Subaru Alcyone SVX

Zaheer August 24, 2011 0


It was a 2-door grand tourer coupe manufactured and marketed by the Japanese automaker Subaru. In many export markets, it was widely known as the Subaru SVX. The Subaru SVX remained in Subaru’s production line from 1991 up till 1997. The intentions of Fuji Heavy Industries were very clear as they wanted to join the luxury as well as performance car market. The idea was to harvest both performance and luxury in one single vehicle. As for name, it is based on the brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster on which based the Subaru’s logo.

Development

The car was initially displayed at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1989 as a concept car. Its slick and smooth bodywork was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, an Italian automobile designer at ItalDesign. The designing theme was based on many other concept vehicles like Ford Maya and Oldsmobile Inca. Later, Subaru planned to place the concept car into production and that too with majority of the existing design cues, particularly the unusual window-within-a-window. It was described by Subaru as ‘aircraft-inspired glass-to-glass canopy’, taken from the previous Alcyone XT. By retaining most of the designing cues from concept version, the production version gave customers a chance to ride a genuinely conceived concept vehicle.

Compared to the boxy and lanky XT, the Subaru Aclyone SVX came with curvy looks and an uncommon aircraft-inspired ‘glass-within-glass canopy’, also featuring two-piece power side windows. Generally, the windows are come apart about half way from the base, with partition being analogous to the upper curve of the door frame. Usually, these types of half windows are found on unusual cars having ‘scissor’, ‘gull-swing’ or ‘butterfly’ doors, seen on vehicles like Lamborghini Countach, De Lorean DMC-12 and on McLaren F1. A low drag coefficient of Cd=0.29 was achieved with the help of SVX’s aerodynamic shape, earlier achieved by the Aclyone XT coupe.

Powertrain

All the earlier XT models were offered with a turbocharged flat-4 (XT) and a naturally-aspirated flat-6 (XT6) engines. The Aclyone SVX was launched and remained in production with only one engine option, i.e. the EG33 3.3-L horizontally-opposed-6 or flat-6 engine. It was one of the largest engines introduced by Subaru before the launch of Subaru Tribeca that came with even larger 3.6-L EZ36 version.

Mechanically, the used engine was necessarily a 6-cylinder version of the EJ22 used in first generation Legacy and Impreza. The 3.3-L version used in SVX feature dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) as well as 4 valves per cylinder. The compression ratio was also increased for it to 10.1:1, delivering 231 hp (172 kW) at 5400 rpm and 228 lb-ft (309 Nm) torque at 4400 rpm. The engine was also equipped with a sequential multiport fuel-injection together with dual spray injectors. The ignition was based on platinum spark plugs. A computerized management system was also present with ‘limp home feature’ that offered over-rev protection, regulates fuel injector and ignition.

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