The Subaru Forester is no stranger to bearing the STI performance badge, with its maiden release way back in 2004 as a Japan-only model. Almost two decades later, the enhanced Forester returns again as a home market exclusive, but with the performance aspect dialed down significantly.
Subaru resurrects the Japan-only Forester STI
This is the Forester STI Sport, a limited-edition run of the compact crossover. According to Subaru, the model was unveiled “to suit the needs of customers who demand sportier and higher quality driving while being an SUV.”
The obvious difference from the standard version is the aesthetics, wearing gloss black highlights on areas such as the fog lamp housings, side sills, exterior mirrors, and bumper trim. A power tailgate hovers above the standard dual tailpipes. Red STI badges on the front and rear proclaim its status, accompanied by 18-inch alloy wheels rendered in super black high luster.
The twin tailpipes are a Forester staple
Inside, up to five occupants will likely appreciate the interior that’s clad in Nappa leather in a Black and Bordeaux red colorway, featuring red stitching and STI emblem on the headrests. Drivers get to take command of an STI Sport instrument cluster just beyond the multi-function steering wheel.
Unfortunately, where the Forester STI Sport falls painfully short of its predecessor is in the powertrain, as it still runs on the stock 1.8-liter turbocharged Boxer inline-4 rated at 175 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque. No 2.5-liter turbo engine here, sorry. And no 5-speed manual either, as the lone gearbox option is a continuously variable transmission working with the Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system.
STI accents are also found in the cabin
Chassis-wise, Subaru justifies the STI part of the Forester STI Sport through the retuned suspension, comprising Hitachi Astemo Sensitive Frequency Response front Dampers (SFRD) as well as rear dampers, all specially tweaked by Subaru’s STI division. Subaru’s EyeSight Safety Plus suite of advanced driver-assist functions remains an available option.
Specially-tuned dampers justify the STI badge
Subaru says that the Forester STI Sport will hit Japanese showrooms sometime in the third quarter of 2022, with no pricing information disclosed.
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Know more about Subaru Forester 2022
The Subaru Forester is a five-seater, all-wheel-drive, compact crossover. For the Philippine market, this model has one variant. This includes the Forester 2.0i-S EyeSight CVT. The Subaru Forester 2022 Philippine price is Php 2,068,000.
Under the hood, the Philippine-spec Subaru Forester uses a 2.0-liter boxer gasoline engine. This mill can make up to 154hp and 196Nm of torque. The sole Forester variant comes with a lineartronic continuously variable gearbox, and all have all-wheel-drive.
Size-wise, the Forester is 4,640mm long, 1,815mm wide, and 1,730mm in height. It also has a wheelbase length of 2,670mm, and a ground clearance of 220mm.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo