The Subaru SVX, or the Safety Vehicle Experimental, was a special vehicle concept brought to life by the help of Fuji Heavy Industries and Italdesign. Years ... Show moreof research, testing and funding was implemented in order to battle car industry leaders such as Mercedes Benz and BMW in the luxury performance line.
Subaru embarked on this difficult quest to create a vehicle that performed extremely well in every aspect. The first aspect taken into account was design. With the influence of Giorgetto Giugiaro, the SVX created the aircraft style glass similar to windows of the McLaren F1, the fastest street legal car in the world. As a result of extensive wind tunnel testing, the final SVX design obtains a lower drag coefficient of .29 compared to the McLaren's .32 .
The naturally aspirated 3.3 Liter 4 cam 24 valve Boxer 6 pushes out 230 Horsepower at 5500 RPM and 228 Lb/ft of Torque at 4400. The sound of an H-6 is quite incredible and distinct. With its highly geared 4 speed automatic transmission and extremely low drag the SVX can easily reach speeds without fighting the wind resistance. Because the 92's did not have an electronic governor, speeds over 160 MPH are highly obtainable. The SVX can comfortably cruise highways up to 135 with high stability and cruise at 90 MPH at 2900 RPM.
By utilizing a steel unibody design, the SVX maximized body rigidity and minimal body flexing. Coupled with an integrated stock rollcage, collapsing steering wheel column, drivers side air bag, side impact door beams and 5 mph tested bumpers, this vehicle was light years ahead of others in its time. The zinc galvanized coating ensured no rusting.
The window within a window design was quite expensive, though they yield many useful benefits. The window actually travels further up and more forward than other cars, minimizing blind spots. The titanium oxide coated windshields boast higher tensile strength to support extra weight of the glass canopy and better UV filtration. Less wind noise is heard when the windows are fully open at higher speeds due to the lower drag. Also, the shape of the windows help channel water away from the open part of the window, so the SVX can be driven in the rain with the window opened, though the success is varied.
The SVX weighs in at 3525 pounds, which is quite a lot for a 2 door Luxury Grand Tourer. It would be a long time for an SVX to race at the track. However, in conjunction with its AWD system, the SVX can easily battle the elements. The 4 Speed Electronic transmission (4EAT), which is also used in the current Outback and Legacy, delivers a powersplit between F/R of 90/10 all the way up to 50/50 depending on conditions. The SVX is quite resistant to hydroplaning and performs in the rain the almost same as it would in dry conditions. The zinc galvanized body is great for snowy conditions since it is extremely resistant to corrosion from the road salt. Show Less
And now for the mods...
After a two year hiatus of almost selling the car I still have it and she has served me quite well. There were many upgrades done to ... Show morethis vehicle in order to keep it up to par with today's latest new vehicles. For such a low production car, aftermarket parts are hard to come by. Usually most parts must be custom fabricated by smaller companies or even SVX enthusiasts themselves, thus raising the price.
List of mods:
9005 Cool Blue Hi Beam Mod
Lightened almuminum crankshaft pulley
Removed intake resonator
Yokohama Avid V4 tires
Front and rear custom lowering springs/struts
Energy Suspension Polyurethane swaybar bushings
NGK Iridium plugs
Magnaflow 2.5" Hi Flow Cat
Magnaflow Hi Flow Resonator
Magnaflow Single In dual-out muffler
Front Bradi Slotted/Dimple Drilled Rotors
Rear RaceConcepts Slotted/Dimple Drilled Rotors
Front/rear Stainless steel brake lines
For starters, the lighting was upgraded to Sylvania Cool Blue 9005 high beam bulbs for the low beam socket. They required slight modding in order to fit into the harness but once connected they yielded almost double the output (1900 vs. 1000 lumens). This mod can only be done to vehicles with projector beam headlights, as they have a sharper cutoff to prevent blinding oncoming drivers.
The suspension began clunking and leaning very badly on hard cornering, so I began by upgrading the suspension. An SVX member by the name Mychailo produces his own sport springs, with a front and rear compression rate of 185/150 pounds per square inch, whereas the stock springs were at a measely 140/110. Paired with a new set of stock struts, mounts and seating, I was ready to roll with the install.
Jacking up the car showed that the swaybar bushings were soft and pliable with age. The softness also leads to more play in steering and more body roll in cornering, which is a big no-no. Once we got the swaybar bushings off, I replaced them with Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings.
Back to the springs and struts. The springs lower the car 3/4" in the front and 1/2" in the rear for a more aggressive stance as well as improving handling. As you can see, 13 years and 120k miles have worn out the old springs very badly.
I also took the initiative to remove the intake resonator box. It's a fairly large box that stores a reserve of air and quiets the intake. Removing it has given the engine more breathing room and creates a larger growl at WOT similar to a Porsche.
The next step up was brakes. The SVX is not known for its braking by any means, but with a more aggressive setup it now stops on a dime. RaceConcepts has supplied me with Front Bradi Rotors (manufacturer for Brembo) and rear RaceConcepts Rotors, both slotted and dimple drilled. Paired with new calipers, stainless steel brake lines, and new pads, there is very minimal brake fade.
More to come (mods in the near future)
ECUTune Stage 1 Performance Chip
Legacy Outback/Forrester 4.44 4EAT transmission
B&M Transmission Cooler
Green Air filter Custom Cold Air Intake
I am definitely looking to make this car a mid 14 second 1/4 car and to push roughly 250 HP at the crank. We shall see if we can make that happen :) Show Less