How the 2024 Subaru Solterra will shake up the electric SUV game: Where this AWD EV will out-perform the BYD Seal U and BYD Atto 3

Subaru has outlined just where it thinks its incoming Solterra will outshine its core competitors, promising that its new electric SUV will be every bit as off-road ready as models like the Outback and Forester.

It will mark a true point of difference between on-road focused electric SUVs like the BYD Atto 3 and incoming Seal U, along with established players like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

While not a maker of true off-roaders, most Subaru vehicles, all of which are AWD, have the capability to take their owners further afield than you might expect.

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And Subaru says its Solterra, which will finally arrive in Australia this year, will be no different.

“We are focused on what an owner expects from a Subaru model. That’s core Subaru DNA,” says Subaru Australia Managing Director, Blair Read.

“That’s symmetrical AWD, good ground clearance. If this is a Subaru SUV, then does it meet that grade? That was the first box we checked.”

Mr Read says that, while the Solterra was jointly developed with the Toyota bZ4x which will arrive here next year, Subaru’s engineering focus was on developing the AWD drivetrain, with the executive suggesting the drive experience will be instantly familiar to anyone who has driven an Outback or a Forester, saying “that same level of expectation off-road will apply.”

Australian pricing and specifics haven’t been announced, but with the order books opening in October and deliveries commencing later this year, the full details will be revealed shortly.

We expect the Solterra to be dual-motor all-wheel drive only — with n  80kW/168.5Nm motor at each axle — and should produce a 460km driving range from its  71.4kWh lithium-ion battery.

Pricing in Australia is yet be confirmed, but again we look to the UK for clues, where the Solterra starts at 52,495 pounds — which, based on a straight currency conversion, equates to $102,993 in AUD. That said, a straight currency swap is only a guide, rather than any concrete view of pricing.

Stephen Corby

Stephen is a former editor of both Wheels and Top Gear Australia magazines and has been writing about cars since Henry Ford was a boy. Initially an EV sceptic, he has performed a 180-degree handbrake turn and is now a keen advocate for electrification and may even buy a Porsche Taycan one day, if he wins the lottery. Twice.

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