Subaru has teased its first mass-production electric vehicle, the 2022 Subaru Solterra – but it won't be coming to Australia for the immediate future.
Given its official name overnight, the Solterra will launch in Japan, the US, Canada, Europe and China in the first half of 2022 – but Australia won't represent one of those launch markets, with Subaru's local arm citing a lack of a production slot for our market.
"The Subaru factory in Japan confirms there is no timeline for the electric Solterra vehicle for Australia. However, future electric projects form part of ongoing dialogue between Subaru Australia and the factory", said a Subaru Australia spokesperson.
That's despite the Solterra's twin under the skin, the Toyota BZ4X, being confirmed for Australian showrooms, with both SUVs riding on the same co-developed, electric-only platform, branded by Subaru as the 'e-Subaru Global Platform' (e-SGP).
Sized similarly to today's mid-size Subaru Forester, a teaser image released by Subaru suggests differences between the Solterra (formerly known as the Evoltis) and BZ4X could be fewer in number than initially thought, with both vehicles seemingly sharing the same exterior proportions and basic bodywork.
The Subaru's C-pillar and glasshouse designs are very similar to those of the related Toyota, and while the Solterra's headlights feature a unique LED signature, shared sheetmetal means they appear to slot into an identically-sized hole in the bodywork – though the Subaru will likely score a unique front bumper.
A rear-end image suggests even the 'Solterra EV' badge will be placed in the same location on the tailgate as its twin-under-the-skin's 'Toyota BZ4X' insignia.
Mechanical details won't be confirmed until closer to the Solterra's reveal, however all-wheel drive will be available, as per all other Subaru vehicles bar the BRZ sports car – ironically, Subaru's other vehicle co-developed with Toyota, which also shares the majority of its exterior panelling with its fellow Japanese twin.
Above and below: Toyota BZ4X Concept, unveiled in April 2021.
The Solterra name is said to be a combination of "Sol" and Terra", the Latin words for "Sun" and "Earth" – a name given to the electric SUV to "appreciate mother nature and further advance the form of coexistence with it", according to Subaru.
The 2022 Subaru Solterra will go on sale overseas in the first half of 2022, with a full reveal likely before the end of 2021.
While trademarks for the Solterra name have been filed locally, until a production slot for Australia opens in Japan, Subaru's first electric vehicle won't make its way to local showrooms.