Posted Dec 5th 2011 11:00AM
As the years soldier on there are some interesting cars from the 1980's that never gained enthusiast respect and are rapidly fading away. Sure cars like the Toyota Corolla GT-S, Nissan 240SX and Mazda RX-7 are holding it down for 80's collectibles from Japan but for many people it is almost as if Subaru didn't even exist in that decade. Many of the Legacy wagons, GL coupes and ultra rare Brats are all but left in the junkyard but there was one model that was well ahead of its time that deserves a closer look.
The Subaru XT was an unusual wedge-shaped coupe that appeared in the middle of the decade with zero fanfare. The styling perhaps was too much for the North American public to handle and it did not sell as a result despite being very advanced mechanically. The dramatic wedge silhouette, flush windows and trim may have looked strange but afforded the sleek coupe a groundbreaking 0.29 drag coefficient making it the slipperiest of any production car back then. The XT came with either a 1.8L NA motor or with a 110hp turbocharged mill in the AWD version. The XT Turbo AWD was one of very few all-wheel drive platforms around that time and this top trim level also featured innovations such as self-leveling air suspension and a hill assist for the manual equipped cars.
The interior was undoubtedly 80's with its checkerboard seat inserts and asymmetrical steering wheel. Buyers were the kind of car guys that were left-of-centre opting for a new car that was unlike anything else out there. Unfortunately, the rest of the market thought it was a joke and it did not sell well at all. This rare restoration of an XT Turbo AWD by Subaru America pays homage to their roots and we were told it was not easy to complete. There are no aftermarket parts available for this vehicle, anywhere. So Subaru had to take a low-mileage XT and rebuild, repair and restore almost every part by hand right down to the nuts and bolts.
Image Credit: Copyright 2011 Dave Pankew / AOL