This Is Why Subaru Needs To Remake The SVX

We need weirder cars on our roads. Manufacturers are all playing too safe these days; it’s boring and it’s gotten old very fast.

The Japanese were the masters of churning out bizarre creations in the ’80s and ’90s, the ‘bubble economy’ era responsible for awesome cars like the Mazda Cosmo, the Toyota Soarer and the Nissan Leopard. Big, fat comfortable coupes with plenty of grunt and very distinct looks. Subaru’s take on it all was the SVX.

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This was back when Subaru had proper motorsport pedigree; owners loved buying into the Japanese brand as it meant they were perceived as connoisseurs and drivers of capable sports cars. The SVX was the halo car, it combined the AWD drivetrain that made the brand famous, with 3.3 liters’ worth of smooth flat-six naturally aspirated power.

These days, SVXs are very rare to come by in Japan, but this red example at Wekfest last week had me drooling as I pored over every inch of its customized uniqueness.

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Take the EG33 motor for example. Never have I seen this powerplant so isolated in an engine bay. The shaving, wire tucking and removal of the fuse box, battery and ABS unit have made it all so clean and uncluttered.

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Adding to the visual appeal is a USDM engine cover painted in silver, polished intake manifold and head covers, and pretty much everything else being painted in flat black to further aid your eyes in not noticing the disturbance of complicated looking ancillaries.

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The SVX has had its stock suspension pulled in favor of an Air Lift Performance setup that allows the car to fit right into the USDM styling scene that’s swept across Japan in recent years. The air ride kit is actually for a GDB Impreza STI but the owner made it fit, along with a long list of improvements such as GC8 rear lower arms and modified knuckles.

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18-inch Forgewürks 3-piece polished wheels sink deep into the rolled and modified fender wells when the Air Lift system is aired out.

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The aesthetics may look stock, and they sort of are, but they’ve been given a unique touch thanks to the addition of US market front fenders and turn signals, US rear side markers, mirrors and more – it’s a very long list. The whole lot was then painted in Rosso Corsa red, a OEM Ferrari color for that extra pop.

It all combines to make for a very special SVX, one that lets us – even for a short moment – remember back to those cool years when Subaru wasn’t all CVT-equipped SUVs and crossovers.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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43 comments

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1

The SVX had a 3.3 liter engine in it, not a 3.0. The EG33 was in the SVX, not the newer EZ30.

2

SVX could have been a "thing", dodgy auto and needed more grunt from factory. But a great base to do something with. Would love to see what someone has done performance wise rather than show wise as seen here.

3
Christopher Evert

Eh - it's big and heavy, compared to an Impreza.
If it's the performance envelope you want to push rather than the uniqueness one, Subaru has better offerings.
This one is exactly perfect for what it is, in my opinion.

4

Could be a quick autobhan bit of gear, which the WRX is not. Like all stance and slam type cars it's perfect for sitting in car parks with pretensions of hyper performance, mimicking the real thing is not the real thing.

5
Brandon Anthony

I really appreciate you guys putting some spotlight on more of the unique builds. This definitely gives me inspiration to one day be featured.

6

Really cool build, and I'd like to see a new SVX too...

But as said in other comments the SVX was terribly stunted with a very poor 4AT. Despite how cool they look, they take a lot of work to be a good driving car.

And regarding your last paragraph, the WRX and BRZ would like a word.

7

I have a question, usually when people do this to their engine bay, where they usually put/relocate the things that are removed from the engine bay such as fuse box, ABS unit, coolant tank and so on?

8
Męlins Zirgęls

They usually relocate things such as battery to the trunk.

9

that surely needs a lot of planning to do.

10
Męlins Zirgęls

Nope, it's way easier than you think.

Author11
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's a pretty monumental job!

12

interesting.

13

Subaru needs the following:
1. Turbo XV
2. Wagon WRX, duh
3. Levorg
4. And Legacy Wagon
5. STI everything because why not
6. Turbo BRZ
7. WRC 2018 BRZ... plzz
8. new svx would be cool too

14

I totally agree with you, sir. And because we are dreaming anyway, why not ask Subaru God to return glass frameless doors to us (not sure about the term)

Author15
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Oh man, so true. I love those on my Legacy!

16

Subaru needs one thing only: proper WRC participation. The company was shining the same time they were in WRC competition. Since then, we get Levorgs and Golf Imprezas. Where's the boxer madness?

17
Breland Parker

I presently have 2 SVXs, a 1992, which as you know, was the first year of production, and a 1996, which my deceased wife purchased brand new. I feel that Subaru made a Hugh mistake by not continuing the model. Back in 92 their tag line was "inexpensive and built to stay that way!". This had customers scratching their heads. So yes , I am an SVX "groupy ".

Author18
Dino Dalle Carbonare

They won't make cars they know won't sell in huge numbers. It's a pity they don't get that they need these lower volume cars to make the brand cool and exciting.

19

I knew a guy who was a Subaru salesman back in the mid-80s. When the XT came out, the salespeople were ecstatic. They finally had a car with some personality. Before it was either the GLs, the wagons, and a few BRATs. Very boring and, in lieu of what Toyota, Honda and Nissan were producing at the time, hard to sell. Most people considered Subaru's line of cars "weird." Maybe it was the spare tire mounted on top of the flat engine. By the time the SVX came out, people began to appreciate these little differences.

Author20
Dino Dalle Carbonare

They created a recognizable image for the brand. Now they've managed to dilute it all away by producing uninspiring cars that are actually selling very well. Why change that, right? It's Toyota's fault

21
Pierre Collin

"We need weirder cars on our roads. Manufacturers are all playing too safe these days; it’s boring and it’s gotten old very fast." ...But, and the Toyota CH-R, the Nissan Juke, the Toyota Auris, the BMW i8 ? They look weird, right ? Okay, the SVX is definitely hipster...

