As a long-time SVX owner, I feel the need to make a couple more points and nitpick the above write-up.

Subaru started producing the SVX in 1991 with a very limited production run. There were two distinct models: the LS-I had a no-frills suspension that gave it the lighter 3600lb curb weight; the LS-L had an extra sway-bar in the rear, as well as two extra linkages to the hub per corner (adding 200-300 lbs). This gave the LS-L a much tighter suspension, and, I can say from personal experience, a very nice ride. However, the SVX is in no way comparable to a Porsche; Porches tend to have a shorter wheelbase, much lower curb weight and up until recently (ca. 2002), they all used air-cooled engines. If there is a car at all comparable to the SVX, it is the Ford Mustang of the late '80s (except for the AWD). Subaru was attempting to break into the burgeoning U.S. sport car market partly caused by Reaganomics. The SVX was a great first attempt by Subaru during their formative years on the World Rally Championship or WRC. The SVX bridged the gap between their earlier utilitarian vehicles and the pinnacle of affordable consumer sports cars today, the Subaru WRX. It was also their late-coming answer to the mid-80s Audi Quattro.

The driver and passenger side windows were designed in the half and half configuration because the car was too squat to allow the whole window to roll down. Because of the unique design, the forward roof pillars are larger than most cars and obstruct visibility somewhat. Traditional blind spots are absent, replaced by new ones beyond the rear roof pillars at about 4:00 to 4:30 and 7:00 to 7:30. The windshield is bowed significantly and can cause a (barely noticeable) fishbowl effect out the front of the car. Subaru did indeed miss the boat by leaving out the manual transmission, but the Subaru Legacy manual transmissions from '95 and '96 bolt right up to the engine, leaving only body mounts and driveshafts to bodge together. The automatic transmission in the SVX was not weak; it could easily handle ~450 horsepower. The reason for systemic transmission failure in the earlier models was an oversight caused by Subaru's inexperience: inadequate cooling. Without an aftermarket transmission cooler inline with the existing one or excessive changing of transmission fluid, particulates would emerge to block essential hydraulic paths inside the transmssion. Likewise, the oft failing rear wheel bearings were also capable of handling the weight of the vehicle and aggresive driving, but because of the large offset of the wide rims the bearings in the rear succumbed to bad geometry. There are other glaring problems that were never addressed by Subaru: the taillight housings would trap condensed moisture leading to premature oxidation of the bulb contacts; the sun visor retention mechanisms fail, causing them to droop into your field of vision.

Even with all these problems I still like the car because it is fast, handles well and when I clean it up it looks damn sexy. My favorite part of owning the car has little to do with the car itself though: The car was designed by an Italian guy who later went crazy and committed suicide. There is something intrinsically wierd (and sickly cool?) about driving a car designed by a crazy man!