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Subaru Forester S-Edition concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Sydney Motor Show doesn't grab the full attention of the global media like Paris or Geneva, though this latest bit of news from Subaru certainly piques our interest. We had heard rumblings of a more potent Subaru crossover before, and now this, the Forester S-Edition concept, previews what the automaker says is "an exciting development in our Forester range" set to debut early next year.

Subaru has boosted the Forester XT's turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four up to 259 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque, gains of 32 and 20, respectively over the normal Australian model. That power runs through a five-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters (a proper stick-shift would be preferred, Subaru), and a new variable torque distributing all-wheel-drive system keeps things in check on the road. Other enhancements include a revised sport suspension, 17-inch STI wheels, Alcantara seat trim and S-Edition badging throughout.

Forester STI redux? Certainly sounds like it. Our only hope is that Subaru doesn't make this hot new Forester a JDM-only affair. (Fingers crossed!) Hit the jump to read the full details in Subaru's press release.

Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept
  • Subaru Forester S-Edition Concept

[Source: Subaru]
Show full PR text

An exciting Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Subaru Forester concept with some strong clues pointing to a new variant next year has been unveiled at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

The Forester S-Edition concept, making its worldwide debut in Sydney, builds on the turbocharged following of the existing Forester XT.

Forester S-Edition's turbocharged 2.5 litre 193 Kilowatt engine is 24 kW more powerful than the XT and produces 347 Newtonmetres of torque, up 27 Nm.

Other significant additions include:

- Paddleshift five-speed automatic gearbox
- Revised sports suspension
- Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) All-Wheel Drive
- Exclusive styling accents
- STI 17-inch high lustre alloy wheels
- Alcantara seat trim with S-Edition logos
- Drilled alloy pedals
- Luminescent instruments with centre design unique to the model
- Forester S-Edition badging

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: "We're delighted and honoured that Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have chosen Sydney for the worldwide unveil of this Forester concept.

"It points towards an exciting development in our Forester range early next year.

"Forester is firmly established as Australia's best selling compact sports utility vehicle, with the most recent addition to the range being the diesel variants that are proving a sales winner for our All-Wheel Drive brand.

"There's no denying Forester's appeal to Australians in both urban and rural environments, so we think this concept will only add to the huge interest," added Mr Senior.

Today's unveil follows FHI's recent announcement of its first all-new new engine in 21 years, which will debut on normally aspirated Foresters in Australia in early 2011.

The third-generation four cylinder horizontally opposed Boxer engine will launch as a 2.5 litre in Australia.

It features a longer stroke, compact combustion chamber and lighter moving parts.

Forester remains Australia's best-selling compact sports utility vehicle year-to-date, with recently launched diesel variants drawing even more customers to the multi-award-winning model.

Since going on the market in June, diesel variants have represented 29 per cent of Forester sales.

Along with every vehicle in the Subaru range, Forester has an independent five-star rating for occupant safety from the respected Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and is protected by DataDot security.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The sound you hear is that of Lesbians from coast to coast cheering.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hmmm....older 2.5 engine or the new one that's rolling out in non-turbo form this Fall for the US Forester?
      • 4 Years Ago
      ...and buying organic kitty litter at Trader Joe's
      • 4 Years Ago
      They really need to update that transmission. 5 speeds in 2011? In 2003 that was decent but at this point with lowly Ford Fiesta's packing 6 speeds it's time for Subaru to at least match a 14k car. Come on subaru - give the world a 6 speed manual and a 7 or 8 speed auto.
        • 4 Years Ago
        7 and 8 speed autos are pointless.

        6 speed auto or manual is adequate in modern cars. If Subaru can ensure that their CVT is reliable then that should be offered as on option in most models.

        This Forester however, is proper if it can also be had with a manual box. Transmission options would sell more of these SUVs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A 7- or 8-speed automatic in a price-sensitive, mainstream car? Not likely.
      • 4 Years Ago
      With fuel efficient V6s easily making 300hp these days, I don't think 259hp deserves much hoopla. And, you also have to laugh when a company is bragging about bringing a 5 speed auto into the model line.
        • 4 Years Ago

        I believe Subaru has a problem with production capacity. They wanted to move entirely over to a 6-speed manual for the WRX and STI, but they could only produce enough to supply the STI with the transmission. I wouldn't be surprised if they were having similar issues with their other models.

        I'd like to see them utilize the H6 more too, especially with a turbo in the Legacy :), but I think they need to figure out how to move the engine back while still keeping their AWD system. As it is now, the heavier the engine they put in the car, the more weight is hanging in front of the front wheels. AWD isn't the novelty it once was, and the competition has better weight distribution with bigger engines.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm less concerned about bragging rights than I am about the overall package, and this appears to be a very nice package overall.

        Yeah, a DSG, a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual would be nice, but I'm not sure it matters that much in this market segment. Heck, Subaru has been doing just fine in terms of sales using their archaic 4-speed automatic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That looks good! It's more mainstream looking and less Subaru looking. Heck you take off the Subaru badge on the front and the hood scoop and I couldn't tell ya what it was.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not ugly, surprise!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not sure if you're comment was directed towards me but I'm indifferent on Subaru. I like what they do even though it's not my thing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think he was referring to Subaru's recent "Mediocre" ad campaign and poking more fun at that than at you.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Would love that in the states, or better yet, a proper STi version.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That would be great! A practical STI, 6 speeds, would be able to carry everything i would need it too, and if in a moderate color would make one heck of a sleeper.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Man, my son has turned our 2004 Forester XT into one sick machine, (STi engine, intercooler and turbo) and as much as I love it, i'd trade it in a heartbeat for this concept. Right now we're putting out 300 HP at the wheels with 17" rims from his STi, all sorts of brake and suspension upgrades. My wife just LOVES playing with Porsches and BMXs with young dudes driving. They see a 55 year old "soccer mom". But if they do anything to get in her way... well, they sure feel foolish. My son had it at his shop the other day and his boss pulls in with his BRAND NEW 2010 Camaro SS. $41,000+ My son said, let's go for a ride... Blew the Camaro away!
      Lucky he didn't get fired. You shouldn't show up your boss' new ride with your mom's station wagon!! I Love Foresters!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      ....aaaaaaand of course the US doesn't get it.

      We get nothing cool.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why does it have two side view mirrors on the drivers side?
        • 4 Years Ago
        A few months ago I saw a Mitsubishi Montero with a forward mounted passenger side mirror - it didn't look like it was aftermarket, because it matched the color and general shape of the regular side mirror. I don't know if this was originally purchased here in America or was a personal vehicle shipped from overseas. Would seem to work well to help see around a big SUV or truck. I can't find very much in the way of explanation or the possibility to buy here when looking up "fender mirror".
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually it's the passenger side, since it's RHD. I think it's required by law over there?
        • 4 Years Ago
        JDM and I guess Australia market cars are required to have those, if I'm not mistaken.
        • 4 Years Ago
        requirements in some Asian countries to have a forward mounted rear view as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, absolutely........NEXT!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      1. incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.
      2. any action, esp. in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.
      3. Archaic . rebellious disorder.

      Now that's car name that makes a statement! lol.

      Actually, I like the car, except for that goofy double mirror.
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