minor ones to the taillight shape. Oh, the Subaru has different wheels, too.

The Solterra features a real steering wheel, forgoing the BZ4X's yoke (which is only for China at first anyway, thankfully). The cabin is the same story as the exterior, with the Subaru only getting small design differences mostly amounting to details like the pattern on the center console and dashboard trim. There's a digital gauge cluster set high in the driver's view, a large center touchscreen atop a handful of haptic buttons and a low dashboard made of an interesting fabric material. The Japan-market Solterra is shown with a rad orange interior that hopefully will make its way to the US.


Hopefully we'll get this orange interior in America.


Underpinning the Solterra and its BZ4X sibling is a jointly-developed platform that Subaru calls the e-Subaru Global Platform. It pairs a 71.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack with either one or two electric motors, depending on if you go for front- or all-wheel drive. Subaru says the front-wheel-drive Solterra has a range of 330 miles on the Japanese cycle, while the AWD model will do 285 miles. The Solterra can accept DC fast-charging speeds of up to 150 kW, which should provide an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. It also has a heat pump that reduces losses in driving range in cold weather and when using features like the heated seats and steering wheel.

Subaru will offer the Solterra with either a panoramic glass sunroof or a metal roof with integrated solar panels. The Solterra will also be available with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Subaru's first fully automated parking assist system, smartphone as key functionality, wheels up to 20 inches in size and adaptive LED headlights.

The Solterra will go on sale globally in the middle of 2022, around the same time as the BZ4X. We'll get all the US details next week during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Watch this: Toyota BZ4X Concept has a clunky name and a cool look
Daniel Golson Former social media editor

Article updated on November 10, 2021 at 5:11 PM PST

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Daniel Golson Former social media editor
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