- Forester STI Sport available for the Japanese market
- Minor mechanical and visual upgrades handed down to the popular crossover
- Australian launch unlikely due to different engine specs
The 2023 Subaru Forester has been tweaked by Subaru Tecnica International in Japan, revealing the STI Sport edition.
Based on Subaru’s popular crossover, the Forester STI Sport gains a number of tweaks above its lesser variants, the biggest of which is the addition of STI-tuned dampers for better road-holding along with 18-inch alloys shod in 225/55 rubber.
Numerous styling tweaks have also been made to its exterior, from the gloss black front skid plate, fog light surrounds, side sill cladding, mirrors, rear diffuser and rear spoiler to the iconic cherry red STI badges on the grille.
A range of exterior paint finishes, such as crystal white pearl, magnetite gray metallic, ice silver metallic and crystal black silica, are available to order for domestic market buyers.
The cabin scores a mix of Bordeaux leather and Nappa leather upholstery on its seats, doors and dashboard, highlighted by red contrast stitching, while the seats also feature STI emblems on the headrests.
Optional equipment includes a power lift tailgate and Subaru’s EyeSight Safety Plus system.
The 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine is unchanged from other Japanese Forester variants, continuing to develop 130kW and 300Nm which is sent to all four wheels through a CVT automatic.
Unfortunately for Australian buyers, the STI Sport likely won’t be coming to the local market, as Subaru’s powertrain offerings are limited to the 2.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid.
While Subaru Australia hasn’t totally ruled out the STI Sport, other unique grades could be added to the line-up.
“We are working closely with the factory on upcoming Special Edition options for the Australian market,” a Subaru spokesperson told Wheels. “We look forward to sharing further details closer to launch.”
Keyword: 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport revealed for Japan, Australian launch unlikely