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New Subaru Forester leaks

First glimpse: This leaked Japanese brochure image looks to preview the next Subaru Forester, due here in early 2013 (source: Carscoop).

Japanese brochure shots appear to show new-generation 2013 Subaru Forester


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25 Sep 2012

SUBARU’S next-generation Forester compact SUV looks to have broken cover in a series of leaked Japanese brochure shots, around two months ahead of its planned global outing.

Due to emerge in full in December, the fourth iteration will be the largest yet, and borrow much of its mechanicals and cabin technology from the current Impreza small car (and its XV spin-off).

The car will then touch down in Australian showrooms by February, according to Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley, as a replacement for the current model that has been on sale since the beginning of 2008.

For much of that time, the Forester has been the top-seller in Australia’s compact SUV segment, although this year it has slipped to fourth place behind the Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

Likely to be based on a modified all-wheel-drive Impreza platform, the new Forester will have more boot capacity (505 litres, up from 450 previously) and will be 35mm longer, 15mm taller and 20mm wider than before.

The leaked images (first seen on Carscoop) refer to a 2.0-litre Boxer engine – almost certainly the 110kW/196Nm unit from the Impreza and XV – plus a more potent version of the same engine fitted with a twin-scroll turbocharger.

Expect this to be matched to either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic continuosuly-variable transmission (CVT), replacing the outdated five- and four-speed units used in the current model.

It is unclear if Australia will get this engine or the larger 2.5-litre unit that will almost certainly be available for international markets, while a turbo-diesel option is also a safe bet – this time available with an automatic or CVT.

The family influence extends to the evolutionary exterior design, including its cleaner grille and sleeker headlights, and the interior, which is expected to feature more soft-touch surfaces.

The cabin in the leaked images includes a large integrated navigation system, racy drilled metal pedals and a similar overall layout – including high-mounted information display, chunky round dials and three-spoke steering wheel – to both the Impreza and XV.

The leaked shots show two Japanese-market specification levels – the 2.0 XT and 2.0i-L (the latter badge is in-line with Subaru’s new nomenclature, while the XT moniker carries over from the current Forester).

The silver XT variant features chunky five-spoke alloy wheels reminiscent of those on the XV, aggressive front bumper intakes and off-road cues including silver scuff plates and roof racks.

The brochure also confirms certain Forester variants will be equipped with Version 2.0 of the company’s EyeSight safety technology, incorporating adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning and vehicle sway warning among others.

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