Subaru Launches Forester tS In Russia, Plans More STI-Tuned Models

Subaru has shown off a modified version of its crossover called Forester tS in Russia, and the performance car could be just the first in a line of tuned, go-fast Subaru models. Autocar reveals that Subaru's performance wing STI could soon produce more modified cars. The suffix "tS" stands for "Tuned by STI."

The Forester tS has already been on sale in Japan for some time, but Subaru is launching the car in Russia to test whether STI-tweaked models have a broader appeal. An official tells Autocar that it doesn't necessarily make sense for STI to restrict its tuning efforts to the Impreza WRX. Assuming the Forester tS is successful in Russia, expect it and other STI projects to spread across other markets.

The Forester tS is sort of a mash-up between Subaru's crossover and the aforementioned WRX STI. It was loosely teased by the 260-hp Forester S-Edition concept shown in 2010. The production Forester tS, meanwhile, uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine rated for 259 hp and 256 lb-ft of torque, with a five-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels. STI-specific springs and shock absorbers, as well as chassis braces and anti-sway bars, help improve the Forester's handling performance. Visual distinction comes courtesy of 17-inch gold wheels, abundant "tS" and "STI" emblems, leather and Alcantara upholstery, and a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with red stitching.

"Russia is the perfect market to trial sales of a more aggressive Forester, but it's clear that STi's abilities and experience could work on other cars in other markets," a Subaru official told Autocar at the Moscow Motor Show.

Sources: Autocar, Subaru

Otis Starr
I am a die hard Subie fan - since late 70's.... miss the hell out of the BRAT and BAJA. Subaru, like all other mfg's have gone soft.... mainstream, boring cars just like most other mfg's. Why can't we have a real 4wd vehicle like they used to build? The dual-range manual transmissions were the bomb. You could take a Subie anywhere (and I pretty much did - all the while getting 28-30 mpg!) It's all automatics and boring, boring vehicles. I really like the Forester... just why can't I buy a 6speed manual turbo with a dual pane sunroof and the WRX (260hp+) engine. Add in the good brakes adn the fun stuff.... Now, THAT would put me back on the Subaru band wagon.

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