Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subaru Is Weathering Storm with New Diesel

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subaru Is Weathering Storm with New Diesel

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Torpey

BRIGHT blue cars, dazzling gold wheels - it can mean only one thing, a savagely powered Subaru Impreza.

But times are changing rapidly at the Japanese company, which believes it is on the cusp of a major switch in the way it is perceived by the car-buying public.

And one word can sum up the reason for this wave of confidence - diesel.

The latest Subaru Forester, a keenly designed sports utility vehicle with permanent all-wheel drive, was introduced during the spring in petrol format.

Only now, though, has the long-awaited oil-burner arrived. It is an immensely capable engine, and one expected to take the lion's share of Forester sales and turn it into Subaru's top-selling model.

The car-maker is adamant that diesel has come at just the right time, stressing that as a niche company it is well-placed to plot a course through what are clearly troubled waters for the motor industry.

Only time will tell whether the Forester has the desired impact.

What's certain is that it's a car of considerable appeal, the three-model range starting at pounds 20,295.

Subaru chose the area around Cork in southern Ireland, blessed with a blend of rural and coastal roads of varying quality, for the Forester first drive.

This scenic part of the country was a hive of activity last week as devotees flocked in for the National Ploughing Championships - horse pulled of course - the Cork 200 Rally and a Munster Motorcycle Club event.

But it was the Forester which took centre stage and would certainly have done a neater job if allowed a free hand on some of the fields used as practice areas for the ploughing boys.

While this largest model in the 'Scooby' range looks the part, is comfortable and spacious, and includes plenty of standard kit, the engine is clearly the star.

Subaru has stuck by its horizontal 'boxer' powerplant layout for more than 40 years and the company's engineers were determined to use this format for their first diesel. …

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