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Old 11-16-2000, 10:54 PM   #1
CRZ_MSL
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Lightbulb More predictions re: 2003 SVX

After more thought on the topic...

I think Subaru, for better or worse, is trying to move it's brand image up-market in the USA. Perhaps not into Lexus/Mercedes territory, but definitely into Acura/BMW. (I know some will disagree with those groupings, but lets put that aside for now). They won't be able to do that without a 2-door GT coupe. They tried to do it with the SVX-II, but it was too much too soon. I see them taking a two-pronged approach:

When us 'Murricans see a little 4-door Subaru beating the crap out of the 3-Series BMW, the Acura lineup, and other cars costing $10K more (The WRX has almost the same HP as a Boxster!) then perhaps Subaru will be know for more than Paul Hogan. Sales of GT-2 on the Playstation won't hurt either.

The Legacy appears to be positioned to go for the market where the Current Accord and the pre-decontented Camry are. These manufactuers have something that Subaru does not: a 6-cylinder, 2-door version of their mainline model. Even Mitsubishi has a 6-cylinder version of their new and "improved" Eclipse. In a year or so I expect the new 6-cylinder to be available in all versions of the Legacy, don't expect anything more than a turbo-4 in the Impreza. We might see a limited release of the B4-RSK in the USA (5000 units?), but I doubt it-- Impreza = performance as far as Subaru is concerned.

We have spent much time concentrating on the new Impreza and no one has asked what the new Legacy will look like. It's a sure bet that the sedan will have the option of the H-6 in 2001, as a 2002 model. And about 1 year later I expect the release of a 2-door version... anyone care to guess what it will be called? Anyone? Anyone? And unlike the Impreza, it aint gonna be cheap. But it will be fast. And luxurious. And easy to drive for 36 hours straight (been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Never again!)

But here is the kicker: How are they going to sell a luxury GT with less HP than the cheaper Impreza? That would be crazy. Currently there are no plans to bring a 2-door version of the Impreza to the USA. I'm betting that contrary to popular belief, the US Impreza will be de-tuned to have less HP than the 220hp 6-cylinder engine-- otherwise the cheaper car will have more HP than the more expensive, higher profit margin, Legacy. It's like giving the Celica a better engine than the Camry Solara. The M3 a better engine than the M5. I'm not talking about HP potential, just what the engine will be (de-)tuned to. No 2-door Impreza leaves a gaping hole in their lineup for a larger, 2-door performance coupe of the flavor that 'Murricans love to drive when not behind the wheel of an SUV.

Taking all this into consideration, I predict the following:
Look for a new SVX that is a 2-door version of the next Legacy in 2003-2004. It will be hella expensive (for a Subaru), but by that time they will have the mind share to pull it off. Engine will probably be a higher HP version of the flat-6, or a twin-turbo version of the I-4. It will have more HP than the most powerful Impreza available in the USA. Not saying that it will have better 1/4 mile times, just a more powerful engine. The SVX-III will be offered as an automatic/manumatic only.

If we do see a 2 door Impreza in the states before the release of the SVX-III , then the following engine options, in order of likelyhood will be available on the SVX-III: Non-turbo H-6, Turbo H-4, Twin-turbo H-4, Twin-turbo H-6. All without stick-shift. If the 2-door Impreza arrives after the SVX, then either it will be available in limited numbers, with the same engine as the standard WRX.

Of course, Subaru could cheat, sell the 2-door Impreza here and call it the SVX.

If the SVX-III arrives before the 2-door Impreza, the 2-

Only time will tell how far off I am.

Not a whole lot is known about the new flat-6. Is a twin-turbocharged version in the works?
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Old 11-17-2000, 06:43 AM   #2
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CRZ_MSL,

I recently contacted SOA via email regarding the "2003 SVX". Their response..."we have no plans to reintroduce the SVX...look for a performance model based on the Impreza in the near future..."

I don't think that the new SVeza will be badged a SVX...

Pski

[This message has been edited by Pski (edited November 17, 2000).]
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Old 11-17-2000, 07:48 AM   #3
CRZ_MSL
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A performance model based on the Impreza? Wouldn't that be the WRX?

In the near future?
Wouldn't March 1st, 2001 qualify?

I still stand by my prediction.


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Old 11-17-2000, 08:36 AM   #4
Pski
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CRZ_MSL

I will post the original replies tonight when I get home...the above were from memory. I know I used " ".

Pski

BTW It seems that CRZ_MSL, Never2phat, kastle, richeich and myself are the only ones keeping this board alive. What happened to Arejay...waiting for his ARRRRRRGH regarding the Yellow SVX post.

We need some new blood.
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Old 11-17-2000, 10:59 AM   #5
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CRZ, could you clarify what you are talking about when you refer to the SVX-II and SVX-III? I'm assuming the SVX-III would be the as-yet-unbuilt model, but what's the difference between the others?
Your ideas about a 2-door Legacy becoming the next SVX are "interesting", but it seems more likely (and less expensive for Subaru) to re-badge a WRX coupe. Also more profitable.
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Old 11-17-2000, 01:15 PM   #6
richeich
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I'd have to agree with CRZ's assesment. I think a coupe based on the Legacy platform would be a good step for Subaru. Based on the marketing flop of the SVX though, I'd be surprised if that name was ever used again by Subaru.

