ISUZU 117 Coupe
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Isuzu 117 Coupe was unveiled as a prototype in 1966 at the Geneva Motor Show.
It was not intended to be a mass-production vehicle, but in the end, it was a successful model in its times.
The Isuzu 117 was an exclusive model from its times. In the beginning, it was produced in only 50 units per month and mostly done by hand. It was also the first diesel-powered sports car. Isuzu was trying to get better recognition for that kind of engines and they fit a 2.2-liter, 58 hp unit in it. But that was not all. Since the brand itself was not very known and their experience in designing a coupe was almost none, the Isuzu management hired Giorgetto Giugiaro to shape the vehicle.
It was a small car, built around the idea of an inline-four front engine and rear-wheel drive. The four-round headlights were mainstream in those days, especially for sports cars. A short cabin made room for four seats inside. The curved, wave-like shape of the beltline was one of its key design features. An interesting particularity of the car was that the rear window was extended below the trunk lid.
The car’s interior featured expensive materials, such as real Taiwanese camphor laurel wood for the dashboard. The instrument panel featured seven dials, including an analog clock, speedometer, and tachometer. For the passengers, Isuzu installed leather seats with bolsters on the outside, but these were more like GT-type seats rather than sport-bucket ones.
The standard engine was a 1.8-liter unit available either with a Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection or, later on, with a carburetor. Standard transmission before 1972 was a 4-speed manual, which was replaced with a 5-speed after the facelift. A 3-speed automatic was available as an option.