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.