Not for U.S.: Subaru Launches 259HP Forester S-Edition in Australia

First unveiled in the 2010 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney last October, the Subaru Forester S-Edition has now gone on sale in Australia, alongside the revised lineup of the Japanese compact SUV. Boasting a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer engine delivering 259HP (193kW) and 347 Nm (256 lb-ft) of torque, the new range-topping model is the most powerful Forester ever to be sold down-under.

“We have had increasing customer interest in a more powerful Forester and are delighted to be the first export market for S-Edition, which made its worldwide debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney last October”, said Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia. “It combines the best of two winning Subaru formulas – WRX and Forester, the latter of which is firmly entrenched as Australia’s favorite compact SUV.”

The flat-four is coupled to a 5-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, which sends power to all wheels through Subaru’s Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive system. To improve handling, engineers fitted the S-Edition with sport suspension and 17-inch Subaru Tecnica International (STi) alloys, wrapped around in 225/55 R17 Yokohama rubber.

With plenty of torque available from down low – and constant between 2,800-4,800 rpm –, the Forester S-Edition sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 228 km/h (142 mph).

Wringing this car's neck will surely result in some scary consumption figures, but, according to the official fuel economy estimates, a laidback driving style can result in the burning of just 10.5 lt/100 km (22.4 US mpg) in a combined cycle, which is downright acceptable.

Compared to its more mundane siblings, the S-Edition also comes with a black grille, various chrome accents, silver roof rails and, for a limited period, World Rally Blue color option.

Inside, sport seats clad in a combination of alcantara and leather, S-Edition seat embroidery complemented by blue stitching, sporty instrument display and special gear shifter set this model apart.

The Forester S-Edition’s base price is AUD $50,990 (about US $51,301 at today’s exchange rates).

As previously reported, the revised Forester lineup benefits from the new naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine, capable of 170HP (127kW) and 235 Nm (174 lb-ft) of torque.

All new models feature a redesigned front grille, while inside the dashboard has a darker finish with matching metallic accents. The standard equipment list now includes seats clad in a more water resistant cloth trim, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, while XS models and above receive reversing cameras as standard.

*Note: The Subaru Forester S-Edition study is featured in the photos below

By Csaba Daradics