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.
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.