When Subaru discontinued the Forester 2.0XT turbocharged model, fans were disappointed and wanted the performance model back. Subaru listened and announced a new 2021 Forester Sport trim coming with an all-new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine. It's for Japan and likely coming to North America next year. Here's a comparison and Subaru's plan, but performance fans won't be happy.
The Forester 2.0XT 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque is gone forever, and it's not coming back. Subaru's answer is a new 2021 Forester Sport with a Levorg-sourced 1.8-liter turbocharged direct-injection (DIT) four-cylinder, lean combustion Boxer engine. It only produces 175 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque.
Also gone is the Forester XT's fully synchronized 6-speed manual gearbox. All Forester Sport 1.8-liter turbocharged models come mated with a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic. Subaru is offering all Forester trims with EyeSight safety technology, and it's not compatible with a manual gearbox.
Why did Subaru discontinue the Forester 2.0XT?
Subaru Corporation dropped the Forester 2.0XT because the brand is focusing on global fuel-economy standards. Fuel economy in the 2.0XT with a CVT was 27/23 city/highway mpg. Subaru reports the new 2021 Forester Sport 1.8-liter turbocharged engine gets 24.2/35.7 city/highway mpg and 33.6 combined mpg (10.3km / liter) (15.2km / liter) (14.3km / liter).
Subaru plans to use smaller turbocharged gas engines in their all-wheel-drive models for as long as possible. Tomomi Nakamura, Subaru Corporation's CEO, revealed the Japanese automaker would stay with gasoline powertrains "until they fade from the market completely." The CEO stated that Subaru's unique Boxer engine offers fuel-saving capabilities, like direct-injection and lean burning technology, and more models will have them soon.
Subaru will continue to fine-tune the Boxer engine's turbocharged capabilities, and the new Forester Sport 1.8-liter engine is the next evolution of its global strategy. It has improved torque for performance and direct-injection and lean combustion technology for fuel-efficiency.
The all-new 2021 Subaru Forester Sport with the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine is not for performance fans. Subaru brings it for the customer looking for a sporty compact SUV with an all-wheel-drive, enough power for urban commuting, and fuel-efficiency. Subaru will offer the WRX and STI for customers who want horsepower and performance.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru