Rare Rides: Get Some SCX in a 1992 Oldsmobile Achieva

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides get some scx in a 1992 oldsmobile achieva

Not just any regular old Achieva, the SCX was a cut above its siblings. In adding actual performance to the SCX trim, the Oldsmobile brand had one last hurrah with a performance coupe.

And someone’s taken care not to drive this one much at all.

By the early Nineties, General Motors saw it was time to replace Oldsmobile’s compact car offering. The N-body Cutlass Calais (nee Calais) held the compact banner for the Rocket brand ever since the 1985 model year. It was time for something entirely new.

Enter the Achieva, which was… an N-body. On dealer lots for the 1992 model year, the new Achieva matched the prior Cutlass Calais’ wheelbase, but offered a more modern, aerodynamic body. Achieva was available in either coupe or sedan guises, and in four total trim levels: S and SL were available on both coupe and sedan, while upmarket SC and SCX trims were reserved for the coupe only.

A W41 designation appeared late in the run for the Cutlass Calais, joining the 442 badging on the most sporty coupe model for 1991. Though the 442 nomenclature went away, the W41 stuck around, paired with the SCX trim on the Achieva in 1992.

Buyers who sprang for the SCX W41 received revised front and rear bumpers, a pair of fog lamps, and cladding around the sides of their sports coupe. In addition to exterior detailing, the interior saw a revised speedometer with 140 miles an hour listed (the standard car read 120).

That speed was made possible by a higher output engine than other models. The naturally aspirated inline-four engine was officially the W41 version of the Oldsmobile Quad 4. Ten more horsepower were on tap over the standard engine, for a total of 190. This was achieved via a less restricted exhaust system and different camshafts. Meanwhile, a recalibrated ECU upped the engine’s redline to 7,200 RPM. GM even built a special version of the five-speed manual for use in the SCX, with revised gearing assisting in acceleration and peak performance.

Underneath, the car rode on wider tires supported by a modified FX3 suspension package. FX3 changes included a wider rear axle with dual sway bars, a larger sway bar up front, and electronically adjustable shocks and struts.

Though it did offer exciting performance, the SCX W41 was not long for the world. Olds cancelled it after the 1993 model year. In total, 1,146 examples were produced in ’92, and 500 escaped the factory in ’93. Today’s 1992 example is in black, a medium-rare choice amongst the colors on offer that year. Just 218 black cars were produced. This one’s at a dealer in Ohio with just over 17,000 miles under its belt. Said dealer is willing to take $14,990 or thereabouts.

A small price to pay for the very last W-branded performance Oldsmobile.

H/t to Adam Tonge for finding this Achieva via his love of… looking at Achievas.

[Images: seller]

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  • Hifi Hifi on Nov 12, 2018

    Crush it and recycle it into something decent.

  • Fah-Que Fah-Que on May 17, 2023

    Even funnier (Comically pathetic) was when Chrysler bought AMC, a Chrysler executive who requested anonymity made a hilarious comment on what Chrysler was going to call the new brand. He said something like:

    "They should name it LeBaron. They name EVERYTHING LeBaron.".

    Remmeber how many Chrysler LeBarons' there were back then?

  • CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
  • Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.