That time when Subaru made an RX-8 with a "frosted glass roof."
Name: Subaru B11S
Debuted: 2003 Geneva Motor Show
Specs: biturbo six-cylinder engine with 400 horsepower, all-wheel drive, five-speed automatic transmission
Why We Remember It Now:
The B11S was an interesting proposal for a sleek four-door coupe and it would have been even better with a different front bumper and without those silver body accents.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Mazda must have blushed after seeing the side profile of Subaru’s B11S at the Geneva Motor Show 14 years ago. Without B-pillars and very short rear doors, the concept bears a striking resemblance to the rotary engine-powered sports car created by the Zoom-Zoom company. One of the car’s highlights was the so-called “frosted glass roof” created specifically for the B11S and inspired by Japanese umbrellas to create the illusion of a convertible and lend the cabin an open-air vibe.
Back in the day, Subaru described the concept as being a “Gran Utility Turismo” by being able to accommodate up to four adults and their luggage in a performance car comfortable during long trips. It certainly had the specs to match the sporty look, featuring a horizontally opposed 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with two turbochargers granting a meaty output of 400 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.
As one would expect from a Subaru, the B11S was fitted with the company’s proprietary symmetrical all-wheel drive system featuring variable torque distribution. It had a five-speed automatic transmission and as standard it featured a rear-biased setup, with the torque distributed 35:65 front/rear.
Sadly, the “world class sports car,” as it was characterized by STI’s boss back then, remained strictly a concept. With a less Tribeca-like front bumper, it would’ve been a very nice car.