By Martin Swig
Most observers credit the Acura NSX with revolutionizing the supercar business, not because of its commercial success, but because it introduced new standards of usability, drivability, and reliability to the supercar field.
In a similar way, the 1992-97 Subaru SVX sent a message about what high-performance coupes could be. It was a very subtle, stylish, high performance coupe. The production version was essentially the same as the Giugiaro-designed concept car on which it was based.
Look at the SVX as a “sleeper” collectible. It was – and is – a 150 mph, AWD-driver’s delight. It is also bulletproof, like most Japanese cars. It’s hard to find one that’s covered less than 200,000 miles because owners found them so long-lived and reliable.
I recently found a 60,000 mile 1992 model and snapped it up. It reminds me of the one I had 20 years ago. People complained that they only came with a 4-speed automatic, but I always thought that was okay for a GT car. It was happy at 125-135 mph in the wide open spaces of Nevada. Under full-throttle, the 3-4 upshift occurred at 125 mph! They are quiet mechanically, and wind-noise is like an Audi – almost none.
In comparing the SVX with my new Audi S5, the Subaru holds its own!
I couldn’t resist buying a new Subaru BRZ. I ordered a 6-speed base car to get a real ignition key and no wings. It is an absolute charmer because of its simplicity and essential “rightness” of every aspect. 200 hp for 2,700 pounds is plenty.
To my eyes, the SVX is far more attractive, but the BRZ does at least look purposeful and well-proportioned. At under $30,000 “on-the-road” it’s certainly a good buy.
I expect that every mile will be a joy and that I’ll have traditional Subaru reliability. One thing it can’t do – replace my Miata. I’ve got to keep the Mazda for top-down motoring.
[Source: Martin Swig]