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Future models - Subaru - Forester

New York show: Subaru Forester primed and ready

On the way: Subaru’s Forester will start its fightback in the all-important medium-SUV segment in Australia late this year.

Fifth-gen Subaru Forester confirmed for Big Apple reveal and late 2018 rollout

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Subaru logo14 Mar 2018

By RON HAMMERTON

SUBARU has confirmed that its fifth-generation Forester will strut its stuff at this year’s New York motor show on March 28 ahead of its rollout around the world, including Australia, later this year.

New from the ground up, the latest medium SUV will join the Impreza small car and XV small SUV on Subaru’s modular Global Architecture and share their latest Subaru technology, including the new-generation EyeSight safety system and connectivity.

The engine line-up is also expected to get a pull-through, with a Subaru executive at the Geneva motor show indicating that diesel was on the outer at the company, meaning an all-petrol line-up is possible.

Although the new 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine from the Levorg must have been tempting to drop into the Forester, GoAuto understands that a major reworking of the current 2.5-litre four-cylinder normally aspirated boxer engine is more likely.

Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley said Subaru was yet to confirm details of powertrains and other specifications for the new model.

New York is shaping up as a hotbed of SUV activity this year, with Toyota also selecting the annual Big Apple event to reveal its next-generation RAV4.

So far, Subaru has shown only a single teaser shot of the rear quarter of the Forester, revealing a wider, new-look tail-light.

Many pundits expected the next Forester to draw inspiration from Subaru’s Viziv concept from 2015, but the little bit we can see in the teaser photo reveals several changes from that design, including different tailgate sheetmetal and tail-lights.

Subaru Australia has confirmed that the new model will arrive in this market in the final third of this year.

The new range cannot come soon enough for Subaru in Australia where sales of its former top-seller have slipped by 15.5 per cent in the first two months of 2018.

Once the sales leader in the medium-SUV category, the Forester is now ranked eighth, on 1633 sales to the end of February, well behind market leader Mazda CX-5 (4343) and second-placed Toyota RAV4 (3621).

But Subaru and its dealers will be heartened by the success of the Impreza and XV that have both benefited from the lighter, slicker Global Architecture to generate new customers.

The current Forester that has done duty in Australia since early 2013 offers a choice of four engines – 2.0-litre normally aspirated petrol, 2.5-litre normally aspirated petrol, 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 2.0-litre diesel.

So far, there is no word on a hybrid powertrain, but Subaru is on record as saying that is new Global Architecture is capable of accommodating all manner of powertrains, including electrified ones.

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