Before your heart goes all aflutter at the thought of a factory Subaru Forester XTI, cool your jets a bit. It's true that Subaru Australia has just pulled the sheets off of a more powerful Forester complete with nearly 260 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque, and yes, the high-rider packs a new five-speed automatic to replace the archaic four-speed slusher found on most Forester models. Drivers can even control shifts via a pair of paddles should the mood strike them. But this isn't some slammed hardcore grocery getter. Instead, the Forester S-Edition, as it's called, wears a slightly revised suspension cooked up from the minds at STI along with a few subtle aero tweaks outside.
Jump indoors and those from down under will enjoy a cabin trimmed in Alcantara bits, navigation and a rear view camera, all for a just a bit more than what you'd typically pay for a Forester XT in those parts.
Will we be getting anything similar? It certainly wouldn't hurt our feelings, but we'd be surprised if Subaru suddenly decided to lay another model on top of its range-capping XT here in the land of the free. We've got our digits crossed for that five-speed transmission, though. Hit the jump for the press release.
[Source: Subaru Australia]
Australia's best-selling compact sports utility vehicle, the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Subaru Forester, offers a new range-topping turbocharged variant for 2011 and refined, torque-enhanced new naturally aspirated engines.
The S-Edition is the most powerful Forester to date, using the legendary WRX's turbocharged 2.5 litre to produce 193 Kilowatts of power and 347 Newtonmetres of torque.
Forester S-Edition is joined by a revised line-up that includes the new FB naturally aspirated (NA) horizontally opposed Boxer engine – replacing the EJ unit first introduced in 1989.
It offers improved low-end torque, increased by six Newtonmetres to 235 Nm at 4100 rpm, while refinement, NVH and drivability are also greatly enhanced.
The engine will become the platform for a range of refinements throughout the Subaru range over the next few years. Emissions of the automatic transmission NA engine are reduced from 227 grams per kilometres to 220 g/km.
Forester S-Edition includes several styling and engineering cues unique to the variant including:
· 193 Kilowatt engine – 14 per cent per cent more powerful than the ongoing Forester XT
· Five-speed STI paddleshift automatic transmission
· Black grille with chrome-style highlight
· Silver roof rails
· Subaru Tecnica International (STI) 17-inch alloy wheels
· WR blue colour option – for a strictly limited period
· Sport interior with a blue tone
· Alcantara and leather seat trim
· S-Edition seat embroidery and blue stitching
· Sporty instrument display
· Blue-tone foot lights
· Special gear shifter
· Unique cargo door logo
Forester S-Edition is priced at $50,990 Manufacturer's List Price (MLP), just $3500 more than the XT Premium automatic.
New Forester represents outstanding price value across the range, with no change on entry-level and just $500 on most other models.
All Foresters feature a new-look grille, while wing mirrors on XS and above feature integrated indicators.
Inside, all dashboards include a darker finish and darker tone metallic-type highlights for enhanced appearance.
The upgraded specification includes Bluetoothâ wireless technology compatibility* across the range, while reversing cameras are standard in XS and above. Non SatNav models offer USB connectivity.
Foresters with cloth trim offer an upgraded more water resistant material.
XS and XT variants feature a new design 17-inch alloy wheel, while XT has a more aerodynamic rear roof spoiler.
Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: "We have had increasing customer interest in a more powerful Forester and are delighted to be the first export market for S-Edition, which made its worldwide debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney last October.
"It combines the best of two winning Subaru formulas – WRX and Forester, the latter of which is firmly entrenched as Australia's favourite compact SUV.
"New Forester's also significant for introducing FHI's third generation boxer engine, which offers improved response.
"Interior finish has come under the spotlight too and there are clear refinements to both the look and feel.
"I'm also delighted that Forester XS and above get a reversing camera as standard."
Every Forester features DataDot security and has an independent five-star crashworthiness rating for occupant safety from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
* Depending upon the software in individual mobile telephones.
Every Subaru sold in Australia features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a horizontally opposed Boxer engine, standard Vehicle Dynamics Control electronic stability program, and a five-star rating for occupant safety from the independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). The result - driving confidence.