The hunt continues for rare & unusual Japanese classics that our region is not that familiar with. The Japanese car invasion came a bit late to the Middle East, back in the days it was American and European brands that mainly dominated the region so many of us missed out or are totally not aware of some of the somehow more ‘exotic’ models that appeared right out of Japan.
Meet the ‘XT’ a front or all-wheel-drive coupe, produced by Subaru from 1985-1991. This was the first coupe Subaru ever made. The car celebrates the wedge/boxy designs that started flourishing during that era, perhaps the dullest era in automobile design regardless a still unique time. The XT was something exceptional and it sure gave Subaru a stronger identity, which was the drive behind this car. Some describe the interior as that of a Jet Fighter or an X-Wing Fighter, it truly is.
The interior was cool, back in the 80s. It was something unconventional at the time. The XT’s dashboard was, erm, inspired from some Atari, perhaps a dash of Star Wars and some KITT here & there.
Though the car was not that impressive in-terms of performance or sales figures, it was an exceptional design & a technological feat from Fuji Heavy Industries.
The car featured alot of new gadgets, besides the digital instrument cluster & that deformed steering wheel; the car came with electro-hydraulic power steering, a single front wiper, pneumatic suspension for height control and a trip computer, to name a few. They all sound familiar nowadays but were talking about the 80s here.
A fully restored 1986 model was featured by Subaru USA, at the 2011 SEMA:
The car was powered by a 1.8 turbo charged boxer engine. Earlier models did not come with a turbo and all-wheel-drive was an option.
Here is the in-depth story of restored XT featured in SEMA:
The 80s was a time when the Japanese were still working hard on proving to the world how good they are in making cars. They truly built cars that really shocked the big three in-terms of quality & technology.