The Subaru Australia boss has touted the next generation ranger SUV is considered the brand’s “next big thing” and CarExpert expects it to go into production either next year or in 2025.
The current Forester has been around since 2018 and only got a slight refresh in the middle of its lifespan at the end of 2021. A typical product cycle of six to seven years points to the launch of a new model in 2024-25.
“The next big thing, because by then every model in our range will have passed through a new model generation, Forester is next,” said Blair Read, Managing Director Subaru Australia.
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Mr Read was unable to provide any further details on the official timing of the new Forester or what to expect when it lands in Australia.
CarExpert recently reported on Subaru Corporation’s recent financial results presentation, in which the company detailed its plans to launch three more all-electric SUVs scheduled to join the Solterra by the end of 2026, as well as its plans to increase production of electrified vehicles at its various manufacturing plants .
You can read our report Herewhere the focus is on the electric vehicles, although the presentation also mentions a “next-generation HEV” at the “Main” and Yajima plants from 2025 onwards. Currently the main plant produces the Levorg, impreza, cross trek, WRXAnd BRZwhile the Yajima plant is building that outbackImpreza, Crosstrek and Forester.
In addition, Subaru Corporation’s presentation mentions that its Kitamoto plant, formerly used to manufacture industrial products, will be equipped to produce the brand’s next-generation HEV transmissions from 2025.
It’s unclear whether multiple new-generation hybrids will be assembled at the Main and Yajima plants, although we’re fairly confident the new Forester is one of them.
The next Forester could also be the first Subaru to use Toyota’s hybrid technology, as the brand recently confirmed that it will be sourcing batteries from Toyota Motor Corporation for its new electric powertrain.
That means the next Forester could have a lot in common with the similarly sized one Toyota RAV4 HybridHowever, it’s unclear if Subaru will continue to supply its signature boxer engines with bolt-on Toyota hybrid components.
The current Forester Hybrid is based on Subaru’s e-Boxer technology, which adds a small electric motor to the Lineartronic CVT transmission, more akin to a mild hybrid with electric drive assist than a full hybrid akin to Toyota’s popular technology.
Toyota will also supply hybrid components to Mazda, another company in which the company has a minority stake. Mazda recently unveiled a CX-50 Hybrid for China and a version for the North American market is expected to be unveiled, also utilizing Toyota technology.
The Forester is currently Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in Australia, so getting the next model right is important.
In 2022, the long-time manufacturer recorded 10,637 registrations, down 9.9 percent from the previous year, but still managed to capture a 6.0 percent market share despite ongoing supply difficulties.
Things are looking better this year: the Forester is up 45.3 percent year-to-date (as of April 30) (5840 units) and ranks fifth overall in the mid-size SUV sales race behind the Toyota RAV4 (8049 units), Mazda CX-5 (7949 units), Mitsubishi Outlander (7838 units) and Hyundai Tucson (6171 units).
While Subaru’s e-Boxer hybrid range didn’t catch on as much as the competition’s systems, Mr Read confirmed that the electrified Forester does Waiting times of 6-8 months can currently occuralthough the local office is working hard to secure more building sites and reduce lead times for new orders.
The Forester Hybrid claims an improvement of 0.7 l/100 km over the 2.5i versions (6.7 l vs. 7.4 l) in the combined cycle, but the margin widens in the urban cycle (7.5 l compared to 9.3 l). Toyota’s RAV4 AWD Hybrid series, on the other hand, claims a combined fuel consumption of 4.8 l/100 km.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for the latest!
MORE: All Subaru Foresters