How is this even possible?
Subaru currently has a good problem on its hands. Sales of its newly redesigned Crosstrek and Forester crossovers are through the roof. The automaker literally can’t build them fast enough. And for anyone hoping Subaru will offer turbocharged versions of one or both, well, you’re kind out of luck. The reason? The duo’s popularity. Motor Trend learned this from Subaru North America president Tom Doll last week at Chicago, but he also wouldn’t entirely rule out turbos in the future.
"You could argue, and some people do, that for the Crosstrek we should have a higher-performance engine in that car. But on the other hand, we’re selling as many as we can get. We haven’t really hit the top with the Crosstrek yet. Same thing for the new Forester. The new Forester is a sensational car, and it’s a home run, particularly the Sport model. We just can’t stock it. I think both of those cars lines have a 20-day supply or less.”
It boils down to this: why spend the money right now to launch a new variant when Subaru dealerships can’t even keep the existing ones in stock? If customers were walking into dealerships but ended up leaving because either the Crosstrek or Forester wasn’t powerful enough, then turbos would likely be on the way. But since it’s not, why bother? Fortunately, Doll clarified he’s open to turbo models down the line. "In the future, if we need to hit additional volume targets or if the sales wane a little bit, as a way to try to get additional interest in the car, (we could) offer a higher-performance engine. That’s quite possible.”
In the case of the Forester, a turbo model is not without precedent. Remember the Forester XT? It was the turbocharged variant offered for the third generation Forester. There's also the all-new Legacy sedan, which features an optional turbocharged engine. Chances are turbo variants for both the Crosstrek and Forester won’t happen unless they somehow lose popularity and sales drop as a result. We don’t see that as being very realistic at the moment.