The fourth generation Subaru Forester, due to be unveiled at this month’s New York Motor Show, will jump to the new Subaru Global Platform, an architecture that paves the way for the Japanese car maker’s plans to add hybrid, plug-in hybrid and even electric drivetrains to its showroom.
We’ve only seen a single teaser image of a tail-light, which is not much to go on, but it is believed the 2019 Subaru Forester will follow closely in the footsteps of the other two models to have made the SGP changeover, the Impreza sedan and hatch, and the XV small SUV.
Subaru is yet to introduce a hybrid SGP-based model to Australia, although it does sell a version of the XV in the US, known as the Crosstrak, with a petrol-electric drivetrain.
The next-gen Forester is also expected to get the latest version of Subaru’s Eyesight system, which among other things uses stereo cameras to map out the road ahead and automatically pull the car up if it senses a crash is about to happen. We’re currently up to the third generation of Eyesight technology, so we’re keen to watch if the new Forester introduces an advance on it.
You’re also likely to see a big leap forward in terms of the Forester’s infotainment system. The two new models on the SGP architecture have both shifted the infotainment screen higher up the dash so that the driver doesn’t have to take their eye to far off the road ahead. Behind it, there’s smartphone support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – features the Forester should also pick up.
We can expect a similar mix of engines under the Forester’s bonnet, too, including a 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine – Subaru sticks with the horizontally opposed cylinder layout because it significantly helps lower the centre of gravity of its cars – and a more powerful 2.5-litre four-cylinder version that ups performance by about 10 percent.
The base Forester is still available with a six-speed manual transmission, while further up the range uses a continuously variable gearbox
How will it look? The single picture of the tail-light suggests a radical overhaul for the way the Forester looks. We expect it to follow in the same path as the Impreza and its closely related high-riding XV version; sort of a high-riding Subaru Impreza wagon.
The New York Motor Show kicks off from March 28, so we won’t have long to find out.