The XT was Subaru’s attempt to be normal | Revelations with Jason Cammisa | Ep. 23

The 1985 Subaru XT 4WD Turbo was what happened when Subaru attempted not to be unusual.

Honda had the Prelude, Toyota had the Celica, and Subaru had an issue– at the end of the despair age, sports coupes were getting fun and quickly. And Subaru didn't have a vehicle to take on them.

The business's -series flat-four slowly got a turbocharger and overhead cameras, and in the XT Turbo it made a full 111 hp. With AWD traction and a 5-speed manual, it got to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds– which was genuinely quick for a Subaru. It had a coefficient of drag as low as 0.29, making it the most aerodynamic automobile sold in America.

Looking back, the XT previewed numerous innovations and features typical in today's vehicles: height-adjustable air suspension, turbocharged four-cylinder engines, all-wheel , digital dashboards, a hill-holder function, speed alarm, a concentrate on aerodynamics, trunk pass-through, journey computer, you name it!

That preview was done, however, though the eyes of what was possible utilizing 1980s innovation, which instantly suggests it was a bit odd. And then, it was a Subaru, and Subarus were extremely odd. Very, really strange.

And yet also extremely cool.

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The XT was Subaru's attempt to be normal | Revelations with Jason Cammisa | Ep. 23

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31 Comments

  1. The shuddering understeer is hilarious and familiar. My family and I have owned virtually every type from this brand since ‘81. The weirdness is probably only eclipsed by Citroen. Great story Jason.

    1. All I know is that everyone that buys a brand new Subaru, like straight from the dealership, won’t buy anything else. Them ppl do love their Japanese heavy equipment. Lol

    2. @rockzs74r one STi, one SVX, and one Baja Turbo have been the highlights. Most everything else have been various wagons and Outbacks. We like them and they work.

    3. @Francisco Rivera thats very true. I sold them for 5 years. Great brand to be associated with but the customers are savagely loyal, can buy what they want, and are very uhhh, unique. I enjoyed it immensely and being on both sides of them has been great too.

  2. You can absolutely tell Jason is a true car lover. Does something sketchy in the car, car responds well enough to not kill you, pats the dash

    1. I do the same thing for a different reason. As soon as I have to slow down for any reason after ripping through some twisties I “tee hee”, pat the dash, and say “good car!”

  3. I wish was Subaru was still strange. Seems like the last several years they’ve gone “corporate,” chasing sales figures. Give us another Baja, or better yet, a BRAT!

    1. Yes! They have only let me down in recent years. I would order a levorg sti today if they brought it over.

  4. That drive through looked way faster and engaging than the more powerful cars you’ve had 😂

  5. My Godmother had one spec’d just like this and I’ve been dying to find one like this to buy. I’m guessing the Radwood effect may make that impossible for a poor boy like me. Another great video, Jason. 👍🏽

  6. I think if the Subaru XT was made a few years earlier – it would be the main star in the movie “Back To the Future” instead of the DeLorean.

  7. I’ve actually seen one of these in person – my local Subaru dealer actually has one in their lobby

  8. I’ve always loved this car, and wanted one. Unfortunately, even in 1:64 scale, I can’t afford it (there’s only one 1:64 version, made in very limited quantities by a defunct company called CM’s, occasionally available on eBay for over $100). Jason, are you feeling compassionate and generous? 😉

  9. That drive at the end was by far and away the sketchiest one yet. I felt for the owner on that one.

  10. He also neglected to mention that Subaru was the official vehicle of the Winter Olympics, because of its 50/50 weight distribution and 4WD. That’s also why the spare is mounted under the hood.

  11. The JDM name was vortex, it was a very fast car back in the early 90s my mates older brother had one.

  12. Memories. I had one. A 1987 XT base model with the sun and power package. It was baby blue with the same interior as the one you tested. I miss that car. If i was brave enough, I would have replaced the timing belt when it needed it. to this day, if i can find an XT6 AWD, I would snatch it up and enjoy every second of it. Jason, nice legs bro. lol. you’re too much. love your writing and your videos. I can’t wait for the next surprise you have for us. 50 pound spiders Jason? I now look at my door handles again. Thanks.. I hate spiders… A LOT!!!

  13. The XT is one of those cars only the 80’s could have produced. Obscure and technically advanced for its time.

  14. I started my automotive engineering apprenticeship on Subarus 1985.
    As wearied as Subaru was, customers just kept buying the next model out because of reliability.
    ( I now own 7x !)

  15. And when the Subaru´s isn´t weird enough, Citroën got your covered. You want computer controlled active self-leveling suspension? Check! How about drive by wire active steering? Check! Thirteen windows? Check! Lotus handling AND RR comfort? Yep. Did you want it in 1989? No problem. It´s name is XM.

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