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Breaking - New Subaru Forester Sport With A Turbo Engine Makes Its Debut

Subaru announced a new 2021 Subaru Forester Sport with a turbocharged engine for Japan. When will it launch in the U.S.?


When will the fifth-generation Subaru Forester get a turbocharged engine? Torque News wrote a story last month reporting BestCarWeb in Japan said the Forester would soon get the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine. The information was accurate. Subaru announced today the debut of a new 2021 Forester Sport trim in Japan with a new 1.8-liter direct-injection turbocharged DIT engine.

Subaru announced power numbers for the new Forester Sport trim, and it’s the same engine that powers the new second-generation Levorg sports wagon. The 1.8-liter turbocharged engine is an all-new direct-injection four-cylinder, lean combustion Boxer producing 175 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Subaru Forester turbocharged engine, features, specs

Subaru says the new 2021 Forester Sport will have improved performance over the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine. It will also have improved fuel mileage. The 2021 Subaru Forester 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque.

The Levorg-sourced 1.8-liter turbocharged engine will give the new Forester compact SUV a significant increase in torque. Torque is what provides the car with the ability to launch from a standing start. The more torque an engine has, the quicker the acceleration from a complete stop.

2021 Subaru Forester turbocharged engine, features, specs

The Forester Sport 1.8-liter turbocharged engine will come paired exclusively with the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic. Subaru also gives the Forester turbocharged model suspension upgrades over the standard model.

In the new Sport trim, along with the new turbocharged engine, Subaru added a specially developed damper and coil spring to the suspension “to achieve a sporty” more dynamic ride and improved driving dynamics “while still being an SUV.”

The new Forester comes with a black-painted front grille and dark metallic-painted aluminum 18-inch wheels. It also features unique exterior trim, dual exhaust, and a roof spoiler. The interior gets ultra suede leather seats that offer excellent “holdability,” unique sport trim throughout the cabin, and aluminum sport pedals.

Fans have been asking for a Forester turbocharged model since the Japanese automaker dropped the Forester 2.0XT in 2019. Look for Subaru of America to get this same 2021 Subaru Forester with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine when Forester receives a refresh for the 2022 model year.

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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 Corporation


Bob (not verified)    October 23, 2020 - 1:25AM

Didn't the last FXT have like around 250hp ? Kind of a major downgrade. If it comes to the US it will need more power to get any sales.

HW (not verified)    October 23, 2020 - 11:11AM

Hood scoops add drag and this turbo engine is meant for mpg improvement, not another XT. The much greater torque will mean more responsiveness and the CVT will not have to shift into upper rpms as much. One of the auto mags many years ago quoted an Audi official as saying people buy horsepower but want torque.

Md38 (not verified)    October 23, 2020 - 6:57PM

This is sad...the competition has 170 - 200 hp. My 2015 had 250 and I bumped that up to 300hp. That is a good number for a turbo model since it is a heavy drive.

Eric (not verified)    December 9, 2020 - 2:06PM

I'm sorry to see Subaru beating to death their archaic boxer engine design by adding turbo charging. I own a 2012 Legacy 3.5R six cylinder that I bought new. That much maligned engine has do far proven reliable for me and now approaches 90k miles. In my opinion Subaru still makes the best all wheel drive system but I'm not a fan of CVT transmissions and their mixer engines have had head gasket issues for years. Some of the Subaru boxer engines also have an internally mounted water pump driven by the cam drive chain. Unlike traditional externally mounted water pump designs it the internal mounted pump Seals leak the anti freeze coolant will leak directly into the oil in the crankcase where one will not initially notice until the oil is checked or the engine fails from improper lubrication due to oil contamination. I find Subaru engines to be far more complicated than traditional in line four cylinders which makes repair and maintenance more difficult and expensive.