New Subaru Diesel Bows in Paris

September 8, 2008
Cautious in its decision to go diesel in the U.S., Subaru is releasing its new 2.0-liter turbodiesel horizontally opposed (boxer) four-cylinder in the Euro-spec Forester and Impreza, which will be previewed at the Paris auto show. European buyers will be able to get their hands on the Forester later this month but will have to wait for the Impreza until January. This same engine was released earlier this year in the Outback and Legacy, also only in Europe, and it is touted by Subaru as the world's first diesel horizontally opposed engine in a passenger vehicle.

The Forester 2.0D and Impreza 2.0D bring 147 and 148 horsepower, respectively, to the table. But as in all turbodiesels, the drivability story is torque. Both models offer up a stout 258 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,800 rpm, giving these relatively small vehicles what is sure to be spunky around town, off road, and hill-climbing performance. The other side of the diesel story is efficiency, with a combined fuel economy rating of 44.8 mpg in the European cycle.

Both Forester and Impreza turbodiesels features a new six-speed manual gearbox and, we hope, more than the four ratios offered up by Subaru's automatics in the U.S. Though with all that torque, only four ratios probably wouldn't present the liability it does in some of Subaru's gas engines. This may be a moot point for America, though, as talk from Subaru of this diesel engine for the North American market is nonexistent.--Colin Mathews

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