Isuzu Impulse RS
After hearing the news that Isuzu is leaving the North American market, my first instinct was to shrug it off. I mean, really, who cares? Isuzu hasn't produced anything worth remembering or lusting after in quite a while, and its withdrawal really isn't a big deal in the automotive world; especially compared to other news.
However, even companies as boring and derivative as Isuzu occasionally still make wonderful vehicles, and to bid Isuzu farewell I thought it necessary to write a Car Lust about one of the greatest hot hatches ever--the Isuzu Impulse RS.
While the first-generation Impulse was pretty cool, it is this second version that really hits the mark; and most people don't even know it exists. What makes it so special? Specs: 160 horsepower, all-wheel-drive, 2,700 pounds, manual only, hood scoop.
Wow. What's even more insane is the fact that this car existed before Subaru created the WRX. Did I mention the suspension was tuned by Lotus?
Unfortunately, these cars are extremely rare; most have been abused in the hands of teenagers and met an untimely demise. Others are rusting away into oblivion. On top of that, parts are relatively hard to find, although there are active support forums for the other people crazy enough to drive these.
look at the styling. It has eyebrows partially concealing the
headlights to give it a muscular, aggressive tone; the hood is blessed
with a NACA duct for the intercooler.
This car is extremely special. I don't know why, but it affects me. Every time I think about one, my heart rate goes up, and I dream about how much fun it would be to own one.
These originally cost roughly $14,000,and prices now range around $1,000-4,000, which is a bargain. Unfortunately, Isuzu only imported around 1,000 of them to the U.S., so if you've been bitten by the RS bug (I have), good luck finding one. Once I have a garage, you can be sure I'm going to try to find one.
The gorgeous black example is owned by Kip, who has an entire website devoted to RS information, available here. The white one was found on Flickr by user Adams Shoebox, and the red one (which I believe is a regular Impulse) is available on Wikipedia.
-- Rob the SVX Guy