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2023 Subaru Solterra electric SUV set to launch in Australia next year

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2023 Subaru Solterra electric SUV set to launch in Australia next year

The 2023 Subaru Solterra electric SUV seems set to arrive in Australia next year, its creator has let slip – six to 18 months after its overseas launch, and sometime after its twin under the skin, the Toyota BZ4X, goes on sale locally.

Subaru’s first electric vehicle (EV) to be sold in mass numbers, the Solterra was created under a partnership between Subaru and Toyota – and shares its platform, body shell, interior, and battery packs with its Toyota twin, the BZ4X.

Whenever the Solterra was uncovered late last year, Subaru Australia wouldn’t affirm the vehicle would be sold locally.

At the time, Subaru Australia delegates said Subaru’s Japanese headquarters have set “no timeline for the electric Solterra vehicle for Australia” – and that the organization was rather focused on “future electric projects”.

Notwithstanding, a line erroneously published on Subaru Australia’s website last week – which has since been eliminated – uncovers the new Solterra will “[hit] Australian roads in 2023”, a few months after its Toyota sibling.

A Subaru Australia representative wouldn’t comment on the 2023 launch date, rather emphasizing the brand’s previous statement.

Anyway, Subaru dealer sources said the conversations are in progress to carry the Solterra to Australia, with a launch next year showing up reasonable.

“The all-electric Subaru Solterra hits Australian roads in 2023, bringing state-of-the-art safety technology to an environmentally responsible all-electric SUV,” the leaked sentence reads in its entirety.

Set to go on sale in Japan, the US, and Europe throughout the coming weeks and months, the Solterra shares its 71.4kWh battery pack with its Toyota BZ4X counterpart – and its under-skin twin, the Lexus RZ450e – presenting to 567km of claimed range, as per ultra-lenient WLTC laboratory testing.

Most markets will offer one all-wheel-drive powertrain, consolidating two 80kW electric motors for overall outputs of 160kW and 336Nm, and a 6.9-second claimed 0-100km/h time. 150kW DC fast charging ought to deliver an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

In different regions, a front-wheel-drive Solterra will be available – the organization’s first two-wheel-drive SUV in late memory – with a single 150kW motor, expanding its laboratory driving range claim to the previously mentioned 567km (up from 542km or 487km with AWD).

Subaru is pitching the Solterra as a more off-road-capable presenting than its nearest matches, promoting 210mm of ground clearance, X-Mode off-road drive mode, and a new ‘Grip Control’ work intended for climbing or plunging steep territory.

Costs in Japan start from 5,940,000 yen ($AU63,800) for an entry-level front-wheel-drive model, ascending to 6,820,000 yen ($AU73,000) for a fully-loaded, all-wheel-drive variant with 20-inch wheels, leather seats, 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and a Harman Kardon sound system.

For reference, a flagship Subaru Forester mid-size SUV costs 3,680,770 yen ($AU39,400) in Japan, or around 40% not exactly the base Solterra.

A similar Forester variation is valued from $47,190 plus on-road costs in Australia – recommending a base Solterra might battle to dip below the $70,000 mark, with flagship vehicles passing $80,000, assuming Japanese estimating is to believe.

The Solterra is Subaru’s twin to Toyota’s first electric vehicle, the bZ4X, and depends on a devoted all-electric platform made as a team with Toyota. In that capacity, there are a lot of similitudes between the edgy electric SUV and the BZX4 which was revealed toward the beginning of November.

The stylish electric SUV comes in both all-wheel and front-wheel drive configurations, with a 71.4kWh battery giving an expected 530km driving range for the former and 460km for the latter (given Japanese WLTC lab ratings).

With the bZ4X – for which pricing was recently released for the US – due to show up in Australia at some point in 2023, it shows up now that the Solterra won’t be far behind.

The line, which reads “The all-electric Subaru Solterra hits Australian roads in 2023, bringing state-of-the-art safety technology to an environmentally responsible all-electric SUV,” was first announced.

Nonetheless, the line has since been taken out. Subaru has previously stated that the Solterra is getting looked at for the local market.

In November, when the Solterra appeared to the media, GM for Subaru Australia Blair Read said: “Whilst Subaru Corporation is yet to confirm a timeline for the Solterra in Australia, we are working very closely and future electric projects form part of an ongoing dialogue between Subaru Australia and the factory.”

Overseas specifications for the Solterra incorporate the ability to charge at a maximum rate of 6.6kW on an AC charger and 50kW on a DC fast charger, as indicated by foreign specifications.

The 4.69m vehicle has a 2.85m wheelbase, is 1.86m wide and 1.65m high, has a turning circle of 5.7m and 210mm ground clearance, and uses Subaru’s X-Mode AWD system with Grip Control in its dual-motor configuration for rough-road handling.

Drive expects a full declaration in regards to an Australian launch for the 2023 Subaru Solterra to happen within the coming months, in front of first appearances in local showrooms expected sometime next year.

In the meantime, its Toyota BZ4X twin is expected in local showrooms when late 2022 – however this estimated arrival date is presently nine months old and may have changed – while the Lexus RZ450e is considerably further away, with the vehicle still to be formally secured by Lexus Australia.

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