It’s like seeing two white rhinos in one place.
That place? Rural Quebec.
Once the pride of 1990s Japan, the Subaru SVX threw all the futuristic trappings it could find into the sporty luxury coupe, which was sold in limited numbers from mid-1991 to 1996.
The most tell-tale styling cue/gimmick on the SVX (sold as the hard-to-pronounce Alcyone overseas) was the window-in-a-window treatment, which made the car look like it had just driven out of a dystopian film set in the near future.
Under the hood of the SVX, you’d find pretty much everything except a turbo. Its twin-cam 3.3-litre flat-six used the fanciest multi-port fuel injection system available at the time, complemented by platinum spark plugs and a hefty computer nanny overseeing engine functions.
All this hardware brought the car up to 231 horsepower, which was delivered to all four wheels via the only available transmission – a four-speed automatic. No manual tranny meant that the car’s sporting credentials were not complete.
Technologically advanced, and reasonably fast, the flagship SVX was by far the most expensive product offered by Subaru at the time. Productions costs were high and buyers limited, leading to a situation where Subaru lost money on each SVX they sold.
Offering front-wheel drive base models at a reduced price didn’t reverse the tepid sales trend. Despite projecting (read: hoping) that annual sales would touch the five-figure mark, less than 25,000 were sold worldwide for the entire model run – a little more than half of that number reaching North American buyers.
Subaru’s supercar was an ambitious vehicle at the time, but multiple factors ensured that it never quite measured up to its name (Alcyone – the brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster, which forms Subaru’s corporate logo).