NZ sees red - but not the hottie

The red car is here – but the red-blooded relation won’t be coming.


TWENTY examples of the XV in a hot colour are incoming to give sales of the Impreza-derived crossover a sale lift, but bad news for those looking out for an even more sizzling edition of a related car.

That’s the word from Subaru New Zealand speaking about two products in the spotlight at the moment – one close to home, the other about to hit the neighbour’s place.

Incoming is the Special Edition Red XV, identified – no points for guessing this – its paint colour, though it also stands out from the 2.0i base car by also outfitting with satellite navigation, with three years’ worth of complimentary map upgrades.

Twenty examples of this $39,490 edition are on sale. In addition to a body colour that has allowed company managing director Wallis Dumper to perpetrate an appalling pun about it being “REaDy” for owner’s adventurous weekends,  the car also takes red interior highlights; with the stitching and some hard surfaces in that hue.

Adds Mr Dumper: “Red is a courageous, strong colour often associated with defying convention and that is just what our Subaru XV Crossover allows its driver to do – escape the norm.”

The other limited edition that Subaru Japan is making available to some export markets at the moment is one that promises to be quite red-blooded on the road.

But don’t get excited about the Forester tS: The 300 units that conceivably were available to this part of the world have all gone to Australia.

“We were unfortunately not able to get this car … it’s a shame because a few people have been asking about it,” a Subaru NZ spokesperson said.

The reason why is obvious. Even though it has very modest Subaru Technica International badging, the tS is liberally upgraded with dynamic- and interior-enhancing goodies from the performance division.

Australian customers have shown their appreciation, with around half the consignment already pre-sold ahead of arrival.

The tS is based on the turbo-petrol XT Premium; the drivetrain is unaltered but it has a dynamic edge from sitting 15mm lower on STI-tuned coil springs and dampers (with inverted front dampers). It also adopts STI front stabiliser bushings and rear subframe supports, a front strut brace and draw stiffeners at both ends.

Braking is also beefed up with four-piston (front) and two-pot (rear) Brembo brake calipers. These place behind dark anodised 19-inch STI Enkei alloy wheels.

It also has red highlights; not just within the cabin but on the bumpers, mirror housings and rear spoiler. The instruments, gear selector, steering wheel, red engine starter button and front seats are all STi fare.

The tS is considered a modern-day reprise, of sorts, of the second-generation Forester STI that was available in New Zealand in 2003-2005, at the peak of Subaru’s rallying success.