Remember Subarus Only Open Car Vivio GX-T? We Dont Either

Have you heard of the Subaru Vivio GX-T? It was a new open-car model built by Subaru, first released in 1992. It was a mini vehicle with two doors, seated four passengers, and had an open-air top.

Subaru says the Vivio GX-T featured a 3-slip roof and an electric rear window that could quickly transform the small car into five styles. It was powered by a four-cylinder 658cc engine producing 63 horsepower and 40 lb-ft of torque.

The Subaru Vivio GX-T rode on 13-inch tires, and the tiny 658cc engine was mated to Subaru’s Electronic Continuously Variable automatic Transmission (ECVT) with steering wheel paddle shifters. Customers could also get the car with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The Kei class model came in 3-door hatchback/van, 5-door hatchback, and 2-door “Targa top” body styles. In addition, it was offered in front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations.

photo credit: Wikipedia

Subaru Corporation (then Fiji Heavy Industries) manufactured the mini Vivio GX-T until 1998. Wikipedia says the car was small enough to place it in the Kei car class, giving its owners significant tax breaks in Japan.

The Vivio had a spacious interior considering its small size, thanks to a relatively tall profile and large windows. The name “Vivio” refers to the engine’s displacement of 660, written in an approximation of Roman numerals (VI, VI, O) and inspired by the word vivid.

Wikipedia says, “In May 1993, the Vivio T-top arrived, available only for special order. Only 3,000 were released to celebrate Subaru’s 40th anniversary, fitted with the fuel-injected EN07E engine and a five-speed manual or the ECVT transmission.”

“The T-top version was built by Takada Kogyo, a convertible specialist who assembled Nissan’s Figaro and Silvia Varietta, amongst other specialty cars. An additional 1,000 GX-T models were released in February 1994; these were fitted with the single overhead cam (SOHC) supercharged engine from the GX (EN07Z), only available coupled to the ECVT.”

The Vivio replaced the Rex nameplate introduced in the 1970s and was superseded by the Subaru Pleo. So it’s not surprising if you don’t remember the small car. The Vivio GX-T was only sold in Japan and many Europe countries and was never offered to U.S. customers.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker’s models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru

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