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 of 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.