Australia, this is your awesome new Subaru Forester | Top Gear
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Australia, this is your awesome new Subaru Forester

Agrics of Oz rejoice! You can get your hands on a STI-enhanced special-edition

Published: 24 May 2016

We’ve always had a soft spot for fast Subaru Foresters. They’ve always been an unabashed rural warrior of Britain’s muddy landscape and perfect for agrics looking to unleash their inner yobbo.

But over here in Blighty, the most exciting Forester currently on sale is the hardly-inspiring 2.0XT. In Japan, they get a limited-run STI-enhanced (rather than a fully-fledged STI model) tS with 280bhp. And now if you live Down Under, you too can get a faster Forester complete with pink lipstick and all. Lucky so-and-sos.

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Unfortunately, Aussies don’t get the Japanese power bump and have to stick with the 237bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder and CVT ‘box.  But they do get lots of fast goodies including Brembo brakes, 19-inch Enkei wheels, STI-tuned dampers and coil springs (lowering it by 15mm) and a faster-looking interior with STI stamped everywhere.

Commanding a £3,500 premium over the top-spec Forester, the STI-lookalike tS is yours for £28,000 and available in early June. If it does tickle your fancy, pull the trigger on your order pretty quickly as more than half of the 300 examples heading to Oz have been sold already.

The Forester of course, was introduced as a concept in 1995 based on an Impreza's chassis. But the Japanese firm took a banzai approach later on by stuffing the 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer four engine from the Impreza STI into its soft-roader, thus creating the Forester STI.

But as the Forester has evolved – and risk-averse marketing focus groups have got more involved – it’s grown, become bloated and lost its personality and charm. Well, in the UK at least. You Aussies and Japanese readers are alright. So who wants to start a campaign to get a fast Forester back on our shores? Let us know below.

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