What Car Completely Surprised Everyone?

Illustration for article titled What Car Completely Surprised Everyone?

On this date in 1980, a ragtag US men's Olympic hockey team stunned the world by wrapping up the gold medal. Serious surprises are rare in the hypercalcuated spheres of both sports and automaking, but occasionally something amazing comes out of nowhere. What car was the biggest, ballsiest surprise?


These days it seems that the Japanese can do whatever they want, but in the late Eighties they were just starting to really stretch for the higher realms — and no one stretched farther or more daringly than Honda with the NSX. A Japanese exotic just did not make any sense to the very traditionalist sports-car world until what was then named the NS-X showed up in Chicago in February 1989 and promptly blew away everyone. People openly wondered if a Japanese company could pull something like this off; it didn't take long for the answer to become perfectly clear.

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Photo Credit: FurLined

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turd ferguson

The Subaru SVX. Even though its predecessor, the XT, had hinted at the weirdness Subaru was capable of, the SVX really took it to the next level with its swoopy styling, sort-of-odd two-tone paint, a dashboard slathered in pseudo-suede, and windows-within-windows.

The most surprising thing to me, though, was that a car that looked like this would, sadly, only be available with an automatic transmission.