SEMA: Subaru unveils updated Forester in 2.5 XT Sports form

Subaru took the wraps off its refreshed Forrester and showed the assembled crowd at SEMA the new, more aggressive nose, and how dipping into the performance parts catalog could make it even more of a terror. The 2007 Forester Sports model has a few cool styling changes lifted from the JDM model and better standard equipment. The Forester Sports 2.5 X and XT build on the standard 2007 Forrester models with black mesh grilles, deleted roof rails, and the new front clip. And of course, the XT differs from the X in using the turbocharged 224-horsepower Boxer engine from the 2.5 XT Limited model, as well as standard VDC Stability Control.

While the Sports XT on display looked good with those upgrades and its standard 17-inch alloy wheels, the better car was on the other side of the booth. By checking off all of the boxes in its STi catalog of performance accessories, Subaru got into the real spirit of SEMA and offered up a modified Sports XT that looked for all the world like a rally-ready crossover. Really nice package. Click the thumbs for big pics and follow the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Subaru]

Press Release:


Forester Sports 2.5 XT Adds VDC Stability Control
Unique, Sporty Styling and Exclusive Interior Features
Enhanced Audio with Available Satellite Radio

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 31, 2006 – Subaru of America, Inc. is showcasing two new versions of its All-Wheel Drive 2007 Forester compact SUV at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. The 2007 Forester Sports models combine new, more powerful styling with exclusive interior features and enhanced standard equipment. The Forester Sports 2.5 XT adds to that the 224-horsepower intercooled turbocharged Boxer engine from the 2.5 XT Limited model.

With more aggressive styling, the new Forester Sports models are distinguished from their siblings by a new front bumper and unique black mesh grille. For a sleeker profile, the standard roof rail crossbars have been deleted on the Forester Sports models, but remain available as an accessory. The Forester Sports 2.5 XT in addition features standard 17-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the Forester Sports models feature exclusive anthracite black fabric upholstery. An automatic climate control system replaces the manual climate control system that is standard on the regular Forester 2.5 X model. The Sports models' 120-watt AM/FM stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer will play MP3/WMA CDs. Also an upgrade over the regular 2.5 X model, this audio system also features SIRIUS® Satellite Radio Capability and a new auxiliary audio jack to connect iPods and similar music players.

All Subaru models come standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a significant all-road, all-weather traction advantage over competitors that offer front-wheel drive as standard and make All-Wheel Drive an extra-cost option. Four-wheel independent suspension and variable-ratio, variable-power assisted rack-and-pinion steering help make Forester models equally adept at managing twisty back roads and absorbing off-pavement ruts and bumps.

All Forester models feature as standard equipment front seat head/chest side-impact airbags, four-wheel ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), cabin air filtration system, power windows, mirrors and door locks, and a remote keyless entry system. Versatility is ensured by 30.7 cubic feet of carrying space behind the rear seat, which expands to 68.6 cu. ft. when both rear seatbacks are folded.

Legendary Subaru Performance
The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine that powers the Forester Sports 2.5 X is among the most powerful in its displacement category, with 173 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 166 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,400 rpm. The i-Active Valve Lift system helps to ensure responsive performance at all engine speeds.

The turbocharged/intercooled 2.5-liter engine in the Forester Sports 2.5 XT produces 224 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of peak torque at just 3,600 rpm. The functional hood scoop, a telltale sign of every turbo Subaru model, provides a stream of fresh air to the engine-mounted intercooler. The Active Valve Control System variable valve timing technology optimizes the engine's volumetric efficiency and performance at all engine speeds. When equipped with the standard 5-speed manual transmission, the Forester Sports 2.5 XT can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in under six seconds. The turbo engine meets the strict Tier 2 Bin 5 Low Emissions Vehicle II (LEV II) certification for 2007.

Three Different Types of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
In all Forester models equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission, a viscous coupling locking center differential built into the transmission case divides engine power 50:50. Wheel slippage at one set of wheels causes more power to shift to the opposite set, ensuring that the wheels with the best traction receive more power.

In the Forester Sports 2.5 X equipped with the 4-speed electronic direct control automatic transmission, an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively manages power distribution based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction.

The Forester Sports 2.5 XT with the optional 4-speed direct control automatic transmission is the first Forester model to use the advanced Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The VTD system is also used in the Impreza® WRX® Limited model equipped with the optional automatic transmission. The VTD system uses a planetary gear-type center differential that splits the power 45:55, with the rear-wheel bias enhancing handling agility and the performance-driving feel. An electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch controls power distribution between the front and rear wheels in response to driver input and driving conditions.

The Forester Sports 2.5 XT with automatic transmission is also the first Forester model equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), an advanced stability system that controls VTD All-Wheel Drive operation and integrates an electronic 4-wheel traction control system (TCS). A viscous limited-slip rear differential directs power to the rear wheel with the best traction.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes All-Wheel Drive Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru is the only car company that offers Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line.

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