The Subaru Forester GT Edition is a sportier specimen

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There’s a new Forester boss in town. Predicated on the top-spec 2.0i-S with EyeSight, the Forester GT Edition receives a host of design changes and modifications to make it stand out from the rest of its fifth-generation brethren. It sports a front bumper lip extension, side skirts, roof spoiler, and rear bumper lip extension. It also receives new 18-inch bespoke alloy wheels, and a unique seat-leather design.

The GT Edition, first unveiled at the Singapore Motor Show early this year, is being brought here by Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc., exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the country. The specially designed version was developed in collaboration with engineering company Giken Co. Ltd and Masahiko “Jack” Kobayashi. The latter was formerly the chief designer heading the Global Advanced Design Studio at Subaru Corporation, “responsible for the exterior design of more than 12 Subaru production models, including… the WRX STI,” according to Subaru in a release. Meanwhile, Giken is an “award-winning engineering company founded in 1964 (which holds) numerous patents in Japan, South Korea, and the United States.”

This Forester sports an 8” display audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a Superview Around Recognition 360-degree monitor system. The SUV also banners four “hallmark” Subaru Core Technologies: Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Boxer Engine, Subaru Global Platform, and EyeSight Driver Assist Technologhy. All told, it has more than 100 safety features.

Last week’s launch held at Subaru Pasig last Wednesday was attended by Glenn Tan, deputy chairman and managing director of Tan Chong International Ltd (which owns the Motor Image Group of Companies). He declared, “The car is now more stylish and sleek. It’s specially made for customers here who want to stand out in a crowd and defy convention. This is an example of how we’re constantly offering more choices for Filipino customers.”

He added during a subsequent press conference that, with the GT Edition, the company is hoping to increase Forester sales by 40 percent. It should be noted that the GT Edition package will not be available as a retrofit to existing vehicles. Replying to a question from Wheels, Tan also explained that the trim, only available in this part of the world, addresses the Asian market’s preference for “more sporty-looking” automobiles – which shows up even in the design of MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles).

The Subaru Forester 2.0i-S EyeSight GT Edition is powered by a 2.0-liter direct fuel injection, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder engine developing 156ps and 196Nm. It is available to order at all Subaru showrooms nationwide, and comes in Crystal Black Pearl, Crystal White Pearl, Dark Gray Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Crimson Red Pearl, and Sepia Bronze Metallic. The vehicle is priced at P2.12 million.

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