Honda City Turbo

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Honda City Turbo
ClassSport compact
Body style(s)3-door hatchback
2-door cabriolet
LayoutFF layout
RelatedHonda City
ManualsService Manual

The Honda City Turbo is a sport compact / hot hatch produced by Japanese automaker Honda between 1982 and 1987, based on the subcompact car Honda City.

The City Turbo is part of a rare breed of turbocharged Honda road engines. Other turbo Hondas include the V6 for the late eighties Honda Legend and the new turbocharged i-VTEC 2.3 L in the 2007 Acura RDX.


The City Turbo is 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 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 of it.


The City Turbo had a 1237 cc (1.2 L) CVCC engine that upon the addition of a turbocharger, produced around 100 PS (99 hp/74 kW) at 5500 rpm and Template:Convert/kgm at 3000 rpm. 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-F1 fuel injection and an 8-bit digital computer control unit, the end result was a very efficient engine with minimal turbo lag.


The City Turbo's suspension was refined above 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 City Turbo II, meanwhile benefited from flared fenders over both the front and rear wheels with factory graphics labeling it as an "Intercooled Turbo II."


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 final run of Turbo II where the analog assembly from the regular City was used. Form fitting bucket seats were made standard as well as a special "sonic seat", which responded to the audio system by a transducer sending sound and vibration to the user through the seat.

City Turbo II

The Honda City Turbo II, known by its owners as the "Bulldog", was introduced in 1983. Changes included the above mentioned flared fenders as well as changes to the engine. 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. While the original City Turbo ended production in 1984, the City Turbo II continued on until 1987 when the Turbo model was retired. The last run of the City Turbo II had a standard analog speedometer and tachometer assembly in place of the digital speedometer of the earlier models.

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