In 1978, Isuzu commissioned Giorgetto Giugiaro to design a new sporty car to replace the 117 Coupe (also a Giugiaro design). They delivered several T Series Geminis to the Italdesign studio in Italy and allowed Giugiaro free rein over the design. The result of this effort was the wedge-shaped three-door hatchback called the Asso di Fiori (“Ace of Clubs”) prototype and show car, that was shown at the 1979 Tokyo Motor Show to rave reviews.
For the U.S. market, this vehicle was introduced as the Impulse in 1983. For the 1983 and 1984 model years, only one engine was available, the 2.0 L SOHC I4 engine, rated at 90 hp.
A turbocharged model was introduced in 1985, with a 2.0 L SOHC I4 engine rated at 140 hp.
The 1988 model year saw several changes. Mild exterior and interior changes were made to the appearance of the vehicle (a larger rear spoiler, fixed headlights without pop up covers, etc.). The 2.0 L non-turbo engine was replaced with a 2.3 L SOHC I4 engine, rated at 110 hp.