There’s a strong chance that the impressive Subaru Liberty 3.6R will be the next model in line for a tS special edition version, CarAdvice has learned.
The Subaru Liberty flagship variant apparently has the sportiness required to justify such a variant, with Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior saying that any tS model has to be able to pull off the badge.
For the uninitiated, the tS badge has been fitted to the likes of the Forester XT as a limited-edition performance variant. It brought with it a range of changes, including revised suspension and brakes, as well as STI exterior and interior additions. Check out our video review of the Subaru Forester tS here.
Of course, Subaru has had a Liberty with STI touches in the past: back in the 2000s there was the special 'Liberty GT Tuned by STI' model.
Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior told CarAdvice at the launch of the new Impreza in Japan that the Liberty could be the next tS model, pending the brand’s findings on the Forester tS.
“As you know, the Forester was taken off the production line here and then finished by STI, and we were building them in lots of 50 per month," he said.
"The last 50 just arrived, so at the end of this month we’re going to do a review to find out the learnings on what we could do differently. And hopefully out of that, that provides the opportunity for us to come up with doing other ones in the future."
Senior said he thought the reaction from customers had been positive, but indicated that perhaps the performance aspect is one that buyers wanted more of: the Forester tS sold in Australia retained its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo boxer engine with 177kW/350Nm, where the Japanese model gets 206kW.
“Where it’s harder is performance, but certainly the theme of the tS we will look at in the future. It will be small and on the right occasions it won’t be flooding the market,” he said.
“Liberty with the 3.6 could be one that potentially we could look at doing something, so yeah that’s possibly one,” he said when asked of the next tS model.
“You’ve got Forester XT, Liberty 3.6s, Levorgs and things like that. So we’re lucky to be doing a few sporty derivatives,” he said.