Published on November 14th, 2014 | by BajaBusta0
1983 Subaru GL 4X4 Wagon Test Drive
Despite its ambiance, the GL was not meant to be an all out dirt eater. Subaru engineers insisted that this was a front drive station wagon blessed with the capability of a four wheel driver, and so they refer to the auxiliary system as On Demand Four Wheel drive. For road use, the system remained dormant; the front wheels did all the pulling just as they would in any Subaru. But when they asphalt got greasy all the driver needed to do was keep the front wheel straight release the clutch and pull the on demand lever back one notch, to high range. If the inclemency got really hairy or the terrain suddenly started to ascend, another pull will noiselessly multiply the overall transmission ratios to provide a 46% gear reduction. The crawler gears were practically matched to the frictional coefficient of loose gravel or dirt back road and give the driver the feeling that even with the transmission in 4th, the GL would not be running too fast for the conditions.