All set for super Forester
Expect a world-first announcement from Subaru, writes James Stanford
ARED-HOT Forester turbo will be revealed at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney next month.
Subaru Australia will take the covers off a high-performance version of the compact crossover wagon that will sit above the existing turbo XT model in what is expected to be a world first.
The company’s managing director Nick Senior only hints that a sporty SUV will make its debut at Sydney and will not go any further.
‘‘You will have to come to Sydney to find out more,’’ he says.
But carsGuide can reveal the hot crossover will have more power than the XT Forester, though it will not be a full-blown STI model.
The XT features a 2.5-litre fourcylinder turbo engine that produces 169kW and 320Nm of torque that is put through its constant all-wheeldrive system. That is considerably less than the same engine in the Impreza WRX, that generates 195kW and 343Nm.
So it’s expected that the sporty new Forester will have similar, or slightly less, power and torque than the WRX.
The engine revisions won’t be the only thing to set the hot Forester apart from the XT, with a lower riding suspension system and body kit ensuring it will stand out.
Its public appearance in Sydney is likely to be the first time it’s seen anywhere in the world.
The introduction of a highperformance Forester could give the model another boost, though it is currently selling strongly without it.
Subaru has sold 10,126 Foresters so far this year, which makes it the best-selling compact SUV in Aus- tralia, according to figures from VFACTS, in front of the Toyota RAV4 with 9197. The company says the Forester was also the best-selling vehicle in Tasmania last month, outselling the Holden Commodore, Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.
Subaru says the addition of a diesel model in June has helped its cause and now accounts for an impressive 29 per cent of its sales.
The strength of the diesel Forester, as well as the performance of the diesel Outback, has prompted Subaru Australia to ask Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries to make a diesel-powered Liberty sedan and wagon available for local sale.