The new Subaru Forester tS will be the sportiest and most expensive version of the Japanese brand’s SUV when it goes on sale in June.
Subaru Australia has announced a $54,990 price tag for the tS, which is a collaboration between the company and its performance division, Subaru Tecnica International.
It costs $7000 more than the Subaru Forester XT Premium on which it’s based, though Subaru says a long list of mechanical and aesthetic upgrades are worth $12,000.
The tS – for ‘tuned by STI’ – modifications include front and rear brakes from specialist supplier Brembo, lightweight 19-inch Enkei rims, and a significant suspension overhaul.
Additional bushings, a rear subframe support, flexible shock absorber tower bar and flexible draw stiffeners are all designed to help improve steering response, cornering stability and ride comfort. The Forester’s springs are also lowered by 15mm, and the shock absorbers tuned for sportier handling.
Disappointingly, there are no changes to the engine despite the signature cherry-red STI badge appearing on the tS.
The turbocharged four-cylinder produces the same 177kW as the XT rather than the 221kW of the company’s famous WRX STI. It’s teamed with a continuously-variable automatic transmission, with no manual gearbox option.
In addition to the STI and tS badges, the flagship Forester gains an STI front spoiler and roof spoiler.
STI logos are also prominent on the steering wheel, engine starter button, gear lever, instrument cluster and seats.
Red stitching is applied to the leather/suede seats, leather steering wheel, door trims and centre console lid.
Subaru Australia says it has ordered 300 units of the Forester tS for the local market.