In an attempt to enter the once-popular performance and luxury world, Subaru launched the SVX in July of 1991. The SVX was designed and created by well renowned designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign. Though only around 14,000 units were imported to the United States, Subaru produced nearly 25,000 SVXs between 1992 and 1997.
A mid-sized, high-performance sports-touring coupe, the Subaru SVX was also known as the Alcyone SVX. This model was marketed and designed as the replacement for their outdated Alcyone XT and Alcyone XT6 coupes.
The most unique feature of the exotic SVX was its windows. Created with the goal of good aerodynamics, the window design featured unobstructed visibility and a very distinctive appearance. The 2-piece power side windows were unusual, aircraft-inspired 'glass to glass canopy'. The SVX was able to achieve a very low drag coefficient of only .29cd due to its aerodynamic shape. Compared to the more angular XT, the SVX was curvy with almost futuristic lines. The base '92 model was prices at $24,445 while the top SVX was priced between $28,000 and $36,740.
The XT had been available with either a turbocharged 4-cylinder or a naturally-aspirated 6-cylinder. The SVX only featured the EG33 model 3.3 liter 'BOXER' horizontally-opposed Flat-6 engine. This new variant came equipped with dual overhead camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder. The compression ratio was increased to 10.0:1 which brought power up to 230 hp at 5,400 rpm and 228 ft.lb (309 Nm) of torque at 4,400 rpm.
A variable clutch pack center differential using a 90%/10% power split front to rear was found in the All Wheel Drive system similar to the system found on other Subaru models of the period. A Front Wheel Drive version was also available on the SVX from '94 to '95.
Unfortunately the SVX had its low points, mostly its rarity which resulted in it being quite expensive. The three main problems with the SVX were its transmission failure, warped rotors and wheel bearing failure. Due to the tremendous weight of the SVX, 3,600 pounds, this affected the rotor and caused problems. Never before had such a heavy vehicle been produced by Subaru, and unfortunately did not equip them with rotors to match.
The Subaru has been acclaimed as 'a cross between Porsche engineering and Jaguar refinement'. U.S. sales were profitable despite the high price tag. For 1992 a total of 5,280 units were sold, and 3,859 for '93. Unfortunately sales dropped drastically the next few years with a final 640 sold in 1997. Subaru decided to discontinue production.By Jessica Donaldson