Fans ask Subaru for free modified SUVs for their favorite Storm Chaser

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Storm chaser cars often sport modifications that fortify them against tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. When you think of a vehicle that can withstand high winds and water, you’re probably thinking of a heavy-duty pickup truck. But a storm chaser proudly pilots a Subaru Forester in his quest to document Mother Nature’s fury. Reed Timmer, who has become a celebrity in the niche, lovingly calls his modified crossover “Dominator Fore”. Unfortunately, he met an aquatic fate during Hurricane Ian last month. And now fans are clamoring for free Subaru SUVs.

Meet Reed Timmer’s Dominator Fore chasing storms

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Reed Timmer is a tornado researcher and co-founder of Team Dominator. Dominator Fore (or “Dom Fore”), a modified 2018 Subaru Forester with only a few protective panels, helps him collect data. The interior of the vehicle buzzes with scientific equipment to collect data on the various storms it tracks.

Timmer expressed his desire to add more fortifications to his Forester SUV, including Lexan windows and a better probe launcher. Another item on her wish list is outdoor waterproofing.

The Subaru Forester proved to be the perfect vehicle for Timmer’s needs. Dominator Fore has endured multiple tornadoes, a hailstorm, monsoon seasons, and just about every other natural disaster you can imagine. He had to replace the windshield several times and the headlights once, but he kept the hail marks as a badge of honor.

Timmer also dealt with the dampness in the engine bay, inviting bugs to take up residence. But other than that, Dom Fore had emerged relatively unscathed.

That is until Hurricane Ian hit the Gulf Coast of Florida on September 28, 2022.

Fans Demand Modified Subaru SUVs After Hurricane Ian Beats Dominator Fore

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When Hurricane Ian swept through the Sunshine State last month, it left swathes flooded and battered. Dominator Fore was badly beaten as the Category 4 monster passed through Pine Island, west of Fort Myers, where Timmer had stopped to document the storm.

Through his YouTube channel, he shared footage of Ian’s strength whipping the Forester through 150mph winds and patches of rain. The storm chaser abandoned his Subaru SUV as floodwaters engulfed Dom Fore.

Once the storm surge passed, Timmer reassessed his trusty vehicle. The windshield was cracked and the front was buried under tree branches and broken wooden planks. Thick mud and mud covered the interior.

But Timmer has sworn to rebuild Dominator Fore.

And now the fans on Twitter ask Subaru to donate modified Forester and Crosstrek SUVs to storm chasers like Timmer. One commenter noted that the automaker could use its generosity as a marketing opportunity. So far, Subaru has not responded to the user on Twitter.

another fan tweeted“They should make a Storm Chaser edition of the Forester and/or Crosstrek. Like the Wilderness edition but waterproof or floatable. The reviewer also suggested that each model have an “optional anchor, which I’m sure would be also useful if it was sucked in by a tornado”.

Are Subaru SUVs tough?

Subaru SUVs destined for expedition, including a Forester (left) and an Outback | Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Subaru SUVs are known for their standard all-wheel drive. You won’t find AWD in many comparable models, whether or not the feature is used for off-roading.

The 2023 Subaru Forester compact crossover packs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine developing 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). As for fuel economy, it gets around 33 mpg combined.

Additionally, the Forester has 28.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, enough to haul gear but not much. And most versions can tow 1,500 pounds – again, not much.

However, the Wilderness Edition, which Subaru designed for off-roading, can tow 3,000 pounds. It also has 9.2 inches of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, raised suspension and an improved X AWD mode.

Starting prices range from around $26,400 for the base model to around $36,500 for the top-of-the-line Touring trim.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Calls 2022 Subaru Forester Best Compact SUV for Tall Drivers

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