At least two examples of the brand’s first EV are prowling Australian roads in preparation for a local launch – but this one is an as-yet unseen base model
Chasing Cars has spotted what appears to be a base model version of the incoming Subaru Solterra midsize electric SUV on Sydney streets.
Subaru’s first EV, the Solterra is set to be released in Australia in mid-2023 – just a few months from now – and at least two right-hand drive examples are known to be in the country for evaluation, testing and dealer training.
The Solterra is a dual-motor EV with a 64 kWh-usable battery promising 466 km of driving range (WLTP) for lightly-specified variants, and 416 km (WLTP) for fully-loaded versions.
In Australia, the only Solterra spotted on local roads thus far has been a highly-specified, likely range-topping example with 20-inch wheels and an artificial leather interior.
But the Solterra caught in Sydney’s northern suburbs would sit at the other end of the range and could be the circa-$60,000 specification Chasing Cars learned of in a recent interview with Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read.
This white car is identifiable as a base model by its much chunkier tyres and smaller, silver and black 18-inch alloy wheels – but also by the textile / cloth interior seen through the windows.
It’s possible that the low-end spec is only in Australia for evaluation, but our money is on Subaru offering the Solterra in two trim grades for Aussie buyers – one priced potentially at about $60,000 and the other closer to $70,000.
Speaking recently with Chasing Cars, brand boss Blair Read said that the Solterra will “sit alongside Outback towards the top of the (Subaru) range.” The Outback currently tops out at $55,990 plus on-road costs for an Outback XT Touring model.
Despite sharing its platform with the front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) Toyota BZ4X, which we reviewed recently on a closed road, the Solterra will be AWD-only, reflecting Subaru’s heritage.
In the United States, three grades of Solterra are offered, and this vehicle broadly appears to match America’s Solterra Premium trim grade, which features a 64kWh-usable battery, AWD, Subaru’s Eyesight safety suite, and the same 18-inch wheels as this white car.
In the US, the Solterra Premium costs AUD$65,000 at the time of writing. America’s range then moves on to the $70,000 Solterra Limited, which gains 20-inch wheels, a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a powered driver’s seat.
The range-topping Solterra in the US market is the $75,000 Solterra Touring, which picks up a fixed panoramic glass roof and cooled front seats.
If we were to guess, we’d suggest the Solterra could be available in lower-end Premium and top-end Touring guise, but local details have not yet been made public.
When it is released locally, the Subaru Solterra will compete with the Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 among other midsize EVs, while Toyota’s iteration of this platform – the BZ4X – will launch later on in November 2023.
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