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Motor Image launches 2013 Forester in Taiwan

POSTED BY Mick Chan ON 12 December 2012

Motor Image, exclusive distributors of Subaru vehicles in Asia, launched the 2013 Subaru Forester in Taiwan last Wednesday.

Two models were featured at the regional launch – the 2.0XT featuring a turbocharged direct-injection 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four cylinder engine; and the 2.0i powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four cylinder engine of the same configuration. Both engine options are paired with Lineartronic (continously variable) transmission.

The new Forester features X-Mode, a control system for the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive powertrain. The electronics-based feature maximises the Forester’s purchase on the road by controlling the engine, gearbox and stability control systems in unison.

In line with current Subarus, the Forester now also comes equipped with SI-Drive featuring Intelligent, Sports and S# (Sports Sharp) modes that give the driver differing levels of driving response and fuel efficiency.

Larger and roomier than its predecessors, the new car provides occupants with a wide field of view from all seating positions, contributing to a sense of spaciousness. This model also marks the introduction of a push-button operated power-lift tailgate, a first for Subaru.

According to Subaru, a number of competitors’ products were benchmarked, namely Nissan’s X-Trail, Honda’s CR-V and Volkswagen’s Tiguan. There isn’t one particular model it has specifically targeted; rather, the company has benchmarked various competitors in different aspects. For example, the Tiguan was chosen as the standard for on-road refinement, noise, vibration and harshness.

When asked about the boxer engine’s shelf life in the face of tightening emissions regulations especially in Europe, Subaru said they cannot forsee for how much longer the boxer engine configuration will remain in use. However, they said, the boxer engine will remain in production indefinitely as it is at the core of the manufacturer’s brand identity.

Meanwhile, CKD production of Subaru’s XV commenced at the beginning of this month. According to Glenn Tan, executive director of Tan Chong International Limited, over 800 bookings have been received between Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia so far, and Motor Image aims to sell more than 6,500 units in the region next year.

Responding to queries regarding engines for the Subaru XV, the company said the current engine range remains; there are no plans to include turbocharged petrol engines in the XV lineup. Diesel-powered variants for the region are also off the cards.

The Forester 2.0XT will be made available to the Malaysian market in the third quarter of 2013. Pricing is yet to be determined, however sources within Motor Image estimate a ballpark figure of more than RM200,000.

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