4 June 2019

More than an old car #104: Subaru Rex/Viki M80

Cars come in all shapes and sizes, and it is the diversity that makes this blog more interesting. Small cars are generally not that popular because of its price: why pay so much for a midget when you could get a larger one by paying a little more? This has also made them an endangered breed on our roads, just like this 1991 Subaru Viki M80!

The Subaru Rex, was first introduced in 1972 as a replacement for the long-lived but outdated Subaru 360. Its name is derived from the Latin for 'king' and appealed to the young as a result of its wedge shape. The 3rd-generation Rex was released in 1986, where it featured mechanical and engine upgrades from its predecessor. A facelift was carried out in 1989, notably with headlights becoming more irregularly shaped.

While engine capacities for Japanese units were capped at 660 cc, export markets featured larger engine sizes. The car was also known as the Viki/M80 overseas as well. It was powered by a 758 cc EN08 i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 136 km/h with an acceleration of 17 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 3275 mm long and weighed 655 kg, which was very compact and light for its size.

Production of the Rex/Viki ended in 1991, with more than 1.9 million made across 3 generations. This unit has disappeared and most likely scrapped just 1 month ago, and I believe there are only 2 left in Singapore. It is a quirky car that still brings one from point A to B, although it was probably not collectible enough for the owner to give it another new lease of life. They were sold by Motorimage Enterprises, our local Subaru dealer and was relatively affordable at S$30,533 [S$54,600 in today's money]. Most people tend to forget about the existence of these less popular cars, and I hope this has been informative for you!

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