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Car News:  Oversteer

The Subaru XT Is the Weird Subaru Coupe You Probably Don't Remember

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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2017

In the world of Subaru coupes, everybody knows about the SVX, because it's really weird-looking. And everybody knows about the BRZ, because it's on sale right now. But you probably didn't know about what might just be the strangest Subaru coupe of all: the XT.

Sold throughout the mid-to-late 1980s, the XT was a small Subaru coupe with wedge-shaped styling -- except for the glasshouse, which was, in true 1980s car fashion, boxy and inelegant. The XT had a strange, flat trunk and a surprisingly long hood, considering the available engines it contained were rather small: either a 1.8-liter flat four or a 2.7-liter flat six.

Initially, the XT's 4-cylinder was the only available engine, and it was offered in two varieties: naturally aspirated, where it made just 97 horsepower, and turbocharged, where it made 112 horsepower. But the XT always wanted for more power, so Subaru delivered it: A few years after launch, the automaker debuted the 6-cylinder XT6, with a raucous 145 horsepower. Vroom vroom.

Although I'm not exactly sure which engines were available with which drivetrains, I know the little XT offered both front- and all-wheel drive. I also know you could get it with a 4-speed automatic or, if you were a true speed demon, a 5-speed manual. And I know that while Subaru sold 100,000 copies of this car worldwide, there is currently just one listed on all of Autotrader in the entire country.

I also know this: When the San Francisco 49ers won Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, an XT6 was given to Super Bowl MVP Jerry Rice. In the press conference after the game, Rice said he drove a 300ZX in college, "and now I've got a Subaru. I've come a long way." He also said, "I've got so many cars now, I don't know what I'm going to do with a Subaru." I can only wonder what may have happened to it.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Subaru XT Is the Weird Subaru Coupe You Probably Don't Remember - Autotrader