Although not confirmed for production in its own right, Subaru says the Forester S-Edition Concept bears "strong clues" pointing to a new Forester variant in 2011.
As with the auto WRX, the Forester S-Edition is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission and steering column-mounted paddle gear shifters.
The S-Edition also gets a sports suspension package and Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel-drive, although specific details on this arrangement have not been offered.
“We’re delighted and honoured that Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have chosen Sydney for the worldwide unveil of this Forester concept," Subaru Australia Managing Director Nick Senior said. “It points towards an exciting development in our Forester range early next year."
“Forester is firmly established as Australia’s best selling compact sports utility vehicle, with the most recent addition to the range being the diesel variants that are proving a sales winner for our All-Wheel Drive brand."
Setting it apart from the regular Forester variants, the S-Edition gets exclusive styling accents, including the 17-inch STI alloy wheels that once propped up the previous-generation Subaru Liberty 'tuned by STI'.
Inside, the S-Edition features Alcantara seat trim with model-specific logos, drilled alloy pedals and luminescent instruments with a tweaked centre stack design.
Today’s unveiling follows Subaru's recent announcement of its first all-new new engine in 21 years, which will debut with naturally-aspirated Foresters in Australia in early 2011.
The third-generation four cylinder horizontally opposed Boxer engine will launch as a 2.5 litre engine in Australia.