The Subaru SVX Was a Time Machine

Subaru SVX

The true test of any vehicle’s value is how it stands the test of time. Think about the cars we all love and cherish. We know their histories. We see them at car shows and on our favorite blogs. We typically say, “Wow, I would’ve bought one of those, back then for such & such a price!” Because we’ve all seen what became of them, just a few generations on. Such is the case with the legendary Subaru SVX. Born at a time when Japanese luxury cars were chasing down the sports car market dominated by flashy European coupes, the SVX offered rally-inspired technology that was virtually unmatched. Read on to get the full scoop about its design inspiration, market influence, and brand perspective.

Fact, Figures, and Subaru SVX Specs

In the interest of posterity, let’s start at the beginning. Introduced in 1989 at the Tokyo Auto Show, the SVX received a very warm welcome. And how could it not? The Subaru SVX was designed by Automotive Hall Of Fame inductee Giorgetto Giugiaro. This famed Italian designer had his hand in just about every iconic brand, including Alfa Romeo, American Motors, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche, Fiat, Lotus, Maserati, De Tomaso, and most famously perhaps the DMC DeLorean. If something strikes familiar about the SVX coupe’s profile, it would be the Giugiaro DNA it shares with the window-in-window design that is instantly recognizable in the car responsible for harnessing 1.21 gigawatts when struck by lightning.

Doc Brown’s Flux-Capacitor didn’t make it into the production model Subaru SVX, but a lot of soon-to-be signature elements did. Powering all SVX coupes over their five-year run (1992-1997) was a 230HP 3.3L V6. To dispel a common misconception, there were no modified turbo versions. The Turbocharged 4cyl belonged to the pre-American spec prototypes. With a four-speed automatic sending power to all four wheels, the SVX had a respectable 0-60 in just over seven seconds with a top speed of 143mph. The SVX had a recommended service interval of 7500 miles, which is right on par with today’s discerning standards.

The SVX had a futuristic interior environment that felt more like a fighter jet’s cockpit than a touring coupe. Visibility was excellent with virtually no A, B, or C pillars, and seating was plush, designed to cope with the lateral g-forces that the SVX was anticipated to enjoy. Cloth and leather seating were available, and beautiful soft-touch materials were available throughout the cabin on door panels and dashboard elements. Confused about which selector lever is the gear-shifter and e-brake? You can thank the Giugiaro Lamborghini. While our Subaru dealer near Louisville didn’t exist back then, we are looking to create a home base for all Subaru SVX enthusiasts. If you have one, we want to hear from you because we are planning some events in the near future. We’ve put together some answers to questions we hear a lot among enthusiasts we’ve met and are happy to share them here to help your research.

How many Subaru SVX coupes are left?

As of 2019, 130 Subaru SVX coupes were remaining in the U.K. That’s about 5%. While U.S. data is sparse, if we assume the same rate of loss, that means there should be approximately 700 U.S. models remaining. Parts are difficult to find and often at a premium, suggesting that original donor cars are becoming more scarce and valuable.

Is the Subaru SVX reliable?

There is a joke among Subaru SVX enthusiasts: ‘Why is driving a Subaru SVX like flying through the Bermuda Triangle? If you spend much time in either, you’re going to lose your bearings.’ The SVX was a performance machine that suffered from transmission fatigue due to inadequate cooling. Wheel bearings are also a weak point because of the AWD system. Is the Subaru reliable, though? Well, does anyone have a problem with doing brakes on a Ferrari, another Giugiaro car, for $40K? Maintenance is part of the fun!

How much is a Subaru SVX?

With an introductory price in 1992 of just $23,500.00, the SVX would soon break the $36,000.00 mark as popularity briefly swelled. Nowadays, the SVX is trading hands in near-new condition for sale at about $12,000.00 and as a basket-case for about $1,500.00. Considering how difficult it is to obtain parts, the higher-end examples are well worth the effort.

The legendary Subaru SVX saw a little over 14,000 units on our shores. While its time was short-lived, the SVX paved the way for newer models coming to market, as well as its legacy (pun intended) living on in the new Impreza for sale at Quantrell. While we don’t have any Subaru SVX coupes available, we do have plenty of other fine used Subaru models for sale.

Quantrell Subaru Understands Passion for the Brand

Subaru has always pushed the limits of what was possible. Perhaps that’s why we’re #1 in brand loyalty and brand trust. Subaru cars have dominated world rally championships, and they’ve also dominated suburbia, where kids, families, and four-legged friends need stylish and capable transportation. So whether you live right here in Lexington or are coming in from Cincinnati, we’ve got Subaru cars that build on our rich past while pointing towards our bright future. While the SVX might be a part of our brand history, one thing remains clear: we build our vehicles because we love the people that drive them. You’ll find thoughtfulness and inspiration packed into every new Subaru vehicle that you find. Take a good look. Are there any vehicles in our showroom destined to be the next classic? We think we know the answer to that one. And of course, time will most certainly tell.

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