• Isuzu Piazza

The Isuzu Piazza was a product manufactured by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Isuzu 1980-1993 hatchback sports coupe. In the U.S., the Piazza was sold as Isuzu Impulse, in Australia as a Holden Piazza. Technically based Piazza I with rear-wheel drive on the Isuzu Gemini I, who was related to the Opel Kadett C. Had the 2nd generation, as the temporary Gemini models, front-wheel drive and was available in Canada as Asüna Sunfire. Was derived from the second generation the model Geo Storm as a sports coupe, hatchback and station wagon. The Geo Storm again was marketed from 1992 in Japan as the Isuzu PA Nero and replaced here the Piazza.

1978 Isuzu Giorgetto Giugiaro gave the commission to design a new sports coupe to succeed the Isuzu 117 Coupe. Isuzu left Giugiaro several Isuzu Gemini and gave him a free hand in the execution of the contract. The result was Giugiaro prototype Asso di Fiori ("Ace of Spades"), which was shown under general applause at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1979 for the first time. Giugiaro spoke of his "Copernican Revolution fifth" because he had succeeded, To combine design innovation of several previous prototypes in a large-series design. Within 48 hours Isuzu decided to leave the prototype minimal change to go into production.

In November 1980, Piazza went to Japan in the sale. To select the time being were a two-liter inline four-cylinder overhead camshaft and 120hp or a DOHC two-liter with 99 kW (135hp), each with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. From 1984, also a turbo version of the SOHC two-liter was available, the (180 PS) carried out 132 kW and the twin cam engine replaced. Available was the Piazza in numerous trim levels: Bella, XN, XJ, XE, XG, Nero and others. In addition to the regular suspension it was developed by Irmscher and Lotus Sport Suspension.

In the U.S., the Piazza in 1983 was introduced as Isuzu Impulse, as well as in Australia as a Holden Piazza. Initially there was only the two-liter SOHC, here with 91hp. The turbo version made 142hp.

1987 Piazza learned a facelift with a larger rear spoiler and elimination of the pop-up headlights in favor of exposed units. Only in the U.S. replaced a 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 112hp to two liter naturally aspirated engine. All Piazza were developed by Lotus sports suspension with stiffer springs and modified stabilizers and dampers. Until August 1990, produced by Isuzu Piazza I total 113 419 copies. In Germany, the Piazza was not offered.

The second generation Piazza (in the U.S. again pulses) was built on the GM platform R. GM had commissioned Isuzu to develop Spectrum, which then came to the market as a Geo Storm with the successor of Isuzu Gemini also a sportier successor of Geo. The body design of Storm was strongly influenced by GM, much of GM Europe, and the design template for the Lotus ElanM100. Under the leadership of Shiro Nakamura, Isuzu’s former design chief, was the new Generation of Gemini and the derived Geo Storm. Both, however, a successor to the Piazza/should distinguish pulses. Thus Nakamura’s team began the Storm coupe with another rear and one on the Gemini III ajar front to develop. Here they took over from the first Piazza design elements such as the semi-concealed headlights with integrated grille beneath the hood, as well as the design of the rear lights, under the impact of European Design style. With European design was later also the Piazza II in Japan applied. The second generation Piazza was not re-marketed as a Holden in Australia, possibly due to lack of sales of the previous model.

The three-door model was introduced in 1989 as pulses XS and offered from 1990 in the U.S. and Canada. Technically, there were now front wheel drive with a four-cylinder 1588cc DOHC petrol engine (4xE1) with 130hp (97 kW). Lotus Cars which also belonged to GM as Isuzu, had originally used the 1.6 liter engine and transmission from the Isuzu Gemini II, revised for the Lotus Elan M100. Isuzu decided to install this combination in the pulses. Lotus completed this the Fine tuning of the suspension of the pulses now stiffer shock absorbers, larger stabilizer and softer springs. All Piazza/Impulse second generation received the tuned by Lotus chassis. In Japan, the Piazza II between July 1991 and was sold until the spring of 1992. Here was the only model with a 1809cc DOHC four-cylinder engine with 140hp 4XF1 (104 kW). 1991, the Impulse RS with the 1.6-liter engine with turbocharger (4XE1W) with 160hp (119 kW) and was All-wheel drive and front and rear differentials in the U.S. and Canada introduced. As early as 1992, the turbo model was discontinued again, while now the 1.8 liter engine of the Japanese model replaced the 1.6-liter base engine. The sale of the impulses in Canada was completed in 1992 parallel to Japan. While now the Isuzu PA Nero introduced the successor to the Piazza in Japan, the impetus was offered until the end of 1993 in the USA. The combination of the Asian crisis, stricter emission regulations, crash safety requirements and the restrictive market segment requirements and sustained interference of General Motors, Isuzu moved to withdraw from the passenger car construction. Therefore, in 1993, the Canada came Asüna Sunfire of the Isuzu Impulse corresponded to the market. Only a few months later, GM Asüna the brand again, whereupon Isuzu ceased production also of impulses.

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