1969 Subaru 360 SPT Delivery Van -- Click above image for high-res gallery

SEMA is just around the corner and aside from the inevitable Camaro riot that will be taking place in the convention center's parking lot, many auto folks are showing up with tuned rides. Like, for instance, Subaru. SPT is Subaru's in house tuning division and they're cooking up three nifty cars to put on display, each one better than the next.

First up is the WRX STI by SPT designed to demonstrate, "what a WRX STI owner can build at home using just the SPT catalog as a source for bolt-on parts." It's got ten more ponies (315, up from the stock STI's 305 hp), big old gold wheels, and special springs, sway bars and a lower chassis brace. Surely nice, but nothing new.

In Tokyo, it's all about "bippu," which is JDM for VIP. As such, Subaru has gone ahead and built a Legacy 2.5GT VIP for big ballers everywhere. What sets it apart? Well, for one thing, bippu means going low. To facilitate this, the top mounted Subaru intercooler is removed and replaced with a Mishimoto front-mounted intercooler to make room for the custom engine bay cover. But you got to go lower than that -- so the Legacy VIP gets air suspension to really kiss the ground. There's a whole bunch more, too, including Shinjuku Black Plum paint and the pleated leather interior.

But, the car we're really excited about is the van. Yeah man, a 1969 Subaru 360 delivery van to be precise. An honest to goodness microcar! Ten feet long. Four feet wide. Two-cylinder, two-stroke 25-hp engine. Suicide front doors -- and it's being fully restored as an SPT parts delivery van. But here's the cool part for those of you not making it out to SEMA -- the SPT parts van will tour the country going from dealership to dealership. Have you ever seen anything so close to perfection in your life? Didn't think so. Big old press release, after the jump.


Related GallerySEMA 2009: Subaru Preview

[Source: Subaru]


Press Release

Subaru Concepts Push the Limits of the Fast, the Low and the (Very) Slow for 2009 SEMA Show

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced two tuner models along with a "blast from the past" Subaru classic that will debut at the 2009 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 3-6. Further models will be announced in due course.

Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT®), Subaru of America's in house performance division, built a custom Impreza WRX® STI® and Legacy® VIP concept especially for the 2009 SEMA Show. The WRX STI by SPT demonstrates what a WRX STI owner can build at home using just the SPT catalog as a source for bolt-on parts. The WRX STI by SPT offers more power along with even sharper handling response, making it the ideal machine for high style street performance or track driving.

The Legacy VIP is a one-of-a-kind vehicle inspired by the VIP rides found on the streets of Tokyo, Los Angeles and New York. It uniquely blends parts from SPT and the Japanese domestic market (JDM) with custom features for the "full VIP treatment." VIP is a style known for a clean, yet heavily reworked, luxury theme with an emphasis on impossibly low ride height and huge, aggressively styled wheels.

Those connected to this scene don't say "V-I-P" but rather call it "bippu" in a nod to its Japanese roots. "Traditional" VIP rides are based on rear-wheel drive vehicles; the Subaru Legacy VIP breaks the mold by applying the look to an all-wheel drive sedan with an extra dose of East Coast flair.

The third vehicle announced for Subaru's SEMA display is also one-of-a-kind: A special SPT delivery van that promises to deliver go-fast parts very slowly. That's because it only has 25 horsepower.

The 1969 micro van (emphasis on "micro") was one of the first models sold by Subaru of America. Its two-cylinder, two-stroke engine musters 25.3 lb.-ft. of torque. Less than 10 feet long and barely more than four feet wide, the Subaru micro van could be used to deliver SPT parts inside Subaru's headquarters campus. Nearly as impressive as its 66-MPG economy is the patience needed to drive it for 66 miles.

Details: 2010 Subaru WRX STI by SPT

The drivetrain in the WRX STI by SPT is essentially stock, which means a 2.5 liter DOHC, 16 valve, turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer® engine with Dual Active Valve Control System. Backed by a 6-speed close ratio manual transmission, it gets power to the road via Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), limited slip helical front differential and TORSEN® rear differential.

The engine remains stock, including 14.7 PSI max. boost. An SPT exhaust system boosts horsepower to 315 hp @ 6,000 RPM (up from the stock 305), while peak torque remains stock at 290 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 RPM. There is also an SPT turbo heat shield. For that extra dose of style under the hood, the car features an SPT billet oil cap v2.0 and SPT billet battery hold down v2.0; an STI front lip spoiler and SPT exhaust finishers complete the look.

