Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign designed the slippery, sleek bodywork, incorporating design themes from many of his design concepts, such as the Ford Maya and the Oldsmobile Inca. Subaru decided to put the concept vehicle into production and retain its most distinguishing design element, the unconventional window-within-a-window. Subaru called this an "aircraft-inspired glass-to-glass canopy," which was borrowed from the previous model Subaru Alcyone with an additional extension of glass covering the A-pillar. The decision to release this car for production would give the public the first opportunity to drive a "concept car" as originally conceived.
In stark contrast to the boxy, angular XT, the SVX had curvy lines designed by Giugiaro and an unusual, aircraft-inspired "glass-to-glass canopy" with two-piece power side windows. The windows are split about two-thirds of the way from the bottom, with the division being parallel to the upper curve of the door frame. These half-windows are generally seen on exotic vehicles with "scissor", "gull-wing", or "butterfly" doors, such as the Lamborghini Countach, DeLorean DMC-12 (another Giugiaro design), and the McLaren F1. The SVX's aerodynamic shape allowed it to maintain the low drag coefficient of Cd=0.29, previously established by the XT coupe it replaced.