For the longest time, Subaru has always offered the Forester with a turbocharged engine. However, after the previous-generation model (SJ) was discontinued and the current-generation Forester was introduced, the turbocharged XT variant was officially dropped from the lineup. As such, all Foresters variants either have a naturally aspirated engine or a hybrid powertrain (e-Boxer). No doubt fans of the Forester XT were quite disappointed.
But now, there is reason to rejoice as Subaru is offering the current Forester with a turbo once more. In Japan, the automaker has just announced the launch of the new Forester Sport which features the new boosted engine. However, it’s not the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine found in the WRX or the 2.4-liter turbo engine in the Ascent. Instead, it’s a completely new motor.
Under the hood of the Forester Sport sits a “newly developed” 1.8-liter turbocharged DIT engine which produces 177 HP and 300 Nm torque. Sounds familiar? That’s because it's the same engine used in the all-new Levorg – the CA18. Talk about new right? A Lineartronic CVT then sends power to all four wheels via Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.
On the outside, it's hard to differentiate the turbocharged Forester Sport from the standard model, especially from the front. The most obvious giveaway, however, would be the twin-exit exhaust. For comparison, the non-turbocharged models only have a single exit exhaust. Aside from that, the grille, fog light housing, and most exterior accents are finished in black or black chrome. It also sits on new 18-inch wheels exclusive to the Forester Sport.
Inside, the cabin of the Forester Sport also gets an upgrade. The seats and sidings are now lined in a mixture of leather and suede. Meanwhile, the steering wheel gets a new leather steering wheel. Though not seen, the gauge cluster has also been replaced with a Forester Sport exclusive item.
With Subaru offering a turbocharged Forester again (albeit only in Japan for now), it might only be a matter of time before the model officially returns to the global market. Hopefully, it won’t take too long before it arrives in the Philippines.