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2023-06-14 19:18:12

Craziest & Funkiest Automotive Interiors of All Time - The 1985 Subaru XT & Its Awesome Digital Dash

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Well , the 19 eighties certainly gave rise to a number of strange looking cars both inside and out .

And one of those strange looking cars came from a company that was known for building solid reliable economy cars and that was Subaru .

We don't normally talk about foreign cars on this channel , but if you're going to discuss awesome instrument panels and certainly strange ones , you can't leave out the 1985 Subaru X T interior from that conversation .

It's perhaps one of the funkiest interiors in all of automotive history , only surpassed by a few others that I can think of again in foreign cars .

But let's discuss the Subaru X T interior a bit more of what makes it so strange compared to other vehicles of its era .

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First of all , let's address the question of why Subaru would even elect to enter the so called sports car arena with the X T in the mid eighties .

Well , one can only presume that they were tired of watching Mazda with its R X seven and Nissan with its 300 Z X and perhaps even Toyota with its M R two have offerings in this space and really have nothing to compare to .

Hence the X T , which they interestingly never referred to in any literature as a sports car .

In fact , Subaru often referred to it as a new breed of personal luxury vehicle .

Well , certainly when one looks at the interior of this car , luxury , isn't the adjective that comes to mind .

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Strange , curious , odd , those are really adjectives that best describe the interior of the X T and indeed perhaps the exterior as well , which bore a distinctive wedge shape that at least endowed it with a very low 0.29 coefficient of drag which beat a number of sports cars of the era despite its funky looks .

But let's turn to the inside of the Subaru X D because that's where most of the weirdness exists once you can get past the exterior .

And the first thing that you notice when you're sitting in the cockpit is this very odd L shaped two spoke steering wheel .

This has to be one of the strangest looking two spoke steering wheels that I have ever seen .

Kind of reminds me a bit of the Citron one spoke , but it's an odd shape and it's not only odd because of the L shape on the two spoke wheel , which at least from my memory is the only one that I can recall in this form .

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But also because on the left side of the steering wheel where there's not a spoke , there is a thumb rest for driving at the nine o'clock position on the steering wheel .

So you don't have a spoke to rest your thumb on , but you do get this little notch in the steering wheel to make sure that you're ready to drive this personal luxury vehicle on whatever roads you so choose behind the steering wheel is a compliment of switches on the right .

The H VAC controls on the left , the lighting controls predominantly and these were affixed to pods which were affixed to the steering column .

On this car , you can tilt and telescope the wheel and those pods for the controls would actually move with the steering wheel as it went up and down and in and out so that they stay the same distance from your fingertips , no matter what position the steering wheel was located in .

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It's a bit similar of an idea to what a MC and Renault would use on the Eagle premiere .

Those pods off to the side of the steering wheel also moved up and down as one tilted the wheel next on the interior .

We must talk about the joystick control gear shift , which must have been particularly inviting for those who enjoy manual transmission vehicles to operate a joystick lever control back and forth to row through the gears .

In addition to being fun , the joystick featured on the top of it , a button to ensure that four wheel drive mode was engaged .

And when one engaged four wheel drive mode in these Subaru , the vehicle also raised its height by about 1.3 inches to assist in ground clearance .

And it also helped firm up the shocks .

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Unfortunately , if you got an automatic transmission model or you did not have the four wheel drive option , then this choice to control was a bit less fun and less video gaming as you can see here .

But it nonetheless was still an odd feature in the interior .

Next , let's turn to the gauge cluster and the electronic cluster in the Subaru X T .

In particular , the standard gauges were analog and really nothing to write home about kind of BMW style large tachometer , large speedometer with four mini gauges flanking them .

But the coolest instrument cluster that was featured in the Subaru X T was the digital cluster and in the realm of funky digital instrument clusters , this one if it doesn't take the cake certainly comes close .

I can't say that I've ever seen another instrument cluster that has this sort of horizon like design to it .

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And interestingly on one side of this horizon is the R PM gauge which as the engine R P MS increase a bar graph moves closer to you .

It's very similar on the right hand side of that horizon with the turbo gauge which as the turbo spools up , that gauge also comes closer to you or more proximate to you .

And in the middle of this instrument cluster is a picture of a car which really is kind of nondescript .

But when you push the four wheel drive button on the gear selector , the car physically raises up on the display to denote that your vehicle is raising its ride height .

And it also displays a four wheel drive logo .

So you , you know that that is engaged .

Those are certainly the most atypical elements of the gauge cluster .

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I do like however , that the temperature gauge on the left and the fuel gauge on the right are not two dimensional but are also three dimensional and tilted toward the vanishing point on the horizon as well .

And above , those are some rather conventional digital readouts on the right for MPH or you could switch that to kilometers per hour if needed .

And on the left is an R PM gauge in digits as opposed to trying to read the horizon line and figure out exactly what engine speed you are operating at .

And while some elements are conventional of this instrument cluster and some are unconventional the overall interior of this car , I just find it very interesting .

The Subaru somehow thought that this screamed personal luxury at least so much to advertise it .

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Perhaps they didn't want to say that it was a sports car because these X T S aren't overly powerful , particularly in the 1985 model year where in turbo form , which was the top optional engine , maybe about 100 and 11 horsepower and the standard engine was in the low nineties horsepower range without the turbo .

So they were overly fast .

I think the turbo vehicles went 0 to 60 in about 11 seconds .

The non turbo cars in about 14 seconds , which wasn't horrible for the time , but it certainly was not sports car territory .

And I surmise that's why Subaru wanted to avoid that moniker in these early years when the car was introduced .

Nonetheless , it has , I have to say one of the coolest interiors of all time and certainly is one that is worthy of mentioning on this channel just because it is so gosh , darn funky .

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I can't think of another domestic car that has something that's this wonky that drivers have to read as they drive down the roadway .

Let's now close out with an ad from 1985 for the Subaru XT .

You'll see why this ad is sometimes nicknamed the farm boy ad .

Hope you enjoy .

Let's take a look .

Remember when you were my age , dad .

Come on .

You remember when you were my age , dad ?

Come on , dad .

You understand what I mean ?

Right .

It's my first car .

It's your money , son .

But if you want my advice , buy another Subaru , it's been good to us .

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Sure , dad , I thought we agreed you'd buy a Subaru .

My dad , I did the new Subaru .

Thanks for watching this video .

Let me know if you enjoyed this feature on the Subaru X T if you did be sure to like , comment and subscribe and check out the video thumbnails at bottom , left and right for some suggestions for you .


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