To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first use of a ‘boxer’ engine design, Subaru has released limited edition version of the Forester. On sale from September, 100 examples of the Forester Special Edition will be produced. Based on the XC Premium model, the Special Edition comes with £1,500 of additional equipment for no additional charge.
The 1966 Subaru 1000 was the company’s first front-wheel-drive vehicle, and was powered by a 1.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine. Horizontally-opposed engines have featured in the model range ever since, with only Subaru and Porsche sticking continuously with boxer engine technology up until today.
The Forester Special Edition models will all be decked out in Hunter Green metallic paint, fitted with underguards on the front, side and rear, wheel arch extensions and a stainless steel cargo step panel. inside, the car will sport Special Edition brown leather seats, with brown leather trim on the interior door grips, centre armrest and centre panel grab handles.
As with the XC Premium model, the Forester Special Edition is kitted out with a seven-inch touchscreen satnav system, and Hill Descent Control (HDC). In addition, the Special Edition gets Subaru’s X-Mode stability system, which manages the car’s power, torque, brakes and drivetrain to maintain traction on slippery surfaces, are also included.
Running the same 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0 turbo diesel engines already offered in the XC Premium models, the Forester Special Edition’s performance and economy should be identical.
The Forester was crash tested by Euro NCAP when the current fourth-generation model was originally launched in 2012, receiving a five-star rating. However, standards have toughened in recent years, which in conjunction with the Forester’s lack of an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system would probably result in a lower rating if tested today.
Pricing for the Forester Special Edition starts at £29,995 for the petrol CVT automatic and £31,495 for the diesel auto. Both models come with Subaru’s five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
The launch timing coincides with the UK’s biannual number plate change, and Subaru is no doubt hoping the model will give Forester sales a boost as buyers look for new 66-plate vehicles.