Author22
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah but they all aren't Subarus! And with weird I also mean choice of engines and mechanicals. Where is the excitement any more

23

Oh yeah, i hadn't even noticed that all the cars i've listed are electric/hybrid... Well... Yeah.

24
MPistol HVBullets

the days of anything coming from Subaru that is "weird" are OVER - I loved that they used to be quirky - but they went bland (I'm looking at you GV, GH, GR, GE) - um - they also started selling a *hit-ton - so as long as they focus on the market they invented (THE CROSSOVER) they'll be fine - and PLEASE resist the urge to make trucks - NO MORE TRIBECA's!!!! - but if they want to throw us a new SVX, I'll be giddy.......and nobody will buy it...... like the first time

25

They need one small truck/utility vehicle - bring back the Brat/Brumby in an agricultural form. But yeah "no more Tribecas"

26

You did have the Baja.....

Author27
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Like I said above, Toyota had a play in all of this. And they've just shown the Tribeca's successor at NY right

28

New Tribeca coming out ;)

29
Christopher Evert

Drool.
Be still, my heart...
My love is in Japan, impossible to drive home.
Love stinks.

Author30
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Very poetic :)

31

2-door cruiser based on the current Legacy platform? Supercharge the 3.6L. Job done.

Author32
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Now you're thinking!

33

Problem is money, I think. The BRZ/GT86 collaboration was because Subaru were skint. That's why they stopped factory WRC, and that's why they took Saab's money (another interesting design-led firm who sadly died when cut loose from GM) to stick a Saab nose on a WRX and make the 92X. Things are better these days but it's been a slow journey back - I hope we see some more fun stuff soon.

34
William Covert

I have owned a bunch of subarus since the 90s. My svx was my favorite. Really cool looking, pretty fast after 40 mph super comfy inside. Not so reliable for a sube though. Really a fun car to drive.

35

There is an USDM SVX that lives around the corner from me. It's a design that actually has aged gracefully, which surprises me, because a bunch of '90s "performance car" designs really haven't. A few have of course, FD RX7, Mitsu 3000GT, NSX, 300ZX, Supra. But compare those with say the '97 Mustang or the '97 Camaro...I love a good Mustang, but those designs are looking long-in-the-tooth now.

Anyways, it's nice to see the SVX get some coverage. I like the detail and cleanliness of this build. I would love to see someone do a manual swap in one of these (someone can make a 6-speed WRX STI box fit), along with a turbo or three bolted in. It would really make for a unique build.

36

ahhhh no wonder it looks so familiar.. That's the one featured in Stance Mag Japan,

37

Forgewürks! Because everything sounds more badass with umlaut.

38

the early svxs were unfortunately graced with some production oversights like the overheating 4eat trans as it needed better cooling & filter had issues that when they were both fixed later in recalls,made the car much better. its a shame they missed the boat on a manual cos they hadn't a box that could take the torquey power of that superb 3.3 boxer back then. why they didn't try source one from someone else idk? maybe its because the svc was never meant to be an off the line racer. it was designed to be a comfortable gt cruiser you could drive a long way safely & get there feeling like you could do it all over again when you got out. all that luxury comes at the cost of weight & anyone who's seen inside an svx cabin knows that you would struggle to find those levels of luxury from any other car other than some big German cruisers or maybe a Lexus but the svx even made those cars seem underdone in comparison. all that alcantara & leather wrapping around the entire inside & the cool split windows sure made it a 1of a kind. if driven responsibly & not thrashed (thats an auto remember) they were not nearly as un reliable as some people think & theres many an svx that did 100s of thousands of trouble free driving if they were regularly serviced. finding someone who wasn't afraid to work on the car could also be an issue with even some subi dealers scared to touch them even though its just basicly a legacy/liberty & impreza with 2 extra pots. the eg33 was such a good engine that its highly sought after by home made aeroplane enthusiasts & people wanting engine swaps to vw vans. ive heard of people dropping 1 into a porshce rather than spend the $ on a new porsche motor. its 2 words.non interference. limp home mode meant you could drive that thing home without the valves smashing away on the piston top no matter how bad the timing was off. now try that in the newer 3.5 or whatever its at now & you will end up needing a whole new top end at best. it was killed by its high price after market crashed in 90s.Who was shelling out almost 100k (au $price) for an odd jap 4wd when that money could buy you a nice house back then? quirky& cool yes but they were mainly for showroom appeal & nosey test pilots never seriously considering shelling out that type of cash on any car that wasn't German. but they have always been a favourite of mine & I'm still contemplating buying the my96 in red with great service history & 220thou km on tge clock now. just had new disks & rotors & been well looked after by its 1owner who's spent big $ over 20yrs

39

So we had to be changed to another car that svx ?

40

The SVX was created from an Italian designer. It cost Subaru almost $3,000 to sell one and was not turning any profit. That's why they axed it. I work for Subaru btw.

41

SUUUUUUBBBAAAARRRRRUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

42

I have always wanted one of these, ever since my days of driving around in one in Gran Turismo. The very few ever that I have found around me in the states have been in such a state of disrepair they wouldn't be worth the effort to revitalize them.

43

Subaru needs to do a lot of things, drop a few hundred pounds and some bulk off of the STi, give it more power, offer a turbo BRZ, the list goes on. SVXs were seriously neat but they'd be out of place in today's market without some actual performance and GT car chops.

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