All-electric SUV EV Subaru Solterra confirmed for New Zealand

The Subaru Solterra will be available to Kiwis in the first half of 2023.

Subaru of New Zealand announced the introduction of its first battery electric vehicle to the New Zealand market today to New Zealand’s automotive journalists, with the long-awaited Solterra All-Wheel Drive confirmed for a 2023 arrival. 

The Solterra heralds a new era of electrification for the brand while still delivering everything Subaru drivers love about Subaru – All-Wheel Drive (AWD), active safety technology, adventure capabilities and durable, reliable engineering – in an all-electric vehicle.

The Subaru Solterra is named by combining the Latin words for ‘sun’ and ‘earth’ and it is built on the new, all-electric vehicle architecture e-Subaru Global Platform. The Solterra is designed to provide an electric offering without compromising on the brand’s distinctive features and abilities.

The Solterra SUV EV has the same capability in any conditions, and on any terrain as all other Subarus 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.

The bold styling both inside and out ensures the exceptional practicality, uniqueness and quality also expected of a Subaru.

Solterra signals a significant acceleration of the evolution of Subaru’s future journey. At today’s event, Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper also outlined Subaru 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% (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 May 12th this year, Subaru Corporation released their Financial Report which shared its plans to reorganise its 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.

Following the announcement, Reuters reported that other Japanese manufacturers are yet to formally announce plans to build a dedicated EV factory. 

Today’s Solterra reveal event was a significant milestone for Subaru’s future journey. Mr Dumper says that after months of speculation, he is extremely happy to confirm Subaru New Zealand will begin its electrification journey with the Solterra available to Kiwi customers in the first half of 2023, with April as the target date.

“Solterra has generated huge interest here and although we can’t confirm pricing at this stage, we are pleased to announce that this SUV EV will have a cruising range per charge of approximately 460km. This will enable Kiwi drivers plenty of travel time between charges, as they head away on their all-electric-powered Kiwi adventures.”

“Preparation is well underway for Solterra. We will have a right-hand drive evaluation model here later this year, which we will be showcasing to potential customers who wish to explore Subaru Country while treading a little lighter. We can’t wait to share more details with you about this exciting addition to the Subaru family.”

“We are thrilled to be adding an electric vehicle to our Subaru line up and are happy to be sticking to our core values by delivering an AWD EV. There is nothing more reassuring than the confidence and safety that AWD provides when driving the last few kilometres to the Bach on a gravel road, or simply crossing a slippery, rain-soaked intersection when the traffic lights change,” Mr Dumper concludes.


e-SUBARU Global Platform

Utilising the know-how cultivated with the highly recognised Subaru Global Platform, Subaru Corporation have jointly developed the e-Subaru Global Platform as a BEV-dedicated platform. 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.

Driving Performance/AWD System

Subaru’s AWD technology and experience now comes to an EV. Due to functions of 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 seamlessly shaped hexagon grille expresses the energy efficiency of a battery electric vehicle (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.

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.

High-capacity battery packs are placed under the floor as the Solterra 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 achieved.


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.

* More details will be available in the lead up to the Solterra launch in New Zealand. Customers are encouraged to register their interest at

Specification of Solterra (Japan model, in-house measurement)

AWD Model


Length × Width × Height (mm)

4,690 × 1,860 × 1,650

Cabin length (mm)


Cabin width (mm)



Cabin height (mm)

1,160 (normal / solar roof)
1,145 (glass roof)


Seating capacity



Wheelbase (mm)



Minimum turning radius (m)



Minimum ground clearance



Vehicle weight (kg)

2,020 ~


Gross vehicle weight (kg)

2,295 ~


Cruising range per charge
(WLTC, Japan standard) (km)

Approx. 460




AC synchronous electric motor

Maximum output
(front motor) (kW)



Maximum output (rear
motor) (kW)



Maximum output
(system) (kW)





Lithium-ion battery

Total power (kWh)



Total voltage (V)



AC charger maximum output



DC charging maximum output





Rack Assist Type Electric Power Steering (EPS)

Suspension (Front / Rear)

Strut-type coil spring / Double wishbone-type coil

Brakes (Front / Rear)

Ventilated disc / Ventilated disc


All-Wheel Drive


18 inch
20 inch



* The specification mentioned throughout this media release is in relation to the overseas Solterra model and is accompanied by imagery that has been taken of a left-hand drive vehicle. New Zealand specification will be confirmed closer to launch.

Catherine Pattison

Public Relations

Subaru of New Zealand

A division of Inchcape Motors New Zealand Limited
M +64 27 445 5389