Subaru Ireland yesterday launched the all-new Subaru Forester e-Boxer at a driving event in Co. Monaghan.
The Forester has grown to become Subaru’s top-selling model in Ireland and is a popular choice amongst customers who trust it to be safe, capable and reliable.
The fifth-generation Forester, which is new from the ground up, is available in eight colours and is priced at €44,495 for the SE model, which is generously equipped with LED headlights, keyless access, electrically adjustable driver seat, driver monitoring system, EyeSight, X-Mode 2 and a towing capacity of 1,870kg all as standard. The SE Premium edition is priced at €48,195 and includes 18 inch alloys, sunroof, leather seats, satellite navigation, power tailgate, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel.
The all-new Forester comes to Ireland with a completely new powertrain, the e-Boxer, which combines an electric motor with two of Subaru’s core technologies: the horizontally-opposed boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive.
Now built on the Subaru Global Platform, a cutting-edge re-design of the body and chassis, the Forester offers advanced safety performance and a dynamic driving experience. Plus, new technology ensures that the Forester e-Boxer is safer than ever as EyeSight driver assist technology, Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection, Reverse Automatic Braking, and Driver Monitoring System are all standard across the range.
A refreshed and more substantial exterior design ensures the most spacious and capable Forester to date, featuring a high-quality interior, versatile boot space and 220mm of ground clearance. Perfectly suited to any on or off-road adventures, the upgraded X-Mode dial can now switch between two modes adapting to the most extreme weather and road conditions.
The Forester e-Boxer combines a 2.0 direct injection horizontally opposed petrol engine with an electric motor. A lithium-ion battery unit is mounted within the boot floor and allows for pure-electric driving at speeds of up to 25mph. Paired with an updated Lineartronic transmission and Subaru’s symmetrical AWD, the Forester e-Boxer achieves smooth, linear, acceleration and highly responsive torque. Power-split adjusts according to the driving condition and alternates between three driving modes: ‘EV’ driving, ‘Motor Assist’ driving and ‘Engine’ driving.
At low speeds, Forester e-Boxer is powered by the electric motor alone for quiet, zero emission driving. It can drive in full electric mode for distances of about a mile and reach speeds of up to 25mph (40kph). This is normally experienced in urban conditions with stop-and-go traffic where a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy can be seen compared to the outgoing 2.0L variant.
At medium speeds, the motor and the engine work together to improve power and performance. Motor Assist driving improves off-road ability as it generates earlier torque when using X-Mode and also assists when towing.
At higher speeds Forester e-Boxer is driven solely by the petrol engine. According to speed and driving conditions, the engine will recharge the battery in preparation for the next use.
Making hybrid the Subaru way, the new technology used in the Forester e-Boxer design is arranged in a symmetrical layout. The electric motor assist and battery pack are aligned longitudinally with the heavy motor placed near the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The battery and other components are positioned above the rear axle which plants the car on the road giving noticeable handling improvements and achieving a balanced weight distribution. The Forester e-Boxer has a natural braking feel and offers a seamless transition between EV and Engine driving.
The Subaru Global Platform is a cutting-edge re-design of the body and chassis that advances performance and delivers superior driving capability. Body strength has been increased by 40 per cent compared to the outgoing Forester allowing the frame structure to absorb more energy in the event of a collision and the more rigid framework reduces noise and vibration while contributing to more responsive steering. In addition, a rear stabiliser is now attached directly to the body which significantly reduces body roll to ensure a comfortable, controlled ride and improved handling.
Subaru has been voted best manufacturer for safety features in the 2019 Driver Power Survey and, as mentioned, the Forester e-Boxer comes with a suite of driver-assist and safety features as standard.
EyeSight driver assist technology functions optically using two stereo cameras which are mounted either side of the rear-view mirror. It monitors for hazards up to 110 metres ahead and includes: Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Sway and Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.
Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection identifies vehicles approaching from the rear. It offers three main functions to improve visibility and to help minimise common causes for accidents: Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Reverse Automatic Braking uses sensors mounted in the rear bumper to detect obstructions when reversing. The driver is alerted to any identified obstructions with audible warnings and an image from the reversing camera on the touchscreen. If there is a high possibility of collision, the system applies the brakes to help avoid or reduce the severity of a collision.
A brand-new technology for Subaru, the Forester e-Boxer is equipped with a Driver Monitoring System to complement its existing safety technologies and to encourage attentive driving. A camera installed on the visor of the multi-function display monitors the driver’s seat area to support safe driving. It uses facial recognition technology to detect if the driver’s gaze has wandered or if the driver is dozing off and alerts occupants if this occurs.
If the driver looks out of the window or across at a passenger for an extended period of time, the system will recognise that the face direction is not forward and a warning will sound to alert the driver to focus on the road ahead. The system will also function if it identifies that the driver is drowsy. Facial recognition technology monitors that the driver’s eyes are open and will alert the driver if they frequently or continuously close their eyes. The system can even mute the audio to ensure that full attention is given to the warning sound. Warnings will only occur while driving and the system will not alert the driver when stopped or when the indicator is on.
As a secondary function, the Driver Monitoring System uses personal recognition to adjust vehicle settings. The seat position, door mirror angle, display screen content and air conditioning settings can be set and synced to a recognised driver. The memory can be set for up to five people so removes hassle when there are multiple drivers.
Forester e-Boxer is built with permanent symmetrical AWD as standard so can manage the majority of off-road situations. However, X-Mode can be used for added assistance if extreme driving conditions are encountered. X-Mode takes control of the engine, transmission, Symmetrical AWD, brakes and other components to help safely navigate slippery surfaces, rough roads and climbing steep hills. When X-Mode is activated, Hill Descent Control will maintain a constant speed when travelling downhill, allowing the driver to control the steering and Hill Descent Control to manage the brakes.
New for Forester e-Boxer, X-Mode now has two modes: Snow/Dirt for use on slippery road surfaces such as snow or gravel and Deep Snow/Mud for surfaces where the tyres can become buried, such as deep snow and dry dirt. A dial switch has been adopted to make it easier to switch between the two modes which is particularly helpful when trying to free the tyres if you’re stuck. In X-Mode, Motor Assist activates from standstill to generate earlier torque and acceleration to further improve off-road ability.
The Forester e-Boxer is 20mm wider and 30mm longer than the outgoing variant and the increased exterior dimensions provide improved passenger comfort as the distance between the front seats has correspondingly increased by 20mm and the longer wheelbase has equally afforded an extra 30mm of space between the front and rear passengers.
Incorporating all of the comfort and convenience you would expect in a family SUV, the Forester e-Boxer has an intuitive 8 inch multifunction colour touchscreen that is easy to use and contains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity. The interior benefits from a new electronic parking brake and eight-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.