Car Launches

Global reveal of the new electric, All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Subaru Solterra SUV

Subaru Solterra gallery 1

The Subaru Solterra - named by combining the Latin words for ‘sun’ and ‘earth’- is built on the e-Subaru Global Platform, which is a new AWD, all-electric vehicle architecture. The Solterra EV brings the Subaru brand’s trusted reliability, state-of-the-art safety technology, and legendary AWD engineering to an environmentally responsible all-electric SUV.

Subaru Corporation has made a commitment to apply electrification technologies to all Subaru vehicles sold worldwide by the first half of the 2030s. The company has announced its plans to continually develop and deliver products that meet societal needs and contribute to and protect the global environment through advanced technologies.

Subaru New Zealand Managing Director Wallis Dumper says: “The Solterra signals a new era for the Subaru brand as we continue our journey towards a more sustainable future here in New Zealand. The global reveal will no doubt stir great anticipation and excitement in our Kiwi Subaru drivers. The Solterra will enable them to explore the places they would rather be in their own back yard, while taking care of it at the same time, as we see the next expression of Subaru Corporation’s commitment to electrification.

“It is important to us that we remain true to our 100% All-Wheel Drive strategy in New Zealand and we will introduce the Solterra knowing it can handle Subaru Country. We look forward to working with Subaru Corporation to bring an All-Wheel Drive electric vehicle to the New Zealand market, with the same DNA that is shared by the rest of our Subaru line-up.”

Subaru Solterra driving 3

New Zealand has some unique challenges imposed by the Government to force a change to electric vehicles ahead of global timelines.

Mr Dumper acknowledges that the Subaru New Zealand team, are committed to helping transform the future of the automotive industry to achieve lower emissions.

“With models like the Subaru Solterra coming, it supports and expediates our desire to do so. Key to this success will be how fast the entire automotive industry can be transformed. It can’t be done overnight, nor can we get ahead of the major markets.

“The reality is that Subaru Corporation is yet to confirm a timeline for the Solterra’s arrival in New Zealand. We are working very closely with Japan and Australia and future electric projects form part of ongoing dialogue between our three entities.

“We can however acknowledge and do our best to support the present Government’s climate change goals and the role of transport in achieving them.”

Subaru Solterra gallery img11 2

The specifications and models shown are in relation to the global reveal of the new Subaru Solterra, there may be some changes to the New Zealand line-up.

In the development of Solterra - the brand’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) to be launched globally - Subaru aims to exceed the various customer expectations for BEVs. Solterra was designed to be a practical SUV so that customers can choose it comfortably and confidently, as this vehicle will be the cornerstone of Subaru’s future BEVs. At the same time, as a Subaru SUV, it retains all the essential qualities that ensure existing Subaru customers can feel that it truly is a Subaru.

By adopting new values that a BEV can offer and the applied value of ‘enjoyment and peace of mind’ that Subaru has cultivated over many years. Solterra has been built as an authentic SUV in an environmentally friendly package that can be used with peace of mind like the existing Subaru SUV models.

e-SUBARU Global Platform

Utilising the know-how cultivated with the highly recognised Subaru Global Platform, Subaru has jointly developed the e-Subaru Global Platform by teaming up with Toyota Motor Corporation as a BEV-dedicated platform. The e-Subaru Global Platform enables a driving experience with superior driving dynamics, which brings high stability and handling that linearly responds to driver’s steering operation.

High-capacity battery packs are placed under the floor as it is a BEV, and by utilising that battery as a part of the structure, a low centre of gravity and high body strength and rigidity are realised.

Driving Performance/AWD System

Solterra has adopted a new system that drives the front and rear wheels with separate motors. Taking advantage of the expertise in AWD technology (precisely controlling the four tyres) that Subaru has accumulated over many years, the agile response of the electric motors and the flexible driving force distribution between front and rear. Solterra fully utilises the grip of all four wheels and offers driving confidence and peace of mind.

Like the other Subaru SUV models, Solterra features the X-Mode AWD control system that enhances the sense of security on rough roads. By adding the new Grip Control function, which enables the vehicle to run at a constant speed while stabilising the vehicle even on rough roads, the capability is further enhanced.

Exterior and Interior

The seamlessly shaped hexagon grille expresses the energy efficiency of a BEV. The body with the horizontal axis starting from that hexagon and the dynamic fenders bulging out from the inside show the strength as an SUV.

Low instrumental panel and top mounted meters, a first for Subaru, located on the instrumental panel and visible above the steering wheel realised the spacious interior.


By devising the skeleton shape of each part of the body and optimising the material strength, Solterra achieves both weight reduction and superior collision safety at the same time.

In the event of a collision, the structure that transfers the load to multiple body skeletons efficiently absorbs the collision energy. It protects not only the vehicle occupants, but also protects the high-voltage equipment in the BEV.

Solterra takes on an important role for Subaru as the company announces that it works towards ‘delivering happiness to all,’ in the face of the challenges of global warming and climate change and will continue to deliver smiles in the future.

The vehicle has been jointly-developed by Subaru and Toyota, which entered into a new business and capital alliance in September 2019. They brought together technologies, knowledge, and each company’s expertise under the slogan ‘Let's make ever-better cars together’ and the engineers of both companies developed it together, while engaging in a friendly rivalry.

The Solterra launch is expected to start by the middle of 2022 in some international markets including Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe, and China. Subaru New Zealand are working with Subaru Corporation to confirm a timeline for Solterra to arrive on New Zealand shores.

To register to be kept informed about the all-new Subaru Solterra and future news about New Zealand specifications and timings please visit

It’s good to see manufacturers working together to produce even better vehicles and tackling lower emissions targets at the same time.

The AA can’t wait to experience this fantastic looking new BEV driven on NZ country roads in typical Subaru fashion.

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