For those who think the regular Subaru Forester is a rolling piece of bloated boredom, STI just made a better one. It went on sale today and they will build 300 in total, for Japan only.

tS in Subarurian means tuned by Subaru Tecnica International Inc, or STI. You know, the people responsible for those pink badges on your friend's WRX.


To make the Forester handle more like a sporty Impreza than a cow, STI gave the four-wheel drive system an "S# mode". It stands for Sport Sharp, and does something. They also replaced the wheels with 19-inch forged BBS alloys wrapped in 245/45 Bridgestone Turenzas and hiding ventilated Brembos, with 17-inch rotors sporting 4-pot calipers up front, and 2-pots at the back. The suspension is clever too. It's an inverted-strut setup that got lowered by 15 mm. The chassis is also made stiffer by a tower bar, draw stiffeners at both ends and a flexible rear subframe.

The ECU and the transmission control units are custom for more power and better response, and while the latter remains connected to a CVT, at least it now has an oil cooler.

The exterior was upgraded with a black grill, mirrors and spoilers all around, red pinstriping and a larger diameter exhausts.


Inside, the speedo now goes all the way up to 260 km/h (160 mph), the leather seats, shift knob and steering wheel got STI stitchings, the start button turned red and the display got custom functions as well. The rest is a combination of piano black, silver and carbon-effect plastics, but overall, not bad at all.

Subaru offers those 300 units in just four colors. If you want a World Rally Blue one, that has to be ordered by next February, and while Crystal White Pearl is an 32,400 yen ($274) extra, Ice Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Silica can be yours for the base price until April 5, 2015.

The Forester tS costs 4,350,000 yen, which is roughly $36,872. That's very reasonable considering that a 2015 Forester 2.0XT Touring starts at $33,945 in the US. And that car doesn't look like this at all:

I don't like stiffened up SUVs, but sort of want to press that red button anyway.