The Iconic Subaru XT 4WD: A Special Purpose Vehicle
Oct 17, 2023
The Subaru XT 4WD is a special purpose vehicle that was introduced in 1985 and quickly gained a reputation for its futuristic design and innovative features. It was a game-changer for Subaru, a brand known for its reliable but unremarkable vehicles. The XT 4WD was designed to appeal to a younger demographic, and it succeeded in doing so thanks to its sleek, aerodynamic body and advanced technology.
The XT 4WD was powered by a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produced 97 horsepower. It was equipped with a 3-speed automatic transmission and had a fuel economy rating of 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. This may seem low by today's standards, but it was impressive for its time, especially considering its 4-wheel or all-wheel drive capabilities. Additionally, the XT 4WD had a unique "hill holder" feature that made it easier to start on steep inclines.
One of the most distinctive features of the XT 4WD was its "dual-mode" digital instrument cluster. It allowed the driver to switch between "normal" and "sport" modes, with the latter offering a more dynamic display of information. The XT 4WD also had a digital dashboard that could display various vehicle settings, including fuel efficiency, range, and outside temperature.
Despite its many advanced features, the XT 4WD was not without its flaws. Its futuristic design, which included pop-up headlights and a wedge-shaped body, was polarizing and not to everyone's taste. Additionally, the XT 4WD's high price tag and lack of interior space made it a tough sell for some buyers.
Nevertheless, the XT 4WD remains an iconic vehicle that is remembered fondly by many Subaru enthusiasts. Its unique design and advanced technology helped set the stage for future Subaru models, such as the Impreza and WRX. Today, it is a sought-after collector's item and a testament to Subaru's commitment to innovation and design.