Subaru Planning Surprise Performer For Australian International Motor Show Photo:

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Mike Stevens | Sep, 10 2010 | 11 Comments

A special new Subaru model is set to make its world debut at Sydney's Australian International Motor Show next month. While the Japanese carmaker is keeping its cards face-down, it has hinted that it will be a new performance variant of an existing model.

Speaking with TMR at the launch this week of the 2011 WRX and WRX STI, a Subaru spokesperson declined to confirm exactly what would be shown, but described it as "a variation on a theme."

Asked if this meant that a Liberty STI would be coming, the answer was no - suggesting the Forester may be getting a high-performance variant instead.

Click to read TMR's review of the Subaru Forester XT

While it's possible that next month's show will mark the return of the special Forester STI, it's more likely that we'll see the GT badge - replaced by the XT with this third-generation Forester - make its way back as the range-topping variant.

Alternatively, with no word in the international press about a high performance Forester in the works, we could be set for an XT-based Australia-only 'Forester tuned by STI', in the spirit of the fourth-generation 'Liberty tuned by STI'.

If nothing else, Subaru may at last be planning to put a version of its smoking hot 2008 Forester XTi concept (top of article) into production...

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