Car Launches

Subaru’s first All-Electric, All-Wheel Drive SUV

Subaru are on a journey towards a more sustainable future, joining the electric revolution with the launch of their first all-electric, All Wheel Drive (AWD) SUV – the Subaru Solterra EV.


Taking its name from the Latin words 'SOL' meaning 'sun' and 'TERRA' meaning 'earth', Solterra is a great fit with our beautiful country, ensuring we can get out and explore the places we'd rather be while also taking care of our home.

Earlier this month, Subaru New Zealand revealed plans for the first Solterra to arrive on our shores ahead of the official 2023 launch. Subaru have already secured orders, which the lucky recipients should expect to get their hands on as early as April 2023.

Subaru launched the Solterra with a clever film showcasing New Zealand’s beauty and where the Subaru Solterra can take you with a very fitting tagline ‘Hey electric, come with us’.

The Solterra is an SUV that challenges perceptions of all-electric cars. It delivers all the technology drivers would expect from an all-electric vehicle, without compromising everything Subaru drivers love about Subaru like AWD, active safety technology, adventure capabilities and durable, reliable engineering – in an all-electric vehicle.

The Solterra promises to be the vehicle that takes us out of the supermarket carparks, away from the restricted parking zones and shared office blocks, to somewhere new. Somewhere the skies are big, and the hills are bigger. Across the grass and gravel tracks, along icy alpine passes, up sandy access roads and over waterlogged fields.

The Solterra SUV EV has the same capability in any conditions, and on any terrain as all other Subaru vehicles courtesy of the X-Mode AWD control system that enhances the sense of security on rough roads. The new Grip Control function enables the Solterra to run at a constant speed, while stabilising the vehicle, when the going gets tough.

Driving Performance/AWD System


The battery powers two 80kW AC synchronous electric motors (one on each axle), giving a total power output of 160kW and offers approximately 460km of range, with 6.6kW AC and 150kW DC maximum charging.

Due to axle motors at the front and rear, power distribution and brake vectoring are controlled continuously and precisely to maintain grip for each wheel. Grip optimised to road conditions assures stable traction on wet or slippery surfaces.

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 it - even on rough roads - the capability is further enhanced.

Exterior and interior


The AA were treated to a first peek of the Soterra on Waiheke Island at the official unveiling. One of the first striking features to stand out was the seamlessly shaped hexagon grille. The Solterra’s rugged and aerodynamic design stands bold at 1.65m high, with a wide 1.86m stance and a length of 4.69m, placing it between its other AWD siblings the Forester and the Outback.

Solterra’s cockpit layout represents Subaru’s design philosophy: visibility, simplicity and ease-of-use. Essential information for safe driving is displayed on a low-mounted instrument panel and high-visibility console. It is modern and roomy with ample leg room and flat floors. The large 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen features all the mod cons you would expect such as wireless phone charging capability with Apple and Android connectivity and Harman Kardon audio. We were surprised to discover there was no glovebox, but ample storage in the centre console.

Its 71.4 kWh (355v) Lithium-ion battery sits below the cabin floor, and by utilising that battery as a part of the structure, a low centre of gravity and high body strength and rigidity are achieved.

e-Subaru Global Platform

Subaru teamed up with Toyota to co-develop the platform for this compact SUV, which is also set to underpin the forthcoming Toyota bZ4X as well as other future models. The e-Subaru Global Platform enables a driving experience with superior driving dynamics, that brings high stability and handling that linearly responds to the driver's steering operation.


Safety is at the forefront in the all-new SUV, with the newly devised skeleton shape of each part of the body optimising the material strength to achieve both weight reduction and deliver 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 battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Sustainability plans

Solterra signals a significant acceleration of the evolution of Subaru’s future journey. Subaru New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper has shared the corporation’s future commitments to apply electrification to all Subaru vehicles (EVs and hybrids) sold worldwide by around 2030.

By 2050, the Subaru brand are targeting the reduction of their average C02 emissions by at least 90 per cent (compared with 2010). Subaru Corporation’s ambition is to continually develop and deliver products that meet societal needs and contribute to the environment through advanced technologies, thereby contributing to the protection of the global environment.

Additionally, on 12 May this year, Subaru Corporation released their Financial Report. It shared plans to reorganise their production structure to better accommodate market demand for electric/hybrid vehicles, which includes opening new production lines. The target date for an in-house mixed production line is 2025 and an EV only in-house production line in a new factory is scheduled for around 2027. This is a first for Subaru and will involve a financial commitment of $250 billion Yen ($3.2 billion NZD) over the next five years.

Pricing and final specs of the Solterra have yet to be finalised. Two models are being discussed with one promising to sit under the $80k mark, making it eligible for the Clean Car Discount rebate.


Subaru invites customers to register online to be kept in the loop with Solterra EVs future announcements.

register online

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