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2015 Subaru Forester tS makes disappointing world debut [video]

The 2015 Subaru Forester tS makes its world premiere at Tokyo Auto Salon with little fanfare. Why are performance fans disappointed?


The Japan market 2015 Subaru Forester tS performance SUV makes its official world debut but leaves performance fans disappointed. The New Forster tS which is tuned by Subaru Tecnica International (STI) doesn’t get much fanfare and the Legacy B4 Blitzen Concept and Levorg S Concept vehicles seemed to get more attention at the show. There’s a good reason the new performance Forester is a let down for performance fans.

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We knew the new 2015 Forester tS would get the new WRX-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine, but thought it would get similar power numbers as the new performance sedan’s powerplant. The Japan WRX S4 turbo engine produces 221 kW (296 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb. ft of torque). But the Forester tS only comes with 280 PS (276hp) and 258 lb ft of torque. It’s not what performance enthusiasts were expecting from the performance SUV that was developed by STI in Germany.

Forester tS is close but still not the real deal

The new 2015 Subaru Forester tS received its research and development at the Nurburgring just like the 2015 WRX STI. But unlike the new-generation STI, the new Forester tS is only a tS (tuned by STI) and not a true STI performance model. Subaru has teased other tS models in the past that were also badged with the STI emblem but were not the real deal. The Forester tS comes very close but still lacks the power to be considered a true performance SUV.

Forester tS looks the part

The Forester tS has the right equipment and comes with a suspension that was track-tested by STI and lowered 15mm. It also gets 17-in ventilated Brembo disc brakes both front and rear. The STI logo can even be seen peaking out of the 19-in BBS wheels. Forester tS also comes with an 8-step CVT automatic that was tuned by STI and gets a special ECU and transmission oil cooler. The SUV has the platform to handle considerably more power.

It doesn’t look like Subaru has any intentions of developing a performance division for their entire lineup run by STI. The Subaru WRX STI will remain the only true performance vehicle from Subaru. With all the STI-developed equipment, Subaru could come back later and give the Forester tS more power to go along with the STI suspension upgrades. For now, the 2015 Subaru Forester tS is a sheep in wolves clothing and leaves performance fans disappointed.


joe drescher (not verified)    January 15, 2015 - 10:20AM

correction : It is not a Subaru Impreza WRX STI anymore. The WRX and the STI are separate models now, making it simply: Subaru STI. Not "WRX STI".

Ankur Solanky (not verified)    January 15, 2015 - 5:40PM

In reply to by joe drescher (not verified)

Correction. Subaru just dropped the Impreza name from the WRX and STI. They didn't drop the WRX name from the STI. So, the STI is still called the Subaru WRX STI.

btao (not verified)    April 30, 2015 - 2:45PM

The reason fans are disappointed is that YOU CAN'T BUY IT IN THE USA!


Ask (not verified)    October 2, 2015 - 11:35PM

It is highly disappointing that the TS won't come to the US this year. If it did, I would be buying one. Although the power of the engine is not increased, the suspension and breaking upgrades are very attractive. Having this thing buttoned down to the road and having confident stopping power are big things. I have an 08 Forrester XT with a five speed which I love, but the refinement present in the new model is attractive. If it would just handle better, stop better, it would be a good replacement for my 08, in spite of the CBT.