Honda City Turbo I / Turbo II
Honda City Turbo I
The Honda City Turbo was a sport compact / hot hatch produced by Japanese automaker Honda between September 1982 and 1986, based on the naturally aspirated Honda City AA.
The City Turbo was the brainchild of Hirotoshi Honda, son of Honda founder Soichiro Honda as well as founder and owner of Mugen. In the early 1980s Mugen was a small tuning company that was beginning to make its mark producing performance parts for motorcycles and automobiles, but was yet to gain recognition outside of racing circles. When he created the City Turbo, Hirotoshi took one of Honda’s most unassuming vehicles and successfully turned it into an aggressive street rocket, considered to be well ahead of its time. Impressed, Honda took Hirotoshi’s idea and made a production version, introduced in September 1982. A few months earlier, Honda staffers took two City Turbos on a gruelling 10,000 km round trip of Europe, all the way from Sicily to Karasjok in the arctic north.
The City Turbo shared the 1231 cc (1.2 L) CVCC “ER” engine with its more pedestrian siblings, but the addition of a turbocharger meant that 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 15.0 kg⋅m (147.1 N⋅m; 108.5 lb⋅ft) at 3,000 rpm were available. Further changes to the engine included an aluminum/titanium alloy head and a magnesium valve cover to keep the weight down. The IHI RHB51 turbocharger, developed as a joint venture between Ishikawajima Heavy Industry and Honda, was lighter and smaller than most other turbos and could run at higher rpm. When combined with Honda’s PGM-FI fuel injection and an 8-bit digital computer control unit, the end result was a very efficient engine with minimal turbo lag. 0–100 km/h was possible in 8.6 seconds. The City Turbo’s suspension was more refined than that of the ordinary City. The four-wheel independent system used progressive rate coil springs, with stabilizers at both the front and the rear. Tires were the 165/70HR12 radials, and stopping power was provided by ventilated disc brakes at the front and semi-metallic shoes at the rear.
The body of the Honda City Turbo was made sportier by the addition of a new air dam with fog lights and asymmetrical grille at the front and a small spoiler at the top/rear of the car. Meanwhile, a hump was added to the hood to make room for the extra equipment of the turbocharged engine. The interior appointments to the car focused both on driver involvement and comfort. A digital speedometer, surrounded by a tachometer and a boost gauge, replaced the regular analog instrument cluster, and was used until the March 1985 facelift, after which the analog assembly from the regular City was used. Form fitting, leather and moquette bucket seats were made standard as well and a special “sonic seat” was available, which responded to the audio system by a transducer sending sound and vibration to the user through the seat. An extra thick, three-spoke steering wheel was also standard Turbo fitment.
Honda City Turbo II
In November 1983, the intercooled Honda City Turbo II joined the lineup. Flared fenders, wings, sideskirts and graphics combined for a much more pugnacious appearance, making its “Bulldog” nickname very fitting. In late 1984 the original Turbo was discontinued while the Turbo II continued in production until the City was replaced in late 1986.
The City Turbo II’s engine featured an intercooler, a revised intake plenum, a slightly larger throttle body, a modified inlet manifold, a higher AR turbo compressor, exhaust housings, and a slightly raised (7.6:1) compression ratio. It produced 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) at 5500 rpm and 16.3 kg⋅m (159.8 N⋅m; 117.9 lb⋅ft) at 3000 rpm. The Turbo II’s flared fenders weren’t just cosmetic, but were necessary to accommodate a 30 mm (20 mm in the rear) wider track and bigger 185/60 R13 tires.
Styling wise, in addition to flared fenders and “Turbo II Intercooler” graphics, the Turbo II also got a bigger bump in the hood, body colored bumpers and a louver ahead of the rear wheel.
Honda City Turbo I / Turbo II
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278 mm Discs