Subaru presented a sleek Giugiaro-designed concept at the 1989 edition of the Tokyo Motor Show. The concept was initially a simple design study but the overwhelmingly positive response it generated from show-goers and members of the media convinced Subaru to green-light it for production.
Billed as a regular-production concept car, the coupe was christened Subaru Vehicle X (SVX) and introduced to replace the boxy XT in 1991. Surprisingly, the production SVX retained the concept’s odd window-within-a-window, a setup borrowed from the aviation world.
While the XT was offered with either a four- and a six-cylinder engine, the SVX was exclusively available with a 3.3-liter flat-six mill that made 231 horsepower at 5,400 rpms and 228 lb-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpms in its initial state of tune, impressive figures in the early 1990s. Power was sent to all four wheels via an automatic transmission (a suitable manual wasn’t available at the time) and a performance-tuned version of Subaru’s well-regarded all-wheel drive system. The flat-six propelled the SVX from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds.
Although the SVX was promising on paper, sales never reached Subaru’s expectations in the United States, the automaker’s largest export market, partly because it was too expensive. Subaru briefly offered a front-wheel drive version of the coupe in a bid to lure more buyers into showrooms but sales remained relatively low, making the SVX one of the rarest regular-production Subarus ever sold in the ‘States.
A look through the local classifieds finds you can buy a clean, running SVX for about $3,000. As early examples prepare to celebrate their 25th birthday, will demand from collectors drive the coupe’s value up or will prices remain low?