Remember a few weeks back, Subaru released a teaser image that got its fans in a bit of a tizzy? For those who don’t the image depicted what appeared to be a Forester bearing the STI treatment. I’ll admit it, even I was a little excited about the idea of a Forester STI, but I managed to curtail my excitement and remain sensible by speculating that this could possibly be nothing more than another tS trick by Subaru, which it pulled off with the BRZ in the past.
Well, Subaru has finally lifted the veil from this model, and that is precisely what it is. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Japan-only Forester tS…
Now, before you start lighting the torches and grabbing the pitchforks, keep in mind that this isn’t just a badge job. The 2015 Forester tS does have a few performance upgrades, including 19-inch Turenza ER33 rubber, BBS 19-inch wheels, four-pot Brembo brakes up front with 17-inch vented rotors, 17-inch vented rotors out back with two-piston Brembo caliper, an STI-tuned suspension that includes a 15-mm (0.59-inch) lower ride height, an STI-tuned tower bar, front and rear draw stiffener and subframe, an STI-tuned ECU and TCU, and a transmission cooler. There is no mention of power output, but it is possible that the ECU tune squeezed more than the stock 250 horses and 258 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine.
On the outside, there are plenty of look-good bits to set the tS apart from the rest of the Forester lineup. Up front you’ll notice an exclusive black grille, an STI-designed spoiler, metallic silver fog light bezels, and an exclusive STI badge. On the sides the tS gains black mirrors caps and window moldings, metallic silver body moldings, and “tS” badges. Around back the additions include an STI-designed rear under spoiler, a black roof spoiler, an exclusive exhaust tips, a red pinstripe on the bumper, and a “tS” badge.
On the inside, the STI and tS bits continue. These components include an exclusive luminescent speedometer with an “STI” logo, an exclusive multifunction display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with an “STI” badge and red stitching, push-button ignition with an STI badge, a leather gear-shift knob with “STI” badging, exclusive leather seats with Ultrasuede and red stitching, Ultrasuede door trim with red stitching, a carbon-toned dashboard, silver and piano-black A/C dials, and door-sill trim with “STI” badges.
Overall, the list of modifications made to create the Forest tS is rather long, so I can’t complain too much about this not being a true STI model. Additionally, this model will be rather exclusive, as it’ll be limited to just 300 units and will run JPY4,350,000 ($36,939) with consumption tax.