The 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport has been revealed in Japan, just a year after the facelifted compact crossover SUV made its global debut. Now that Motor Image Pilipinas, the distributor of Subaru in the Philippines is offering the WRX in tS (tuned by STI) grades, should they also do the same to the Forester?
From the outside, the 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport sets itself apart with its gloss black finishes for the front and rear skid plates, bumper air intakes, foglight housings, side sill claddings, and grille. The rear spoiler has also been decked out in gloss black, while the 18-inch wheels feature a sportier design compared to the standard model. Topping it all off are the obligatory STI badges on its grille and tailgate.
Moving inside, you’ll find a combination of Bordeaux leather and Nappa leather upholstery, as well as red stitching and piano black accents dotted around the cabin. The seats also feature embossed STI logos on the headrests, while the analog gauges come with a design that’s specific to the Forester STI Sport. The rest of the interior is pretty much unchanged from the standard model.
As this is an STI Sport and not a full-blown STI model, this Forester does not get any form of power upgrades. Instead, like the tS variants of the WRX being sold here in the Philippines, the Forester comes with upgraded suspension. In this case, the 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport benefits from Hitachi Astemo SFRD front dampers tuned by the STI team along with tuned rear dampers. Subaru claims that the Forester handles like a sports sedan as a result of these upgrades.
In Japan, the Forester STI Sport comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 175 hp and 300 Nm of torque. As usual, this is mated to a CVT, driving all four wheels.
With all of these upgrades, do you think Motor Image Pilipinas should offer the Forester STI Sport in the Philippines? Would you buy one if given the chance that they will offer it in our market?