Isuzu Aska

Isuzu Aska

Infobox Automobile
name = Isuzu Aska
manufacturer = Isuzu
production = 1983–2002
predecessor = Isuzu Florian
class = Mid-size
body_style = 4-door sedan
similar = Mitsubishi Galant
Toyota Corona
The Isuzu Aska was a nameplate used by Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Japan to denote their mid-size sedans from 1983 to 2002. Originally, the Aska was a version of GM's J-car produced by Isuzu, but later, after Isuzu pulled out of manufacturing passenger cars, the nameplate was applied to rebadged Subaru Legacies (1990 to 1994) and Honda Accords (1994 to 2002) sold through Isuzu's Japanese distribution network.

The Aska replaced the Isuzu Florian in Isuzu's lineup and was discontinued in 2002 without a replacement, as Isuzu withdrew from the passenger car business completely.

The name comes from the Japanese word, "Asuka", which is the old name of the Asuka Village in the Nara Prefecture of Japan. Because the name "Asuka" may be pronounced `Ashuka` in European as well as foreign countries, the `U` was taken away from the name, presenting the model as the "Aska".

First generation (1983–1989)

Infobox Automobile generation

name = First generation
aka = Chevrolet Aska
Holden Camira JJ
Isuzu Florian Aska
Isuzu JJ
production = 1983–1989
engine = 1.8 L "JJ110" I4
2.0 L "JJ120" I4
2.0 L turbo SOHC I4
2.0 L "JJ510" diesel I4
transmission = 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
layout = FF
platform = GM J platform
related = Chevrolet Cavalier
Holden Camira
Opel Ascona C
Vauxhall Cavalier
The original Aska was developed as a part of GM's "J-car" program and was a welcome replacement for Isuzu's sorely dated Florian. Contrary to fellow J-cars from other GM divisions, the Aska only came in one body style, a 4-door sedan (the station wagon body style on the Florian proved to be relatively unpopular and was discontinued back in the early 1970s). The Isuzu J car variant differed most notably in the rear styling from other J-car variants. From 1983 to 1984, the Aska was known as the "Florian Aska", before being renamed in 1985 as the "Aska".

The car was launched in March 1983 with 1.8 and 2.0 L gasoline engines and a diesel. In 1985, a turbocharged version of the 2.0 L engine, which developed 150 PS, joined the lineup. Branded by the German tuner Irmscher (specializing in GM cars and cooperated with Isuzu on some other models too), this version featured a distinictive body kit and became somewhat of a cult object among some car fans in Japan.

The Aska was exported to southeast Asia, where it was known as the Isuzu JJ, and to New Zealand as the Holden Camira (JJ) between 1984 and 1987, in lieu of the JD Camira, manufactured in Australia, because the previous Australian-sourced JB Camira fared badly in the New Zealand market (nonetheless, the JD wagon was imported concurrently from Australia).

The Aska was also assembled in Arica, Chile from CKD kits from 1984 and sold as Chevrolet Aska in the domestic market [] and in Ecuador.

The first generation Aska was discontinued in 1989; production totaled 108,512 cars.

econd generation (1990–1993)

Infobox Automobile generation

name = Second generation
production = 1990–1993
engine = 1.8 L "EJ18" Flat-4
2.0 L "EJ20" Flat-4
transmission = 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
layout = FF
aka = Subaru Legacy
Isuzu Aska CX
With the exception of the American market, the J platform did not continue into the 1990s. Not having resources to develop a mid-size car on their own, Isuzu forged a short-lived alliance with Subaru. This provided for Isuzu to supply Subaru with Isuzu Bighorns (rebadged as the Subaru Bighorn), while Isuzu rebadged Subaru's mid-size Legacy sedan as the Isuzu Aska. Both rebadged models were sold only in the Japanese market.

The EJ series engine, in both 2.0 and 1.8 liter displacements. In an attempt to ensure durability and longevity, Subaru chose to use five main crankshaft bearings. The engine has either SOHC/DOHC architecture and pent-roof, cross flow cylinder firing chambers. The 2.0 liter fuel delivery was managed with sequential multiport fuel injection called MPFI, and the 1.8 liter engine used a modified fuel delivery system with single point throttle body fuel injection called SPFI. The DOHC 2.0 liter non turbocharged engine had a dual stage intake manifold where at higher engine RPM's four individual valves would allow additional air flow into the engine from a secondary manifold attached and located underneath the primary intake manifold.

The 2.0 liter vehicle came optional with Subaru's AWD system, the 1.8 came with FWD only. The newly developed computer controlled 4 speed automatic transmission, called the 4EAT in both FWD and AWD guises, had a feature where the transmission could be instructed to ignore 1st gear from a standing stop to assist driving on traction limited situations, such as ice and snow. The system was activated by depressing a button on the gearshift selector marked "Manual" and moving the gearshift from the "D" position down to "3rd". The car would then start in 2nd gear, and not 1st, then as the car gained speed would shift up to 3rd, locking out the overdrive gear 4th. The transmission also splits the delivered torque 50-50 between the front and rear wheels. Once the car stopped, the transmission would start back in 2nd and not 1st, until the system was disengaged with the "Manual" button or upshifting to 4th. The automatic transmission used on AWD equipped vehicles would normally send 90% of the engines torque to the front wheels and 10% to the rear wheels. When the front wheels began to experience a loss of grip, the transmission automatically sent available torque to the rear wheels, up to 50-50 split between the front and rear wheels until grip was reestablished at the front wheels, without notifying the driver or occupants that torque was being redirected. If the automatic is placed in Reverse or "1st" gear, the transmission divides the torque 50-50 to both front and rear wheels.

The manual 5-speed transmission would divide the torque 50-50 between the front and rear wheels continuously, using a viscous coupling to supply torque to the rear wheels. If the front wheels lost grip, the rear wheels would compensate by maintaining grip to the road. The manual transmission was also equipped with Hill Holder which allows the car to remain stopped on an incline by only depressing the clutch pedal, instead of both the clutch and brake pedal.

Third (1994–1997) and Fourth (1998–2002) generation

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Third generation

production = 1994–1997
engine = 1.8 L "F18B" I4
2.2 L "F22B1" I4
transmission = 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
layout = FF
aka = Honda Accord
Infobox Automobile generation
name = Fourth generation

production = 1998–2002
aka = Honda Accord
Honda Torneo
Later, Isuzu entered a more substantial model-exchange alliance with Honda. Among other models, it encompassed the rebadging of the Honda Accord sedan as the Isuzu Aska. This lasted for two generations - thus the third generation Aska was the fifth generation Accord and the fourth was the sixth generation Accord sedan. The Aska remained a Japanese-only model and was discontinued in 2002.

External links

* [ Photos of the Irmscher Aska]
* [ Isuzu Aska Owners' Club "J2" (1st-gen Askas)]

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