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Subaru Solterra release events


ernieb
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I’ve been contacted by my old Subaru dealership to see if I’d like to attend one of the two April events they have planned for April. I’ve signed up, let’s see if I manage to get a place. Obviously very similar to the bZ4X so it could be interesting.

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Bryan, sound like the same location as me, Double Tree Hilton? It’s only an hour but might be useful to see one physically. The potential winter range is still an issue for me but let’s see what’s said on the day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The event was held inside the Double Day, Hilton, Thame near Oxford. Plenty of parking and refreshments on registering. There were just a few people attending so we were able to spend some quality time with the cars and have one to ones with the Subaru reps. The presentation started with a quick introduction and then there was a 15 minute video, sadly only cutting in clips of the Solterra and using an Outback to draw comparisons. Two guys chatted their way though the specifications and emphasised the permanent AWD system still being the only option for both the Solterra cars in the line up. It would have been better if they had had a Solterra there but overall they did a good enough job of providing background information without over selling.
The line consists on two cars, let’s get the OTR numbers out of the way, £50K and £53K. Both use a dual motor system, 218PS, permanent AWD, useable Battery of 71.4kWh, charging at 7kW type 2 AC and 150kW DC Fast Charge (CCS), Heat pump, ground clearance 210mm, 0-62mph 6.9 secs.
The Limited version (£50k), has a range of 288 miles WLTP, 452L boot, 18” wheels and Fabric seats, the Touring version (£53k) has a range of 257miles, 441L boot 20” wheels and Leather seats.
Both cars have the new Safety Sense system, single camera/radar system, similar I guess to the Toyota system, collision avoidance, Safe Exit, Reverse Automatic braking, 360 degree panoramic monitor, pre collision etc., 12.2” touch screen, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, the Touring version has Harman Kardon Speakers.  There is Subaru X-Mode and hill decent mode, these worked well in the XV we had previously. (X-mode controls the drive, in mud, snow, steep slippery slopes)
When the two cars were unveiled they looked lovely (LH drive unfortunately), I don’t get mushy about cars but they did look good, one white with a black roof and one dark blue. Overall impression was very good, clean lines inside and outside. Sitting inside the drivers seat was more like a cockpit overall visibility for me 5’ 11” ish was good, the 360 camera system giving a great all round view although I would not want anyone to knock off one of the wing mirrors as it loaded with kit and must cost a bomb to replace. Adjusting the seat to my height the top of the steering wheel did intrude a little into the 7” MID, not enough to be totally blinded. The seats were very comfortable, synthetic leather, but felt supportive with a good range of adjustment. The back seats were good, with vertically no tunnel on the floor just a very small hump which I guessed was for power cables. There is plenty of room in the car and shares a similar foot print to the Forrester. The boot is reasonably sized, no spare just gunk, with rear seats when folded are not flat with a small rise to towards the front seats. The body finish was excellent good lines and overall the materials used felt upmarket.
The Battery is rated at >90% after 10 years and is heated and cooled by the heat pump system to improve life and driving range in normal use.  There is no storage under the bonnet, it’s full of kit and you could be forgiven for thinking it was an ICE under there but inside the cabin there plenty of cubby holes and storage even under the bridge that links the central arm rest with the dash, good use of space.
As this was developed in conjunction with Toyota, BZ4x version, there loads of similarities, the Subaru version is well spec’d with most items being fitted as standard and few options available as add ones.
$64,000 question would I buy one, no, not right now. If the range of the Limited edition was spec’d as the actual winter range for the Touring version then I would seriously consider this a real option and we might not have left the hotel without putting down a deposit. I get the feeling that driving this car would put a smile on anyones face. 
Having owned 3 Subaru’s I know how well the permanent AWD works, instant reaction to changes in road conditions. It’s not just the snowy conditions but the wet, rainy season that makes this cars systems shine.
They expect to get 350 Solterra cars to the UK this year, current estimate is dealer showroom test cars by July with the delivery till the end of the year. A £1K deposit would secure a car, refundable if you change your mind having tested one, my old dealer said he’d have no problem with that as they currently expect to sell the allocation and have a waiting list. 

 

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Great feedback Ernieb, sounds like pricing and spec similar to the BZ4 AWD versions. Glad to hear it has a nice ride. I’ve not experienced Subaru X-drive before, my only experience of AWD has been the one on the Rav4 Hybrid which definitely has some limitations. 

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Just for the avoidance of doubt, the bZ4X with a Toyota Badge comes with an "X MODE AWD" drive train. I very much doubt that there will be any mechanical differences between the bZ4X and the Solterra ...

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Totally agree Philip. Toyota not only have a financial stake on Subaru but have agreed technology licences and joint development. In much the same way as Toyota did with Suzuki and their version of the PHEV, some car, slight variations.

In some ways you could argue that going with the Toyota brand might well give you better service and support as it’s dealerships have had much longer to work with Hybrid electric systems, heat pumps etc. than Subaru. The only hybrid being the mild version in the latest XV.

I’ve not seen the BZ4x but the finish both internally and externally of the Solterra is much better than I’ve seen with previous Subaru’s.

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1 hour ago, philip42h said:

Just for the avoidance of doubt, the bZ4X with a Toyota badge comes with an "X MODE AWD" drive train. I very much doubt that there will be any mechanical differences between the bZ4X and the Solterra ...

So does that mean it has the proper permanent full time 4wd like the current Subaru e-boxer hybrids?  Toyota have traded their hybrid knowledge for Subaru's 4wd knowledge.

 

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1 hour ago, Yugguy1970 said:

 

So does that mean it has the proper permanent full time 4wd like the current Subaru e-boxer hybrids?  Toyota have traded their hybrid knowledge for Subaru's 4wd knowledge.

 

More than that, my understanding is that Toyota own 20% of Subaru and is now officially part of the Toyota group. The Solterra/BZ4x being a joint development using technology from both companies parts box.

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2 hours ago, Yugguy1970 said:

So does that mean it has the proper permanent full time 4wd like the current Subaru e-boxer hybrids?  Toyota have traded their hybrid knowledge for Subaru's 4wd knowledge.

Probably not since, a bit like the AWDi on the current Rav4, it has two electric motors - one driving each axle. There's no propshaft etc. X-mode AWD will be simulated in software. That said, I don't know how the Subaru e-boxer hybrid system is implemented ...

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My understanding is it’s a  dual linear electric motor/differential system which can delivery 50% power to each wheel base. It effectively replicates the mechanical system without the prop shaft drive from front to back. The floor in the Bach seats is almost flat and looking under neath the car is again pretty flat. I think the small hump in the back floor is for power cables etc. it’s certainly not big enough for the traditional mechanical drive system. It’s been in development for some time according to the guys I talked to at the viewing. 

The presentation video showed the car performing some pretty impressive off road manoeuvres, dry, muddy and snowy.

sub titles but gives good idea of what the Subaru and Toyota.

 

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