Rich

(Oh yeah- and I don't even own an SVX anymore. I just like you guys, that's all.)
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Old 11-17-2000, 01:30 PM   #7
CRZ_MSL
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Firstly, I'll address your SVX 1/2/3 question. The SVX sold in the USA was originally badged as the Alcyone SVX in Japan. The Alcyone SVX was the direct successor in the Subaru lineup to the Alcyone XT. I think Alcyone was going to for Subaru what Acura is for Honda, but they managed to screw the pooch real bad. Subaru did such a poor job marketing the SVX that the folks at Amiga sent them a fruit basket.

(Actual details of the pooch-screwage can be found in the book "Where the Suckers Moon")

Realizing that few people had heard of Alcyone, instead of using "Alcyone-II" for the SVX, I used "SVX-II".

Subaru XT = Alcyone XT
Subaru SVX = Alcyone SVX
Subaru Amadeus = Alcyone III (Never built, only a concept car)

As to the SVX being based upon the 2-door version of the Impreza: I don't think so. Badging the 2-door IMpreza as an SVX ignores the fact that all the world knows a 2-door Impreza is still an Impreza. The 2-door may be produced in limited numbers. But not as an SVX, not bagging on the Impreza but the cockpit of a 2000 2.5RS still does not hold a candle to the cockpit of a 1992 SVX. I doubt that the new Impreza will be a match either.

I still stand by my prediction: The SVX will be a special "BMW 8-Series" version of the Legacy. Any 2-door Imprezas will fill the M3 niche.


edit = me realizing that the new Legacy will be a lengthened Impreza. So I guess the new SVX will be an Impreza of sorts, but nothing as mundane as a 2-door versrion of the current Impreza.

[This message has been edited by CRZ_MSL (edited November 17, 2000).]
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Old 11-17-2000, 02:53 PM   #8
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Wrong way the IMPREZA is based off of the Legacy. Although it seems like Subaru in the new MY01/02 WRX has taken the two on separate paths. The New WRX retains the old suspention in the rear while the Legacy migrated to a new rear suspention. I don't know if the shells were reinforced in the same ways or not. It could be like the Z3 is based off of a generaion or two older 3 series flor pan, with the older suspention. It seems in the Z3 that it will alway be back a bit for cost and development reasons. The Impreza may go down the same road.

A SVX would certainly be built on the Legacy platform, but I DOUBT it would be shortened. I would bet that they would simply make it a new version of the old SVX, a Large fairly quick GT, not a canyon carver like the WRX. More to the point they already have the Legacy B4 RSK, and Legacy GT-B as thier GT's, WHY make something else that may or may not make money when they already have something on the shelf that works in thier "image" of a Subaru lineup.
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Old 11-17-2000, 03:05 PM   #9
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Greetings,

From SOA:

11/15/00

"Dear Dr. Smith:

Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site, and for your continued loyalty to our products.

Unfortunately, we no longer have the Road and Track Guide literature available for the SVX model. There are also no plans to eintroduce the SVX for 2003.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us, and I hope we can be of future assistance.

Best wishes!
Pam Federer
Subaru of America, Inc."

05/19/00

"Dear Dr. Smith:

Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site, and for your continued interest in our products.

Unfortunately for many enthusiasts like yourself, we stopped production of the SVX in early 1997. There haven't been any new
SVX models available for quite some time. At this time, we don't have any plans to import a similar model to the SVX into the
United States.

However, we do expect to direct our performance strategy toward the Impreza model in the future. This won't be until
approximately the 2001 calendar year as a 2002 model.

As for the ST-X, we are hopeful that the ST-X may become a future model for Subaru, and we are actively researching this with
our manufacturer. However, at this time, no decisions have been made. Please be sure to visit our section on our Web site
dedicated to the ST-X at (www.subaru.com/calcon).

Again, we appreciate your interest in our products, and hope you are again, a future Subaru owner!

Best wishes!
Pam Federer
Subaru of America, Inc."

That is all..

Pski

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Old 11-17-2000, 03:47 PM   #10
CRZ_MSL
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Say it isn't so! Is Subaru going to peg it's future on the continuation of the misbegotten love for SUVs?

I know that Subaru has the Legcay B4-RSk as a GT cruiser, but one problem: The B4 does not come in a 2-door version.

For the same reason the most Impreza owners prefer 2-doors, a 2-door version of the Legacy won't take the same niche as a Legacy B4 any more than the Lexus SC-400 steps on the feet of the GS-400.

OK, seems like our only hope is that Subaru will have an SVX-like vehicle, but called something other than the SVX.
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Old 11-17-2000, 10:58 PM   #11
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The "modern" Japanese GT IS a 4dr or Wagon. The Skyline is a throwback to a tiem long forgotten. Its the European concept of GT thats reamained true to this day with the 2dr freaks of nature like the Vantage 600. However the XJ-R, M5, and the AMG tuned MB's are showing a return to the big sport sedan of old, but they are mcuh more of a GT than ever before.

Give it another 5 years before the small cars are back in, then another 5 for the big 2dr GT's to return.
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Old 11-18-2000, 08:09 AM   #12
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"Give it another 5 years before the small cars are back in, then another 5 for the big 2dr GT's to return. "

What?!!!! By that time...I'll be an old geezer(no offence to older folks on the board ) and I'll probably be forced to an SUV or mini van.
 
 

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