• Dec 10, 2009
Subaru STi-into-Forester swap – Click above to watch video after the jump

Pacific Import Auto (PIA) came across a Subaru Impreza WRX STi that had been removed from service by a telephone pole. With a new Subaru Forester at their disposal the Pacific Northwest tuning shop decided to marry the two, throw in a generous number of Cobb parts, and the result is a mean white wagon with 295 horsepower and 325 ft-lb. of torque – at the wheels. For comparison, a 2010 Forrester's engine is rated at 224 horses.

The man behind the project said he wanted "a nice looking car, something that nobody else had," so little has changed outside. Underneath, in addition to the beating-again heart of the STi, Cobb contributed a downpipe, front and rear sway bars, and AccessPort ECU remapper. In back, an SPT exhaust is responsible for that deep down sound. Follow the jump to watch the video story.

[Source: StreetFire]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the Forester was updated with a more modern tranny (choice of 5 speed auto or 6 speed manual) and the same outpout as the WRX, I would buy one. As it stands now, this vehicle requires too many compromises (4-speed auto? come on!).
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Boxer Fanatic

        Both the new non turbo Outback and Legacy come standard with the 6 speed manual.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. They put the 6-spd in the Outback, but the other option is that Lineartronic CVT. I'd hate for them to go that route on the Forester too. A turbo Forester with no proper manual dismays me still.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Boxer Fanatic-

        indijanac answered already, but yeah, the 2010's do.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Umm, 5.0Fanatic...

        Which Outback has the 6MT?

        There is no longer an Outback XT option for 2010, and the 2005-2009 had 5MT or 5EAT. The 2.5i has the CVT or 5-speed, IIRC, and the 3.6R has the 5EAT gearbox.

        Only the 2010 Legacy 2.5 GT has a 6MT, and it is not the same gearbox as the 2009 Legacy Spec B, nor the WRX STI. It is the subie 5-speed with a 6th gear installed in it, and the shifter has gone to cable-actuation, rather than mechanical linkage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I still like the old version of the Forester, the red one on the video. If I were to buy a Forester, it would be like this: http://www.caradvice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/ForesterSTi.jpg
      • 5 Years Ago
      An STi Forester should be a factory option. Would allow me to buy a vehicle with way more versatility for close to the performance of the WRX. And it needs to have the 6-spd, as the auto is all that is offered on turbo Foresters.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. I actually for a short while considered buying an older Forester (one of the first years with the turbo option) and modifying it to be a quick sleeper that could do double duty as my snowboarding transportation as well. Basically, an STi with more ground clearance. For the price there really isn't anything else similar with the same potential. Tiguans and RDX's have turbo engines too, but are much more expensive.

        They actually did make Forester STi's for Japan:
        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/04q3/subaru_forester_sti-mini_test_road_test

        That's pretty much exactly what I'd want.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They actually used to make this back in 2005. Wiki says it was only for the Japan market, but I saw a blue one the other day in a parking lot. They should have continued producing those.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, I would buy this in a heartbeat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is a thing of beauty, mechanically.

      and 5-door for 5-door... might actually look better than the Impreza body.

      There have been rumors of a forthcoming update to the Forester XT, to offer equipment closer to WRX's level, rather than the lower output turbo tune, and 4EAT gearbox.

      Stepping all the way up to STI levels would be fantastic, for a vehicle in the idiom of a junior Range Rover Sport.

      But do the same thing with a Boxer Diesel, or a 3.6R engine, with a re-geared 6MT gearbox and final drive to suit... and long-throw Bilsteins and VTD center, and torsen front and rear diffs... and it might actually be an even better utility vehicle as well.

      STI's EJ257 engine is powerful and very fun, but diesel or larger displacement is better for practical use torque, and not bombastic peak performance, for towing light to mid-sized trailers, and such.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BTW...

        This still needs just a couple of things.

        1: World Rally Blue paint.
        2: the front grille and bumper faux "skid plate" should be a medium silver, possibly with a form-fitted auxiliary light bar/brush bar.

        3: a blacked out roof.

        4: some slick Sport-Ute looking wheels and tires, emphasis on SPORT. The 5x114.3 STI hubs should fit some nice wheels, unlike the limited options for the stock 5x100 bolt pattern. Even if they keep the stock STI wheels... it should get some high-performance mud and snow rated tires that befit a high performance versatility vehicle, rather than the track-day-ready STI tires.

        5: actual skid plates under the sensitive bits, like the rear diff, to protect the good hardware there.

        Maybe some black plastic fender flares, or matte black paint on the existing flares, to tie into the unpainted rocker panel covers, and the bottom of the bumper covers. The Ski Rescue SEMA Forester from last year had that, and it looked a bit more purposeful, for it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the Subaru Diesel moves toward Euro 6 compliance, it should be able to make US emissions too. They're not the same, but once you have all the stuff bolted on you need to make Euro 6, you should be able to make US (CARB) emissions.

        So we'll have another crack at the Subaru Diesel.

        But I still doubt Subaru will bring it here. The sales just wouldn't be enough to justify the cost.

        As to the H6, I dunno why Subaru would emphasize that engine. Subaru sells a lot of cars to mountainous areas (snow, mountains and AWD go together) and turbos work better at altitude than normally aspirated engines do.

        I loved the old Forester, the new one is too large.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ls7...

        I hope we do see the boxer diesel, and the mileage would probably help Subaru meet the cafe standards.

