The Subaru Vivio T-Top Was An Actual Car In Spite Of What You May Think

I can hear you from all the way over here. “That’s not a real car, Raph,” you shout at your computer screen. “You made that up. It’s a figment of your imagination!” Hah. I wish. This thing is real as hell.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Subaru Vivio T-Top Was An Actual Car In Spite Of What You May Think

This is the Subaru Vivio T-Top, sold from the end of 1992 to 1996, a product from the tail end of the Bubble Era, when the Japanese domestic market was fiercely competitive and Japanese carmakers tried to produce niche variants of existing vehicles to stand out, like the Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce.

Advertisement

You, an American, would not exactly recognize the Vivio from your local Lucky’s lot. We never got the car here in America. It’s very small. It does not pretend like it can cross the Rubicon. It is a kei car, limited in size and power by Japanese regulations to being a good size or two down from, say, an Impreza, with a inline four-cylinder engine of only 658cc. Base model power was a spritely 48 horsepower. The most powerful version, by contrast, was a dual-cam supercharged version with a legally-limited 64 HP.

Hell yeah look at this thing. Vivio GX-T. Yeah.

Illustration for article titled The Subaru Vivio T-Top Was An Actual Car In Spite Of What You May Think

But that’s not what’s important here.

Here’s what’s important: Multi Top.

Illustration for article titled The Subaru Vivio T-Top Was An Actual Car In Spite Of What You May Think
Advertisement

Look at its multitudinous variations! Fully enclosed coupe. A T-bar top. A closed top with an open back. An open top with a closed back. A fully open convertible. That’s a lot of variations. Not bad.

I will also add this, per Car Styling’s review of this vehicle when it was new in 1993. Hold on to your hats, folks, this is a shocker:

The T in “T-Top” stands for “town.”

WHAT.

Town?

Subaru. What in the good goddamn hell were you thinking in the 1990s.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

doncdh
GhostCommuter

It’s cute, but if you feed it after midnight: