The 1982 Mitsubishi Mirage II Panther was described as “the hatchback that handles like a sports car” with its 1410cc overhead can engine with electronic ignition. It achieved quick and quiet acceleration from 0-60 in 8.7 seconds. Engineered features included front wheel drive, rack and pinion steering, fully independent suspension, power assisted from disc brakes and radial or steel belted tires. (image source: John Lloyd)
1982 Mitsubishi Mirage II Panther
In 1980, the front wheel drive, 5-speed Toyota Tercel 1.3GL managed a 47.9 MPG rating at a constant 56 MPH and had a 97MPH top speed. It had a spacious 32.2 cubic feet of storage space, and came with halogen headlamps, polypropylene bumpers, internally adjustable door mirrors, rear seats belts, individually folding rear seats, FM radio, tinted glass, rear wash/wipe, mud flaps, “low fuel” and “door ajar” warning lights and luggage lamp, all standard.
The fornt-wheel drive 1981 Talbot Horizon 1.5GL had a modified camshaft to improve engine torque and chafe the gear ratios to give effortless acceleration and uncanny fuel economy. At 56 MPH, it achived 51.4 MPG.
Standard features included push button radio, quartz clock, adjustable front seats, head restraints, remote control driver’s door mirror, halogen headlamps, tailgate wash/wipe and a unique “Econometer” which told you at a glance your maximum economy at a given speed.
1981 Talbot Horizon 1.5GL
Due to significant engineering breakthroughs, the 1980 Austin Metro was designed to g0 12,000 or one full year between services of any kind. Each car had brake pad sensors to let you know when to change the pads. Self cleaning sliding contact points are standard, as was a long-life battery which only needed topping once a year.
An enlarged oil filter element and long-life spark plugs which did not need cleaning were standard as well.
With its new A-Plus engine and refined, positive gear box, the Metro delivered great performance and great economy. The 1.3 HLS topped 96 MPH and had a 0-60 time of 12.3 seconds. The HLE achieved a 62 MPH rating at 50 MPH and an astonoshing 83 MPG at 30 MPH.
In the interior, the asymmetric Split-Action rear seat is split one third/two thirds making it uniquely versatile. When both seats are folded down, you have 45.7 cubic feet of load space. It had better visibility with its huge glass area and the doors were extra wide so getting in and out was easy. It had a stating MSRP of £3,095
The Peugeot 205 was first available as a GTI in 1984 and was initially powered by a 4 cylinder, 1580cc, 1.6 petrol engine. It had an MSRP of £7,145.
The MG Maestro 1600 was a no nonsense rugged, reliable and luxurious 5-door hatchback. The 1600ccR series engine with two twin choke carburetors and five speed gearbox delivered truly impressive performance. It achived a 0-60 time in 9.6 seconds flat with a top speed of 111 MPH. Its front wheel drive, low profile tires and wide alloy wheels gave it crisp handling and a smooth ride. It had flush glazing, an integrated front spoiler and aerodynamic strakes and spoiler around the rear window. The refinements on the inside included the sporty, close ratio five speed box, padded leather-bound steering wheel, body hugging sports seats and the latest electronic instrumentation including a digital speedometer and a trip computer. It even had a unique voice synthesizer that was programmed to speak on fifteen different topics – from suggesting you put your seat belts on to warning you that you’ve left your lights on.
The 1984 Honda Accord had style, per for,acne and power. It had a 1.6 liter engine for the deluxe models and a 1.8 liter for the Executives – both with a 12-valve crossflow that had 3 valves per cylinder giving it greater efficiency, more lively performance and all-around economy. Transmission options included either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed fully automatic unit including overdrive, with an advanced direct-drive-lock-up clutch for an extremely smooth drive. Its concealed wipers, an upswept tailgate and an agresive slant nose gave it slippery aerodynamic lines.
The 1700cc Renault 11 TXE had a brand new and more powerful 1761 cc engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox that produced 80 BHP reaching a iximim of 106 MPH that got an amazing 54.3 MPG. It came with 175/70 SR 13 tires, front fog lamp and headlight wash, electric front windows, rear wiper, central door locking with remote control, mono trace front seats, folding plot rear seats, alloy wheels and side bump shields, all for just £6,100.
1981 Renault 11 1700cc TXE
The 1984 Vauxhall Nova RS took 10.6 seconds to get from 0-60 MPH and had a top speed of 103. It has a 1.3 liter OHC engine that produced 70 HP and was linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox. With its upgraded suspension, low profile tires and a pair of purposeful spoilers, it had a fairly enjoyable ride.
The Mk1 Ford Fiesta XR2 (with the round headlights) was launched in 1982 and featured a 1.6 liter engine that gave it a 0–60 time in 9.3 seconds with a maximum speed of 105 mph.
$5,499 was a down payment for most cars but for the 1989 Hyundai Excel, it was the MSRP and came with more standard features than any other car in its class. Like reclining bucket seats, plush cut-pile carpeting and five all-season steel belted radials. Plus, it had front wheel drive and room for five adults. It even came with free membership to the Cross Country Motor Club and a 36-month/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty with no deductible.
The 1983 Honda Accord had a lower front for less wind resistance with its retractable headlights. It had a larger 2-liter engine with revised mounts to absorb vibrations. It had a unique double wishbone suspension system never before used on a front-wheel drive car. Despite its lower roofline, the interior had more headroom and the rear seatbacks split vertically for versatility with 37% more cargo area and had a rigid cargo area cover. The steering wheel adjusts, panel switches worked with a touch and a new front seat offered better support. It even had a quartz digital clock.
The 1988 Seat Ibiza was designed by Giugiaro and the cage of the body shell was designed by Karmann. It offered either a 1.2 or 1.5 liter 4-cylinder Porsche engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Ibiza’s longer wheelbase made it easier to corner and hug the road in a surefooted yet exciting manner. Every Ibiza, from the Designer 900 to the 1.5 GLX had a one year mechanical warranty plus the unique Seat Secure Road Rescue Service. Prices ranged from £4,660 for the Designer 900 3-door hatchback (below) to £7,215 for the 1.5 GLX 5-door hatchback. It was such a hit for the brand that What Car magazine voted the 1.5 GLX “Overall Best Car”.
The totally redesigned 1989 Dodge Colt GT Turbo was named by Car & Driver magazine as one of the top 10 best cars of the year. Performance enhancements included a turbocharged 16-valve< DOHC 1.6 liter engine, power rack and pinion steering, power 4-wheel disc brakes, taut sports suspension, performance radials, a super slippery new profile and more spunk than a lot of high ticket turbos. Enhancements were also made inside. The Colt GT ample elbow room, comfortable sports bucket seats, a telescopic tilt steering wheel, an ergonomically advanced interior, and impressive dash graphics and instrumentation. It came with a 3-year Bumper-to-Bumper warranty.
The 1982 Hyundai Pony was powered by a 1200cc Mitsubishi engine but was also available with a 1400cc manual or a 1400cc automatic. It has a 12-month unlimited warranty and a 6-year anti corrosion guarranty. It had a starting price of £3,117.