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The interior of the 1980s Subaru XT is still the future

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Ah the 80's, besides the steering wheel, I don't think there is another curve in this picture, even the 0 on the dash is a square.

What about the silver knobs haha

I believe they’re an aftermarket upgrade.

Probably Bang & Olufsen... Or Clarion.

Alpine- lest we forget

Adjust the bass and let the Alpine blast

Definitely Alpine.

I'd believe that.

Or every oval button... Or the shifter...

I think there's a round (cigarette lighter?) thing just hidden behind the gear stick.

I don't think there is another curve in this picture,

Rounded edges are a big part of the aesthetic.

A pillar?

Weird how they had rounded corners everywhere.

56 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Aircraft-inspired cockpit

The inside of the car had many aircraft-like features such as pod mounted lighting, climate control and wiper controls. The standard tilting-telescoping steering moved the instrument panel to keep it lined up with the steering column when tilting. The shifter was joystick-shaped and had a thumb trigger interlock and "on-demand" four-wheel drive button. The approach to steering wheel adjustment was also seen in the Isuzu Piazza and the Ford Probe introduced earlier in the 1980s. Turbo models featured a sort of artificial horizon orange backlit liquid crystal instrument display with the tachometer, boost indicator, temperature and fuel gauges seen as three-dimensional graphs tilting back out to the horizon. The aircraft cockpit approach reflected influences from Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, which also manufactured aircraft, such as the Fuji FA200 Aero Subaru.

The XT was loaded with features rarely found on small cars, such as a turbocharger, a computer-controlled engine and transmission, adjustable height suspension[1] and an optional digital instrument cluster. The air suspension was inspired by various manufacturers who used Hydropneumatic suspension, such as Citroen, and Mercedes-Benz. The XT also had some features found on few other cars, such as an electronic in-dash trip computer, retractable flaps covering the door handles**, and a single wiper blade for the entire windscreen. Pass-through folding rear seats and racing style front seats were standard equipment.

My uncle had one of these long ago, it was fucking awesome.

The straight lines are just awesome! I love everything about the style of technology in the 80s.

They designed technology around the advances in microprocessors, but the limitations of storage media and display technology. Lots of electromechanical bits, which I can't get enough of.

12 points · 6 months ago

Can you elaborate? Id say its more accurate to say they designed the tech around microprocessor size limitations, and battery limitations more than anything.

Comment deleted6 months ago

I think the user was meaning tech in general.

I found mine a slug with a 5 speed standard and the turbo h4, I cant imagine anything as depressing as owning one with a slushbox like the 4 speed in the OP. My Toyota A70 felt like a supercar after that thing, the 7m was such a beast of an engine to play with as well.

The evolution from EA to EJ engines was also a huge leap, the NA pulled about as hard as the old turbo.

Did yours have the key for the speed warning in it? Can't remember if it was just a beeper or a lockout.

Neither by the time I got it, I was second owner in an AUSDM though

Man I love these types of car interiors. Same with a 1985 Datsun 200sx (not as awesome as this one), it's electronic gauges really caught my eye. I was so close to scoring one, but chickened out because of the horror stories I heard about those electronic gauges amongst other things.

300 zx with digi dash was awesome aswell

5 points · 6 months ago

Too bad they had a horrible reputation for breaking.

nightmares from that engine bay as well

3 points · 6 months ago

That’s doubly disappointing, as someone who has always wanted one but wasn’t alive yet when they were still new and reliable (enough).

They certainly have a unique visual flare but from my fellow mates big on jap cars that owned them throughout the late 90s and 2000s they definitely spent a generous amount of time on stands in their garage. Most of them ended up jumping on the Skyline bandwagon for a much cheaper and reliable turbo Nissan 6 banger experience.

I have had one for two years and haven’t driven it anywhere but home lol

Comment deleted6 months ago

I totally heard that in the voice of Roland Backison!

3 points · 6 months ago

Ah yes, Bitchin' Betty, I remember the day I brought mine home, and almost immediately disabled her.

My dad had a cutlass ciera with electronic gauge and these super plush velvet-ish dark blue seats. I remember thinking it was a nice ride.

They aren't bad little cars, especially with the bulletproof Buick 3.8L V6. Not the most high performance oriented vehicle, but they are reliable and ride nice, with the V6's (it had 2 different kind of V6's) delivering great low end torque for around town driving and highway cruising.

Original Poster30 points · 6 months ago

My favorite part is how the climate control buttons and such are these pods coming off the steering column, your passengers are sol if they don't like the temp lol

16 points · 6 months ago

As it should be lol

3 points · 6 months ago

My controls are in the middle but my passengers are still sol if they don't like it. I mean, they can ask me, but you don't just adjust my heating. If they do it goes back just to teach them a lesson.

The Japanese subtitle says it all - “Concentrate in comfort. Just like the feeling of an airplane pilot.”

Iirc if you lifted the hood it was really neat under there also, it looked like a nuclear reactor to me. The commercial for it was good to.

There’s something about retro futurism that is so fucking badass


"at Wilkin's Hyundai and Subaru, we have Hyundai's and Subaru's."

Nope! Chuck Tesla!

A wild /r/regularcarreviews reference? Neat.


Weebo weebo weebo

1980s japan- buttons for everything. 80 series Landcruiser, oh my god even came with an ice maker.

This is what an Atari would look like if it was a car. I love it.

The windows on this car are atrocious.

Also the door is on the wrong side of the steering wheel.


hehe as if anyone wants to hear any more opinions from americans

Australian model my dude

6 points · 6 months ago

Japan are also RHD, and given the Japanese text on the photo, I'd wager it's JDM

Yeah I realised that after I commented but... didn't care enough to edit it.

