Following a high profile image leak earlier this week, Subaru has unveiled its new Forester Wilderness in full; a more rugged, more capable version of its popular mid-size SUV.
As previously detailed, the Forester Wilderness adds extra black cladding all round, a more serious looking front bash plate, new 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain Yokohama Geolandar rubber, and a matte black decal on the bonnet to reduce glare.
Along with the more capable rubber, the new Forester gets more ride height (a 12.7mm lift making for an overall ride height of 233.6mm) and a recalibrated CVT featuring a lower gear ratio to help with power in low rpms, plus a revised final drive.
Under the bonnet sits the nameplate’s familiar 2.5-litre four cylinder petrol, with power and torque confirmed to be unchanged from the standard 135kW and 235Nm. The cabin is almost entirely unchanged, too, save for some added Wilderness branding here and there and the addition of water-resistant ‘Startex’ upholstery.
It’s the second Wilderness variant to be revealed, following on from the Outback Wilderness shown off earlier in the year. Although both models are strong sellers locally, don’t expect to see either on Kiwi roads.
In a brief statement to NZ Autocar, Subaru’s local arm confirmed that while it’s interested in the Outback Wilderness and Forester Wilderness, neither model is slated to be produced in right-hand drive and therefore neither is heading our way. At least for now.
“We are certainly keen to access the Wilderness models and bring them to the New Zealand market in the future. However, currently they are not being manufactured as right hand drive so we cannot access them at the moment,” said the statement.
Given the expansion of the adventure ute segment via the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor, and given the extensive off-roading aftermarket for off-road SUVs, it’s a bit of a shame to not see these ‘more serious’ offerings sold locally. Maybe one day…