Subaru Introduces 2005 Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition at New York International Auto Show

NEW YORK, April 7 -- Subaru of America, Inc., the only car company that offers Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line, has introduced the 2005 Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition. The 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition expands the Forester line to four models, giving customers a depth of choices unavailable in other small SUVs, from high value to luxury to sports car-like performance.

The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is the second vehicle offered as part of a multi-year strategic marketing partnership between Subaru of America, Inc. and the renowned retailer of active-lifestyle clothing and equipment. The agreement makes Subaru the official car of L.L.Bean and L.L.Bean the official outfitter to Subaru. Subaru has offered an Outback(R) L.L.Bean Edition since 2001 and recently introduced the all-new 2005 version of this model.

"The partnership between Subaru and L.L.Bean has been a great success for Subaru, because it builds on the attributes that customers experience with both brands, including long-lasting premium quality, ruggedness with everyday comfort and compelling value," said Fred Adcock, Executive Vice President, Subaru of America, Inc. "We are excited to now expand this relationship to the Forester, which, like our Outback model, is a natural fit for the outdoors-oriented lifestyle that many L.L.Bean customers enjoy."

The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition joins three other models in the line: the high-value 2.5 X, the premium-level 2.5 XS and the high-performance turbocharged 2.5 XT. The 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition builds upon the extensive features and performance of the premium-level Forester 2.5 XS model. Powered by a 165-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine (newly equipped with the Electronic Throttle Control system for 2005), the Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is equipped as standard with a 4-speed direct control automatic transmission. Other Forester models feature a 5-speed manual transmission as standard and offer the automatic transmission as an option.

Exclusive Design, Functional and Luxury Features

For 2005, the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is the only Forester model distinguished by either steel gray metallic or platinum silver metallic bumpers and protective body cladding. The Forester 2.5 X model features textured gray bumpers and protective side cladding, and the 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models are identified by body color bumpers and side cladding.

The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is exclusively equipped with a self- leveling rear suspension that helps maintain ride level even when driving with a full load.

A large glass power moonroof is standard on the Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition and available as an option on 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models. New 10-spoke alloy wheels also distinguish the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition. Inside, the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition features exclusive beige leather-trimmed upholstery with perforated leather bolsters and L.L.Bean logo embossed front seats. A standard auto-dimming rearview mirror integrates an electronic compass. All Forester 2.5 XS models and the 2.5 XT model add a new 8-way power driver's seat for 2005. A standard All-Weather Package includes dual-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, a viscous limited-slip rear differential and a windshield wiper de-icer.

All Forester models feature a standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback with one-touch operation for a flat load floor. The 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition features a new, durable and water-resistant surface for the cargo area floor and rear seatback (carpeting in other Forester models). Cargo capacity is 29.6 cu. ft./rear seatbacks up and 62.7 cu. ft./rear seatbacks down.

The Best of Both Worlds

Forester owes its success to a "Best of Both Worlds" crossover SUV design approach that blends positive SUV attributes such as a command driving position and interior versatility with the comfort and superior driving dynamics of a passenger car. A responsive 4-wheel independent suspension, variable-ratio, variable-power assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 16-inch wheels and tires make Forester models equally adept at taming twisty back roads and absorbing the bumps of off-pavement trails.

The Forester 2.5 XS models are equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes and the Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) feature. All Subaru models employ a sophisticated 4-channel / 4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS).

Two Types of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

All Forester models share the common thread that makes the Subaru brand unique in the market: standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With the 5-speed manual transmission, the system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute the power 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power to the other set of wheels.

In models equipped with the 4-speed electronic direct control automatic transmission, the AWD system uses an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively control power distribution in response to driving conditions. The standard viscous limited-slip rear differential in Forester 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models directs power to the rear wheel with the most traction.

Proven Safety Leadership

Forester meets all Federal passenger car safety standards and bolsters its already impressive safety credentials for 2005 with a new dual-stage deployment driver's air bag (a dual-stage deployment passenger front air bag was already standard). Forester earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highest rating ("good") in both the side impact crashworthiness evaluation and 40 mph frontal offset crash tests, and the IIHS called Forester the "best small SUV" it has tested.

For additional information about Subaru of America, Inc. and Subaru vehicles, visit our media website at www.media.subaru.com.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes All-Wheel Drive Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru is the only car company that offers Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line. Subaru has been the best- selling import wagon in America for the past 20 years, based on R.L. Polk & Company new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2002.

Larkin Hill 310-763-0929

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