picture post“A concept car by Britain’s leading styling company”

1989 IAD Royale concept


1989 IAD Royale concept

The 1989 IAD Royale concept is the handy work of International Automotive Design, a British company. One intent of the high-style, low-slung sedan was to demonstrate how low the nose line could go… that is, with its Subaru-sourced, 2.7-liter flat-six engine. But that’s not the only Subaru component that was used.

1989 IAD Royale concept

Believe it or not, the Royale is built on the platform of a Subaru XT. It has been stretched more than 31 inches in length and almost 14 inches in width, bringing total dimensions to roughly 16.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide. Subaru’s gearbox and “4×4” transmission, suspension and steering were also employed.

1980s Subaru XT

A Subaru XT, introduced in the U.S. February of 1985, was the donor car for the Royale.

1989 IAD Royale concept

Though the flat-six permitted a low hood, it also delivered low performance numbers, only 145 hp to move its 3,000 pounds. But, on the looks front, this is my kind of style: 37.4- and 45.3-inch overhangs front/rear, respectively. Interestingly, an integrated LED screen at the rear could display driving data, including your registration number.

1989 IAD Royale concept interior

Inside, cream-colored leather covered lower surfaces peppered with electronics, including: ICE (In Car Entertainment) with a radio/cassette/CD/video/TV unit. Philips provided the gadgetry, except for the navigation system by CARIN.

1989 IAD Royale concept interior

On top of the full-length console were two rotary key pads, one at the front and the other at the rear. These actually rotated and controlled the above-described devices.

1989 IAD Royale concept interior

Even though it was 1989, the Royale provided each passenger an LCD panel that was fitted either in the seat backs or built into the dash. The console housed a laptop computer up front (rather ahead of their time) and at the back a, uh, fax machine.

1989 IAD Royale concept

In the end, Subaru never made use of any IAD designs, having worked instead with Italdesign on their subsequent SVX. IAD ended up working with Mazda, on the Miata.