Monday, April 15, 2013

5k: Autotragic Alcyone: 1994 Subaru SVX LSI

The Subaru SVX was known as the Alcyone in its home market of Japan - named for the brightest start in the Pleiades cluster that is prominently featured on the nose of older Subarus and  pronounced "el-SIGH-uh-nee."  The last time we featured an SVX engine it was in a GC-chassis Impreza set up for rally.  Find this 1994 Subaru Alcyone SVX LSI for sale in San Jose, CA for $3000.  Tip guessed it...Kaibeezy!

The Subaru SVX was designed by noted Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign and was the most expensive Subaru built when it was introduced in 1991.  Internet rumor claims that Subaru lost money on each SVX sold (which we find hard to believe) but the Japanese "bubble economy" and subsequent Japanese sports car market crash doomed the total US imports of the SVX to just about 14,000 in 5 years of production.

The EG33 flat-6 displaces 3.3 liters and is equipped with dual overhead cams and 4 valves per cylinder for a total power output of 231 horsepower.  Unfortunately Subaru didn't think they had a manual transmission capable of handling the engine torque output and only sold the SVX with a 4-speed slushbox auto.

Sold as a luxury automobile, the SVX had an uprated interior, with leather & electrically adjustable seats, automatic climate control...basically a bunch of expensive stuff that drove the SVX price up to over $35k in 1994 dollars...yikes!

The most noteable design feature of the SVX is the "aircraft inspired glass-to-glass" canopy with half-windows that you'd expect to see in a gull-wing door equipped car like the DeLorean DMC-12.  In truth the half-windows are strictly an experiment in design aesthetics that serve no purpose other than making it really easy to spot an SVX on the street. 

See another Giugiaro designed classic for pocket change? email us here:


  1. I have no idea whether Subaru lost money on the SVX, but in Upstate NY where I was living at the time - a place where Subarus sold quite well in general - many dealers had a very hard time selling the SVX. Not a lot of buyers interested in spending $35K for a Subaru-branded car at the time - particularly since that (or less) would score a twin-turbo 300ZX, turbo supra, 3000GT VR4, etc.

    1. Agreed. This is one of those cars that could have been a real contender with just a little more power and a manual transmission. I wonder how this car would have stood up against the cars you mentioned if it had a turbo and a strong five speed.

  2. ~ i took an SVX in trade on a '90s Supra some years ago. i didn't allow much for it because i didn't expect to like it very well and i was looking for cash for the Toyota which meant reselling the Subaru. after driving it for a couple months i came to like it quite a bit, with the exception of a couple small quirks. to choose between a Supra or SVX of the same relative condition today would be a hard choice. they each carry specific features i want in a decent daily driver. be interesting to compare side-by-side.

  3. These were on my short list when looking for a toy late last year. The fact that no manuals were ever made keeps bumping them off. They aren't pretty but they sure don't look like anything else out there. I'm not a Subie fan but If I found an immaculate XT Coupe it could pique my interest as well. Something to keep in mind with these is that they were available in FWD(which I suspect this one is or they'd mention it) or AWD. I personally wouldn't waste my time on a FWD car.

  4. Looks like BaT picked up on this one!


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