Please note, the private plate featured in this listing is not included in the sale.
Guide price: £5,000- £10,000
・Japanese-Import Forester STI
・Excellent condition throughout
・Full Dinitrol treatment
・Sympathetically upgraded and enhanced
As we all know, Japanese car manufacturers have a habit of keeping the good stuff for themselves. Well, after all, why shouldn’t they?
What that means is that while we get somewhat mediocre versions of cars (non-turbocharged Imprezas, for example) they get the really, really fun stuff that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and really shows off what manufacturers such as Subaru can do.
The Forester is a perfect example of this. The first-generation Forester certainly earned plenty of respect as a practical, reliable and capable daily driver for those that live out in the middle of nowhere or spend a lot of time off the beaten track, though it never had any real sense of excitement without significant aftermarket fettling.
Meanwhile, over in the land of the rising sun, the Japanese got the ‘full fat’ STI version, which is an absolute riot by comparison. To all intents and purposes, this Forester STI is an Impreza STI in a practical body, which makes it very, very cool indeed as far as we’re concerned.
First registered in 2000 in Japan, this wonderfully boxy first-generation Subaru Forester STI is powered by a 2-litre turbocharged flat-four engine, features numerous Impreza parts underneath, and still has enough space to carry the whole family plus a dog or luggage. Automotive witchcraft at its finest.
Having racked up 34,770 miles on the odometer in Japan, the car was imported into the UK by renowned specialist Torque GT during 2017, having been given a ‘4’ grade while in Japan, and with the BITMA certificate present confirming the mileage upon import. Please note that the current registration on the car is "LXZ 2728".
Since then, it has enjoyed life in the UK with two keepers, both from the same family, with the father initially having the car and it then passing into the son’s care.
During this time, numerous considerate upgrades were fitted to the vehicle, including the following:
- Pedders lowered sport suspension
- Fujitsubo cat-back stainless steel exhaust system
- GFB external blow-off valve
- GFB lightweight alloy pulley kit
- Pioneer stereo unit with Bluetooth and DAB functions
- Tegiwa brake stopper
Along with the aforementioned upgrades, all four of the genuine Subaru wheels have been freshly refurbished and wrapped in matching Uniroyal Rain Sport tyres, while the brake hoses have been replaced with braided items and the car has been Dinitrol treated underneath for longevity.
Included with this Forester STI is an impressive array of paperwork, including numerous documents from the car’s time in Japan, the aforementioned BITMA certificate, Torque GT records and several Subaru handbooks and manuals.
Inside, the cabin presents in excellent condition throughout, shrugging off its 21 years of age with apparent ease and looking fantastic in the process.
The seats - complete with STI trimming - are in very good condition and show only a light patina from years of use and enjoyment, with the driver’s seat appearing to be slightly darker in the centre due to repeated use.
The dashboard, centre console and carpets all look to be very good too, with only some minor indentations in the dashboard visible, though the leather has not been scuffed or holed.
As previously mentioned, the standard stereo has been upgraded to a Pioneer offering, and this looks to be in excellent working order, as are the rest of the switches and instruments in the cabin, with no reported faults or warning lights to speak of.
On the outside, the boxy, squared-off bodywork has been transformed from dull and boring to aggressive and inspiring, thanks to the addition of the usual STI scoops, intakes and aggressive bodykit.
Everything looks to be in fine fettle as far as we can see - there are some stickers on the rear that the new owner may wish to dispose of for a cleaner look, but otherwise the bodywork looks lovely with nice even panel gaps and no sign of any impact damage to be seen.
Similarly, the paintwork appears to be excellent throughout, with a rich gloss and ‘depth’ to the paintwork. There are a few marks here-and-there such as on the front end from errant stones and around the door handles, but these are all commensurate with the age and mileage of the vehicle and certainly do not detract from the overall quality.
The wheels are all fresh from refurbishment, as evidenced by the squeaky-clean barrels seen in the gallery below - great stuff!
Below the bonnet sits the turbocharged flat-four ‘boxer’ engine in all its glory, and this is where the STI is particularly special.
Evidently, the engine has been lavished with plenty of care and upgraded parts, as evidenced by both the list above and the numerous additions to the engine bay seen in the photographs.
From what we can see, the engine and its ancillaries all look to be in good order, with the bay presenting in very good condition overall.
Once again, there are no reported faults here, and the squeaky-clean MOT history from throughout its time in the UK would only serve to further suggest that this is a truly peachy example of the JDM Forester STI. It has an MOT dated until 06/06/2022.
In outstanding condition throughout and with a well-documented history and recent clean bill of health from the MOT exam (valid until June 2022) , this Forester STI has been in the same family for its entire life in the UK, and has evidently been cosseted throughout its life both here on British shores and during its time in Japan.
With numerous considerate and sympathetic upgrades, this Forester STI really is a performance car the whole family can enjoy, so if you’re shopping for a practical 4x4 that can fit the whole family in, we’d suggest this over just about any other car that ticks those boxes, with the additional bonus points for JDM rarity; What’s not to like?
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