More Powerful Subaru Forester "WRX" On Tap?

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The land of Oz is abuzz with talk of a hotter 2011 Forester, possibly wearing WRX badging, due at October's Sydney Motor Show. But just because the Aussies may get it, does it mean we will?

Maybe, maybe not. Right now Australia gets essentially the same lineup of Foresters as the U.S., including the naturally-aspirated 170-horsepower 2.5-liter boxer four and the turbocharged 224-horsepower XT variant. The new Forester WRX is pitched as being even sportier and more powerful.

Japan has had the Forester STI version for years now, but that's shooting a bit high of the mark for the expected Aussie sport SUV. Power closer to the Impreza WRX's new 260-horsepower turbo 2.5-liter mill is more likley than the 300 horsepower of the STI.

That level of output wrapped in the Forester's relatively trim package could put it on closer, or even advantageous, terms with the 2011 Ford Edge Sport, 2011 Explorer EcoBoost and V-6, and similar vehicles.

The last-generation Forester XT was one of the ultimate sleeper buys on the market due to its small size and WRX-like power output. With the growth in size of the new Forester, a bit more punch makes sense--and piques our interest. Fortunately we have the Paris Auto Show to tide us over until the Sydney Motor Show strikes October 15.

[Sydney Morning Herald]

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