The Subaru Forester shares a lot of its running gear with the Impreza, which in turn forms the basis for the WRX rally rocket. That’s led to plenty of hot-rod Forester builds and speculation about what a factory Forester performance model would be like.
That speculation may be about to end, because it looks like Subaru is getting ready to launch a Forester STI. Teaser images are making the rounds online, while the car itself will reportedly be unveiled November 25.
The vehicle pictured looks like the Forester STI tS concept Subaru unveiled in Japan last month. Maybe we’re looking at the production version.
The tS concept as all show and no go, so hopefully this version will get some performance upgrades to match its aggressive looks.
Related: 2015 Subaru Forester XT review
The current Forester 2.0XT uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four that develops 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but there’s probably some room for improvement. Who wouldn’t want a crossover with a WRX STI-matching 305 hp?
Hopefully Subaru will equip the Forester STI with a manual transmission as well. Right now, a stick shift is only available on base models with the 2.5-liter, naturally-aspirated boxer-four; all other models get Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT automatic.
Of course, it’s unclear whether this hi-fi Forester will even be offered outside Japan. Subaru reserved its last new performance model – the WRX S4 – for the home market, and Stateside sales are never a sure thing when it comes to these niche models.
A small, practical crossover with the heart of a WRX should be an attractive proposition wherever you live, though, and hopefully the car Subaru unveils on November 25 will live up to that potential.