Is this a car? A wagon? An SUV? Subaru created this light-duty vehicle for people who want something larger
than the Legacy Wagon, yet don't want a full-size SUV. The result is this all-wheel drive automobile, which has more head
room than a wagon, yet a lower center of gravity than your typical SUV. I have a problem classifying the Forester (the
first-generation ones, anyway) as an SUV, however. To me, it's just a glorified wagon, but whatever. Eventually the Forester has
gotten bigger in real-life, and nowadays the 2nd-gen version truely is a sport-utility vehicle. But the '97
car from GT2 is rather compact, more of a wagon than an SUV.
Does anybody out there care about any of this??
:-) Here's my point.
The Forester may be shorter in height than a Land Rover or Ford Expedition, but it is still tall (when compared
to others cars in our game) at 62", with 7.9" of ground clearance. So here's the $64,000 question: can the Subaru
Forester become a successful racing car?
Oddly, the dimensions of this car don't damage its handling much. Subaru has done their homework once again.
I was impressed with the way this one does at various tracks, though a novice may have trouble with this wagon's
sudden weight-transferrence in corners.
Speaking of weight, the Forester S/tb weighs in at 2,976 pounds...which falls
to 2,647 when all weight is taken off with a stage 3 reduction, and the racing kit clocks at 2,539
pounds. Most cars in GT2 won't lose over 200 pounds with full reductions or a racing kit, so the Forester's
total loss of 437 pounds is unusually high. Getting this car to at least its 2nd weight reduction is
recommended. We can go ahead and buy the 3rd one if money is available...but two should be good for the spendthrift or
There are several (I think four) versions of the Forester in real life from its first generation, thankfully
the game focuses on the most powerful one.
-----------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN----------------
This turbocharged 2.0 liter DOHC flat-4 engine is eager and quick in the Impreza and Legacy, and its habits
are no different in a Forester S/tb, though the Forester is slower than these others. This car's pound to power ratio is 12,
which starts a bit higher than other Subies. The Forester reaches 60 mph in 6.7 seconds; and 100 mph was
acheived in 17.9 seconds. The 1 KM mark was passed in just 27. Not bad, but also not among
the most competitive. This is more of a 'fast pedestrian car' than a sports car.
The Forester sports 248 tested horsepower @ 6,000 rpm,
stock torque is 226 @ 4,000. What does this mean? It's a great start; the car will make it to 151 mph while stock, for instance,
but power-ups will also need to start earlier for this car than they will for Imprezas and Legacys. You may find that you
won't need to buy another gearbox with this car, though. The Forester will be able to compete with almost half the sports
cars in the game when it's accelerating despite those less-than-average starting numbers, and its 4WD system will often out-maneuver
lots of them in the hands of a skilled driver. Close gearing does come in handy at some tracks, though.
There are only 2 steps of intercooled turbo-charging available,
which provide a maximum of just 389 horsepower, but will drop the pound/hp ratio down to 6.8 when weight
is reduced. That's TVR Cerbera country, folks! Not bad at all.
-------------CHASSIS / HANDLING--------------------
4WD + Subaru = generally fantastic handling; though the Forester S/tb could
use some help. Not to be redundant, but this vehicle starts with 200 mm (almost 8") of ground clearance, which is
probably the highest in the game. Even when we lower the car fully with a racing suspension, it still has a lot of space underneath. Tires
are accpetably good for racing, but the Forester might need something stickier as soon as the engine starts
getting modded. Again, this isn't so true with Imprezas.
Some pretty cool things can be done in a Subaru Forester once it's
fully fixed up. This is a GREAT drifting car! I find myself being able to power-slide into hairpins, using the back-end (which
would normally be used for carrying miscellaneous stuff like plywood or the family hibachi) to pivot the car...then that famous
Subaru all-wheel drive system will pull out of the drift once the throttle kicks in. No fuss / no muss. Yokohama 215/60R-16
tires and 4-wheel disc brakes do an awesome job at slowing the car whether it's on on pavement or off-road.
Not all Foresters were meant to be doomed to a suburbanite life, carrying
2.2 kids and the family Husky to and from soccer games, the mall, and Safeway. Some of them just want to tear the
hell out of race tracks.