1950s / 1960s / 2013 Geneva Motor Show / Japanese / Subaru

Live from the Geneva Motor Show: Subaru 360 Super Deluxe

geneva-subaru-360-7Subaru is debuting the VIZIV concept at the 83rd annual Geneva Motor Show. Named after the phrase “Vision for Innovation,” the VIZIV is a diesel-electric hybrid that shows the design direction Subaru will take over the coming years.

The Japanese firm hasn’t forgotten its roots and it is also displaying a very clean right-hand drive 360 Super Deluxe painted in light blue. Introduced in 1958, the 360 was the first car built by Fuji Heavy Industries. It was loosely inspired by the Fiat 500 and was powered by a rear-mounted straight-twin with a displacement of 356cc, which gave the car its name. Larger engines were available later in the production run but the 360 moniker remained.

The 360 was briefly offered in the United States, where it was exempt from most safety regulations because it weighed less than 1,000 pounds.  It was not stellar example of automotive safety lambasted by Consumer Reports in April of 1969.  In addition to bein rated “Not Acceptable,” the magazine concluded that “it was a pleasure to squirm out of the Subaru, slam the door and walk away.”

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