Japan’s auto industry was in its peak from the second half of the 1980s to the early 1990s, a period that happens to coincide with the Japanese economic bubble, the consequences of which are referred to as the “lost decade”. After the bubble burst in 1991, the industry began to stagnate, but when Subaru Alcyone’s SVX plans were born, Fuji Heavy Industries ’decision-makers had every reason to be optimistic. True to the world-saving approach of the time, it was decided to present a successor coupe as a successor to the original Alcyone that would be able to compete with a similar model of BMW, just as Toyota had at the time with the Lexus sub-brand.
The SVX study, exhibited at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, prepared for the 1990s with its rounded design. Its futuristic appearance on the Italdesign studio was the merit of Giorgetto Giugiaro, who, while using some of his previous work, such as some solutions from the 1986 Oldsmobile Inca concept, was still unique. One of the special features of the coupe was the “window in the window” solution, similar until then it could only be seen on exotic sports cars, but they could not be opened on such a large surface. It took an enthusiastic image-building to carry out the study almost without change, which was not the case 30 years ago.
The spectacular exterior, of course, was only half of the bold concept, the other was added by the engineers, who had equipped it with the largest displacement boxer ever built in Subaru. The 3.3-liter, 6-cylinder, double upper camshaft engine received 4 valves per cylinder, 2 nozzle injectors and platinum spark plugs. It delivered 230 horsepower and 309 Nm of torque, delivering the former at 5,400 rpm and the latter at 4,400 rpm. Both values were so high that, in addition to contemporary technology, they could only be paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Weighing in at just 1.6 tonnes, the heavy-duty SVX accelerated from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.5 seconds, with constant all-wheel drive (ACT-4 or VTD) varying from market to market.
The L version for the Japanese domestic market was also equipped with all-wheel steering at Subaru, accounting for 10,000 units a year, which would have accounted for predominantly North American sales if it had been considered a brand in the U.S. offering affordable family cars. Offering $ 10,000 more than the second most expensive Subaru, the SVX price tag made a real impact in the showrooms, even though Fuji Heavy Industries fell $ 3,000 on every single car! Although the SVX’s design, ride-on features, driveability and extras also justified its high purchase price, it had to prevail in a market environment where it was full of exceptional competitors, the Honda NSX, the Mazda RX-7, the Mitsubishi 3000 GT, the Nissan was forced to compete with the 300ZX and Toyota Supra. Although customers of the time sympathized with it, it was an eccentricity, and they sold little of it in 1994, despite the introduction of a more affordable, front-wheel-drive version. In Japan, the Alcyone SVX model was not an easy thing to do either, as it was considered a luxury car due to its size under the new regulations and fell into a higher tax category. Despite the more favorable image of Subaru in the minds of European buyers, it has always been a stratum brand, and due to its extremely strong Japanese and local rivals, only a token amount has found a host.
In the 5 years spent in the market, 24,379 copies were rolled out of the Japanese production line, of which 14,257 received license plates in the United States, 5,884 in Japan, 2,478 in Europe, while only 249 were sold in Australia. Subaru dropped about $ 75 million on this project, but they felt they benefited from SVX’s reputation. Time has finally confirmed this view, as it has survived in relatively large numbers and, thanks to collectors, is now promoting the brand as a valued classic.
SVX AS AN INDYCAR INTRODUCTORY CAR
Tossed with a silver / purple gradient finish, the Subaru SVX was the flagship car in the IndyCar race series in the early 1990s. With a coupe equipped with a roll bar and flashing, the pace was dictated by race car supervisor Wally Dallenbach, a former car racer. A specimen to promote the model is currently the property of the Subaru Museum.
Source: Autó-Motor by www.automotor.hu.
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