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A Sube fast Forester

Super Sube: The Forester S/tb STi features a host of mechanical and external modifications to enhance its performance and appearance.

Subaru has unveiled what should be the fastest production off-roader in the world - barring the Mercedes-Benz ML55

31 May 2000

SUBARU has pulled the wraps off a "tweaked" Forester that should have performance to all but match the revered Impreza WRX.

The bad news is that the newcomer - dubbed Forester S/tb STi - is a Japan-only model and will not be offered here.

Prepared by the Japanese car-maker's go-fast division - Subaru Technica International - the rapid Forester benefits from a host of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades that substantially lift its performance and appearance.

At its heart lies a "warmed-over" 2.0-litre turbo engine that generates 177kW at 6000rpm and 309Nm at 4000rpm - compared with 125kW at 5600rpm and 240Nm at 3200rpm for the Forester GT.

It tips the scale at a not too hefty 1420kg, which suggests it should cover the standing 400m in around 15 seconds.

The fast Forester's extra performance is complemented by large front and rear spoilers designed to generate additional downforce for greater high-speed stability.

Its springs and shock absorbers have been stiffened to deliver sportier handling and it sits 30mm lower than the standard model.

Stopping power is provided by the same 16-inch brakes used in the barnstorming Impreza WRX STi.

Although the Forester St/b STi will not grace our shores, Subaru enthusiasts can console themselves with the knowledge that an all-new Impreza range is due here around October.

It is likely the new Impreza will derive several styling cues from the current Liberty, as well as source its platform from the latter.

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