The stock WRX STI is already a master of the curves; the WRX STI by SPT ups the handling ante with readily available accessories: 19 x 8.5-in. Prodrive® GT2 wheels are finished in Glitter Gold and wear Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 245/35R19 performance tires. Suspension is tweaked with STI performance springs, an SPT strut tower brace and an SPT lower chassis brace.

Interior appointments and electronics are geared to what the average enthusiast can afford and use. So, you won't find half a dozen 10-inch LCDs scattered around the interior. An SPT boost gauge, a media hub digital music integration system and an auto-dimming mirror with transflective display and HomeLink® transmitter, are all available from the SPT catalog. Final touches include an STI shift knob and all-weather floor mats (because Subaru drivers aren't afraid of the weather.)

Details: Subaru Legacy 2.5GT VIP

The 2010 Legacy is all-new, built on a new platform that increases room and comfort while preserving the agility and fun-to-drive spirit of the previous model. Its new midsize roominess and comfort make Legacy an ideal candidate for the VIP ("bippu") treatment. This transformation, however, is not for the faint of heart.

The 2010 Legacy 2.5GT starts out strong enough; its new 265-hp turbocharged/intercooled is teamed exclusively to a new 6-speed manual transmission for 2010 along with the Continuous Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (viscous coupling locking center differential). So, the Legacy can go on when the snowflakes fall. The stock torque curve (258 lb.-ft. at 2,000-5,200 RPM) makes city VIP-ing smooth and easy in this Legacy.

The turbo Boxer is dressed up with a custom full engine bay cover, SPT billet oil cap v2.0 and SPT billet battery hold-down v2.0. To go "bippu" is to go low, starting with the profile. The stock Subaru intercooler, which inhales through a hood scoop, is replaced by a Mishimoto front mount intercooler with custom piping, to allow a smooth hood.

To ride low, the Legacy VIP gets air suspension system from Universal Air®. The MC3 Enterprises Trinidad wheels were custom machine for this vehicle and measure 20 x 10-inch in front (30 offset) with a 3-inch lip; the 20 x 10-inch rear wheels have a 12 offset and 4-inch lip. The 235/30R20 Falken FK452 tires are "stretched a bit."

Subaru sourced a number of body parts from the Japanese domestic market (JDM) Legacy, including: hood, bumper faces, sport grille, front and rear under spoilers, HID headlights and fog lights. The power folding signal mirrors with chrome caps and the vent shades likewise come from the JDM Legacy parts supply. Roof and decklid lip spoilers were added to keep the lines of the car clean.

Custom touches start with the rolled and flared fenders and add a chrome trunk garnish and door handles, along with puddle lights. The body is sprayed in Shinjuku Black Plum. The Legacy VIP interior is almost fully custom, featuring diamond stitch seats and door trim finished in Togarashi Red. An interior illumination kit and illuminated sill plates add a VIP glow.

SPT catalog parts include an auto-dimming mirror with transflective display and HomeLink transmitter and an STI Duracon shift knob.

The rear seat passengers enjoy the full VIP treatment, starting with bucket seats and a motorized compartment for valuables. Onboard entertainment is offered through a JVC KD-AVX77 touch screen head unit up front and twin rear seat multifunction displays in the rear. A custom carputer integrates the added subsystems. A pair of JBL amps (GT5-A604 4-channel and GT5-A3001 sub amp) powers six JBL speakers and two JBL 10-inch subs.

Details: 1969 Subaru SPT Parts Delivery Van

The Subaru SPT Parts Delivery Van is a fully restored 1969 Subaru 360 van and features prominent SPT livery. The restoration was undertaken by Subaru of Las Vegas and will be displayed in their showrooms after the show.

  • Engine: 356 cc, 2-cylinder, 2-stroke, air-cooled
  • Horsepower/torque: 25 @ 5,500 RPM / 25.3 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 RPM
  • Length: 117.9 inches
  • Width: 51.0 inches
  • Height: 53.0 inches
  • Curb weight: approx. 950 lbs.
  • Fuel economy: 66 miles per gallon
  • Smile factor: priceless