Four turbocharged models have been added to the Subaru Forester range in South Africa.Four turbocharged models have been added to the Subaru Forester range in South Africa.

Manual and automatic models will be available in XT base trim or full-house XTec spec levels.

Revisions to the exterior include detail changes in the form of reshaped mirrors, a plated rather than painted grille surround, blacked-out headlight bezels, and a revised rear wiper design. A turbo model can be distinguished from its normally-aspirated Forester siblings by a bonnet scoop to feed cool air to the intercooler and 16-inch alloy wheels.

On the inside, the changes are subtler. All models have new new door and seat trims, matt black rather than grey instrument backgrounds, and a speedometer marked to 240 km/h.

The biggest modifications have been made under the skin - engine, suspension and brakes have all been uprated. Thicker front MacPherson strut casings are pressed from thicker steel and both XT models have self-levelling rear suspension systems.

Furthermore, the 2,5-litre boxer four-cylinder has been extensively redesigned. The engine block has been revised, the aluminium pistons and connecting rods reinforced and exhaust valves are now sodium-filled to improve heat resistance. The turbocharged motor, which produces 38 per cent more power and 100 N.m more torque than the normally aspirated version, is fitted with active valve control- and electronic throttle control systems.

The Mitsubishi TD04 turbocharger boosts at 0,7 bar for improved mid-range flexibility instead of outright power. Subaru claims a peak power output of 154 kW at 5 000 r/min and 320 N.m of torque at 3 600 r/min. The top speeds of both models are limited to 210 km/h (because of the speed rating for the dual-purpose tyres) and the manufacturer claims a zero to 100 km/h sprint times of 7,14 seconds for manual- and 7,24 for automatic derivatives.

In automatic guise, the torque is split 60/40 front to rear, but is varied automatically via an electronically-controlled multi-plate transfer case at the back of the transmission.

The manual splits the torque equally, but a viscous coupling moves the torque around to the end with the most traction.