Subaru’s rubber stamped final specification for a hot Forester ‘STI’ which will go on-sale here next month for $54,990.
Perched above the current range-topping turbo XT, the limited run Forester tS is claimed to wear $12K worth of extra Subaru Tecnica International goodies at only a $7K premium, gifting buyers bigger brakes, tuned suspension, and a plethora of styling enhancements.
These include four-piston Brembo calipers up front and two-piston rear units which hide behind new 19 x 7.5-inch wheels which are steadied by STI dampers spiralled with 15mm lower springs.
Elsewhere ‘flexible draw stiffeners’ team up with a flexible front strut bar, while new bushings have been plugged into the front stabiliser and rear subframe, which features an upgraded support.
‘Around 30’ items are added in total, the rest being exterior and interior additions that finish the Forester tS in black and ‘red’ (read: pink) trims. Meanwhile an STI front spoiler, rear spoiler, instrument gauge, gear knob, push button, and steering wheel set it apart visually.
Being a ‘tS’ variant, which stands for ‘tuned by STI’, rather than a fully-fledged STI model, the drivetrain’s been left in XT guise where a 177kW/350Nm turbo 2.0-litre boxer is married to a CVT transmission. However it's only been given an extra four kilograms to lug, so expect its 0-100km/h time of 7.0sec to be unchanged.
It’ll come finished in three exterior hues, pearl white, back, or WR Blue (is pictured), all with the same interior trim.
Australia’s the only market outside of Japan to receive the tuned soft-roader, but Nick Senior, Subaru Oz’s managing director, admits there’s been enough interest it should’ve ordered more than the 300 set to fill showroom floors.
He’s also confident this won’t be the only tS Australia will wrangle from Japan, saying “It certainly gives us great confidence in progressing other joint projects between the factory and STI.”
Here’s to hoping.