        In suggesting a 3.6 H6 option, I don't suggest that the turbo engine option be removed.

        But owning both an H6 subaru, and a Cobb AccessPort tuned H4 Turbo nearly as powerful as the one in this Forester...

        The H6 is the more stable, less peaky power unit, with more torque at throttle tip-in, but much less of a rush under more throttle application. The turbo is more fun, the H6 is smoother, and doesn't require spool up to apply a reasonable amount of torque.

        For a sport vehicle, the turbo fills the bill better, and does it well at altitude, also. That is true.

        But for a utility vehicle, outright performance isn't always better than a smooth, balanced delivery, and torque application without a violent transition.

        I am just saying that Forester is a utility vehicle, and one might want to actually use it as one, more often than a WRX STI might be used as one, and an H6's temperance might suit that, without feeling as short revving as a diesel 4, or a base H4 gas engine that might get overwhelmed when trying to tow a modest trailer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is no question the Forester looks better than the Impreza. I hate the styling of the current gen as much as you seem to dislike the new Legacy.

        I hope the rumors you speak of come to fruition.

        Do you happen to know what happened to the diesel that was to come here? Diesel Forester intrigues me as well, but I doubt I'd choose it over a higher-performing turbo model. Just curious, as I read a few pieces on it a bit ago, then have not heard or seen anything else recently.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Diesel still hasn't arrived, likely due to the differences between how emissions are rated between Europe (where boxer diesel is more common) and the US.

        The US seems to be more negative toward particulate emissions than EU ratings... EU seems to be more concerned with CO2 emission volume, and more tolerant of diesel's particulate emissions.

        I dunno if Boxer Diesel will arrive in the US... but it would be nice.

        Truly for a well balanced vehicle, I would probably opt for an H6, instead of a turbo 4 (peaky, with boost lag) or boxer diesel (low redline)

        EZ36 could be tuned to make as much or more horsepower than an STI turbo 4 (although probably less peak torque, but more torque at idle, off boost, in a mountain-like curve, rather than a high-plateau like turbo curve.)

        An EZ36 tuned up right (not handicapped for the 5EAT gearbox's health) with a light to modest pressure positive displacement supercharger... that would be very interesting...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think there's no question the Impreza looks much nicer than the Forester, from all angles...

        I would never even consider a Forester, too high, too big.
        The Impreza is sportier-looking and I especially love the rear hatch.

        This thing looks like little more than a RAV4.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool, but definitely not something nobody else has. There are PLENTY of STI-swapped Foresters running around. Usually just the 6-speed trans and the hubs, brakes, larger turbo, intercooler, etc get swapped though -- not the engine itself -- as the Forester XT's 2.5L turbo engine is extremely close to the STI's engine (and, in the '04 FXT, was completely identical to the engine in the STi) and can make every bit of the power the car in this story makes and quite a bit more with absolute reliability.

      The Forester XT Sport that we got in, I believe, '07 was a SWEET Forester. I definitely prefer the '04-'08 design better than the newest body styles post-Toyota purchase... too pedestrian... blend in too much, etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really? There's plenty of 09 Foresters running full 08 STI internals? Man, you'll have to show me those.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice and clean.

      Love that boxer rumble.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks as classy and well resolved as something OEM. Maybe Subaru will take the hint and make one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like it. Nice and clean.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a great project... I love Subaru's, and would sell my M3 to get a Forester "STi" like that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd have problems trusting my car's upgrades to a business that uses the word "independantly" on its building signage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok- I agree w/ you 100% on businesses that have improperly spelled signage, or improper usage of plurals. "Flat's Fixed Here" etc....

        But the simple truth, and forums and web postings prove it - people simply can't spell, or use proper grammar. I would dare say 99.9% of us are all guilty of it, and there might even be a typo or 2 in this response. I don't hold the guy responsible for making the mistake.....

        I do, however, hold the professional sign maker 100% responsible for not catching the error. Especially before charging the guy a couple of hundred dollars for the signs/banners with misspellings and grammar issues that the business owners don't intend.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Subaru should at least put the 265 hp motor from the 2009 WRX in the Forester XT instead of the 224hp motor from the 2008 WRX.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They would also have to option it with a different gearbox. Subaru automatic gearboxes tend to be the cork in engine output. 4EAT doesn't like much more than ~230hp, and 5EAT doesn't like much more than 250-260hp, and similar torque.

        Legacy GT hasn't offered much more than that in the past, EZ30 and EZ36 are corked at about that much power in every application. Even A-spec WRX STI with the 5EAT in the japanese market are de-tuned.

        WRX before 2009, and Impreza GT, and Forester XT, etc... have been limited to about 230hp.

        WRX STI with a manual offers more power, but normally is only offered with the robust 6MT gearbox, which has only otherwise been used officially in a couple of up-spec variants of the Legacy turbo H4, and 3.0R Spec B Legacy/Liberty, and Legacy S402 overseas.

        If Subaru were to beef up their gearbox offerings, to handle more power while still maintaining a margin for warrantee not draining Subaru broke. (as in, the transmissions handle the power without breaking right and left...) then they could up the power of their turbo H4, as well as un-corking their H6 offerings, which also should be capable of much better output than they are currently rated for.

        But the gearbox being the mesh point between a powerful engine, and four interconnected tire contact patches, not just two... tends to make the gearbox susceptible to heat and fatigue.
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