Subaru South Africa has told TopAuto that “there are currently no plans to introduce” the recently-unveiled Subaru Solterra electric SUV to the country.
“Due to high import duties and other related taxes for [electric] vehicles, it is not viable for us to introduce this model,” said Subaru.
“Once this changes, we will consider introducing this model.”
The new Subaru Solterra is the brand’s “first global all-electric vehicle”, and shares a design with the jointly-developed Toyota bZ4X electric SUV.
The Solterra in Japan features a 71.4kWh high-capacity battery pack paired with an AC synchronous electric motor to produce at least 150kW and 336Nm – which is fed to either the front, or all four wheels.
This allows a range of up to 530km for the Japanese models, as well as a charging time of one hour to reach up to 80% charge.
As standard, the Solterra comes with the Subaru symmetrical all-wheel-drive system that sends 25% of power to each wheel under normal driving conditions, as well as the X-Mode driving mode that offers “increased performance in low-friction and off-road conditions,” said Subaru.
With 21cm of ground clearance and 850 litres of cargo space, the Solterra is a strong contender to pull buyers away from the more traditional petrol-powered crossovers.
The Solterra’s cabin features a strikingly unique design, headlined by a recessed digital instrument cluster and a large infotainment display standing up from the dash.
It also gives owners the ability to control cabin amenities such as climate control and remote locking directly from their smartphones via an app.
Each Solterra then sports signature LED lights and a high-level dual spoiler with a lower-level ducktail spoiler, while the low hoodline significantly contributes to aerodynamic performance, said Subaru.
The Subaru Solterra will go on sale in markets including Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe, and China from the middle of 2022 as a 2023 model.