Which makes it a Subaru Vortex over here

Australia had cars in the 80s?

...I'll show myself out

2 points · 6 months ago

This guy ocker's

3 points · 6 months ago

I’m confused. Those are not someones attractive grandparents.

Where’s the flux capacitor?


Erased.......... From existence.

Is that a vision test on the dash? Lol

Looks like you get to play Rad Racer while driving.

This is almost as good as the Mitsubishi Magna elite.

Centre of the steering wheel looks like a gun. That's or johnny bravo's hand.

'member when 'auto reverse' tape decks were cutting edge?

That steering wheel makes me unreasonably angry

Rad racer intensifies

Is it possible to ask for all of that with an auxiliary cord or Bluetooth input?

If so, my dreams are real and unachievable.

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Absolutely my boy, buy your self a aftermarket stereo (ideally one that fits with the interior of this car) and BAM, you have both Bluetooth and a aux jack

Center of steering wheel looks like a hand pointing right.

“The road is that way..”

Love the "Power Window" plate on the door.

2 points · 6 months ago

These were my favorite cars when they came out. I remember sitting in the back seat, going by the Subaru dealer, and seeing these - can almost see it in slow-mo.. I got to see one up close at this same dealership and just seeing this amazing looking car, with a Subaru emblem, wow - kid's dream come true. Then I noticed the door handles and it all started again..

My ultimate favorite would have been a black XT-6 with a 5spd and the analog gauges. I know, slightly less 80's, but so awesome..

My adult version of this dream is the same black XT, but with matching rear fender flares (possibly from an '84 Supra, I dunno) and a 2004-2005 STi drivetrain. I mean can you even imagine?


2 points · 6 months ago

Magnificent! But the all time greatest ( if not necessarily the most futuristic) is that of the Lancia Beta Trevi


...but can it beat a Trueno x86 on a downhill mountain course?

First car was a Subaru GL-10, sort of a cousin to the XT

Several years later, worked as a mechanic at a Subaru dealership and had an XT come in for service. The turbo didn't work at all, along with just about everything else.

I learned then the valuable lesson that overcomplication is a horrible handicap to any engineered machine.

I love Japan

If u have ocd your never going to accept that steering wheel

I can feel this thing drifting to eurobeat

Id love to see a new model of a "retro" car like this that isn't a boxy American muscle car but with tech and modern safety features. Im sure there is a sizable market out there, like all those folks that bought those cube shaped cars.

Modern retro futuristic cars always look hideous see pt cruiser, the fj cruiser or how bmw shat on the Mini. Mandated safety requirements on hood height and everything else just make it too hard to get the nice flat sweeping lines that cars had in this period.

The current generaltions of Toyotas Century or J70 series land cruiser do a pretty good job of it though

My buddy's mom died in one of these. She hit at an intersection. Was a nice car though

That steering wheel would drive me insane!

knight rider meets mcfly

In the future we will ride our cars backwards.

I was just talking about this the other night. I asked my spouse if he had the chance to get one of his old cars back, would he do it?

I realized with modern technology in cars, I don’t think I will have the desire to go back since they will be missing things that I’ve come to enjoy like power windows & locks, USB connection, seat warmers and a screen for my nav system.

My parents generation (boomers) had classic cars to nostalgically look back on and many yard and garages were filled with these old cars from the 50s & 60s that were gong to be restored.

Even now, we still have car clubs and groups that meet at the mall to show off their restored cars. My question is, will our generation also collect old cars from the 80s & 90s like our parents did?

Is the nostalgia still there? As I said, the lack of technology might be a problem but there could be some of us who start collecting old 1985 Honda’s or something, instead of the 57 Chevys of my dad’s generation.

It makes me want to watch Total Recall

That steering wheel looks a bit difficult to hold.

British cars ain't.

CAPTION TRANSLATION: 'A cozy concentration. It's just like the pleasant feeling of an aeroplane.'

Lol saw that video randomly two earth days ago

That steering wheel is making me angry.

I need this car so bad

Why is it upside down?

That steering wheel is cancer.

Nah. It's a gun though. Look closely.

Nah I just meant for driving. There's barely anywhere to put your hams

There's like.....300 degrees of places to put your hands.

10 and 2?

A traditional wheel would have about 6 more places to rest your hams

9 and 3 is actually safer.

I prefer one on 12 and one on the handbrake

They designed a ham storage compartment in the back of the car. Spiral cut, honey-baked, smoked... you got them - they hold them.

Looks like a pop tart

Press F to pay respects.



Good bot

Why... Is it in neutral?

So the stick isn’t blocking the radio for the shot.

-1 points · 6 months ago

E-brake’s not even pulled...

Hate to break it to ya, but there's probably no roof, seats, or much else of a car outside of frame in this picture, let alone an actual transmission or even wheels.

So the 80's aren't real?

Oh no, they totally fucked up! The steering wheel is on the other side!

Where’s the nav?

I’m thinking Jackie Chan!

Jackie Chan is not Japanese.

I'm guessing they're referencing the Cannonball Run movie.

"anybody speak oriental?"

Thank you sir, exactly that.

The future is automatic? Who knew?

Your steering wheel is on the wrong side bro

That's the future bro! Right side!

-1 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Why is this the steering wheel on the wrong side? The future scares me. /s

Countries that drive on the left have steering wheels on the right. Not everywhere is America!

I forgot the /s. I apologize.

That was the point of my joke that no-one got.

-6 points · 6 months ago(0 children)
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