Currently, the only model in Subaru’s U.S. lineup that's been enhanced by the people at Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the official motorsports division of the Japanese automaker, is the Impreza WRX STI. In the future, however, we could see several more models sporting the trademark pink “STI” badge as Subaru is reportedly interested in expanding its STI performance brand.
At the 2012 Moscow Auto Show
this week Subaru unveiled a new version of the Forester SUV that so far has only been sold in Japan. That version is the Forester TS, which has been tuned by STI and features a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine with 259 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque on tap.
According to Autocar
, Subaru will be gauging the sales performance of the STI-tuned Forester TS in the Russian market, with a view to offer more STI models in other markets, including in the U.S.
“It's clear that STI's abilities and experience could work on other cars in other markets,” a company insider said. “Confining them to WRX projects doesn't make sense when the demand is there.”
An obvious place to start would be the launch of a Subaru BRZ STI, a model that's already been previewed in concept form
and is reportedly in the works
. Another possibility, one hinted at by the Forester TS, would be an STI-enhanced version of the next-generation Forester
due out next year. Of course, Subaru won’t be forgetting its core WRX model, so chances are its successor
will also feature a potent STI variant.