New Subaru Forester STI Sport Isn’t Any Faster, But It Will Probably Handle Better - story fullscreen Fullscreen

New Subaru Forester STI Sport Isn’t Any Faster, But It Will Probably Handle Better

Should the Subaru Forester STI Sport be offered in the United States?

The 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport has just been unveiled in Japan, nearly a year after the facelifted model made its global debut. Since this is an STI Sport and not a full-blown STI, don’t expect any performance upgrades. Instead, the Forester STI Sport benefits from a number of aesthetic upgrades as well as new suspension components that supposedly offers better handling.

New Subaru Forester STI Sport Isn't Any Faster, But It Will Probably Handle Better
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As for its handling, Subaru says that its new Hitachi Astemo SFRD front dampers and retuned rear dampers give the Forester sports sedan-like handling

So, what exactly do you get with the 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport? Well, this compact crossover benefits from new Hitachi Astemo SFRD front dampers tuned by the STI team along with a set of retuned rear dampers. Subaru boldly claims that the Forester now handles like a sports sedan as a result of these upgrades.

New Subaru Forester STI Sport Isn't Any Faster, But It Will Probably Handle Better
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The Subaru Forester STI Sport is mostly and aesthetics and handling upgrade over the standard model, as it uses the same 1.8-liter turbo boxer engine found in other Japanese-market Foresters

While it may have the handling of a sports sedan, that isn’t the case when it comes to its straight-line performance. In Japan, the Forester STI Sport uses the same 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that’s found in the standard models, which means it still produces 177 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. For comparison, the North American Forester’s 2.5-liter non-turbo engine produces 182 horsepower (+5 horsepower) but much less torque at 176 pound-feet (-45 pound-feet). It will be interesting to see how Japan’s Forester compares to the North American model.

New Subaru Forester STI Sport Isn't Any Faster, But It Will Probably Handle Better
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And then as for its exterior, the Subaru Forester STI Sport comes with numerous gloss black accents, new 18-inch wheels, as well as an obligator set of STI badging

As for aesthetics, the 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport stands out with its gloss black finishes for the front and rear skid plates, bumper air intakes, foglight housings, side sill cladding, and grille. The rear spoiler has also been coated in gloss black, while the 18-inch wheels feature a sportier design compared to the standard model. Of course, this wouldn’t be an STI Sport model without the obligatory STI badges at its grille and tailgate.

New Subaru Forester STI Sport Isn't Any Faster, But It Will Probably Handle Better
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Moving inside, you’ll see a two-tone Bordeaux and black Nappa leather upholstery, embossed STI logos at the headrests, gloss black accents and red stitching, and STI Sport gauges

Moving inside, you’ll see a two-tone Bordeaux and black Nappa leather upholstery along with embossed STI logos at the headrests. There’s also a host of gloss black accents and red stitching, 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.

The 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport will go on sale on August 25 in Japan, with pricing to be announced closer to its market launch. It will be sold alongside other STI Sport models such as the Levorg (aka WRX Wagon). Should Subaru offer this model in the United States as well? Right now, what we get is the Forester Wilderness, which caters to the more outdoorsy types of the market, while Japan’s Forester STI Sport is more road-biased.

Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza is a Filipino motoring journalist who joined TopSpeed.com in 2021. He is a car enthusiast who especially thinks that wagons are the best type of vehicle, though sports cars and anything with three pedals also tickles his fancy.  Read full bio
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