Subaru Rioma

Subaru_Rioma_Concept_1.jpg

Wouldn't it be great if you could get a sports car with dual range all-wheel-drive, and a targa top?

No?

Subaru didn't think so, either—or at least the business case wasn't quite right for this one-off prototype. With a nose that was half Suzuki Cappuccino and half Ford Mustang Mach III, its styling sort of drops off and disappears near its tail.

The company has had a wild history of concept cars, and no real clear direction on styling. Frankly, it hasn't mattered: Subaru's wayward approach to design cues is legendary, and does little to deter buyers.

Why? No idea. Maybe it's because of long model cycles, maybe the company's focus on engineering, or maybe that the people who care what their car looks like just prefer Subarus. Anyway, engineering types will appreciate that its turbocharged 2.0-litre boxer motor would run on methanol or gasoline and the car's…four-point harnesses. 

What is it about the Rioma that leave me so cold? Based on its spec sheet, I should have already started transforming an old Impreza 2.5 RS coupé into a Rioma by grafting on a Del Sol's roof…

It may have made an interesting production car, but when I consider this space ship hitting the worldwide Subaru dealer network in 1991…it probably wouldn't have made it. And besides, the money saved was probably spent on hiring Colin McRae a few years later…or something.