Honda Vigor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Honda Vigor
Acura Vigor -- 03-21-2012.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1981-1995
Body and chassis
Class Compact car (1981–1995)
Mid-size (1989–1995)
Related Honda Accord
Honda Inspire
Chronology
Successor Acura TL (United States & Canada)

The Honda Vigor was a premium sedan sold in Japan through the Honda Verno dealer network from 1981 to 1995 derived from the Honda Accord, and briefly sold in North America from 1992 to 1994 as the Acura Vigor. Early Vigors were more upmarket versions of the Accord and served as Honda's flagship until the arrival of the Honda Legend. In 1989, the Vigor would differentiate itself further from the Accord with unique styling and an available longitudinal five-cylinder engine, and a twin to the Vigor was introduced with the Honda Inspire, available at Honda Clio dealerships.

It was replaced in North America with the Acura TL and in Japan with the Honda Saber/Inspire, which were the same vehicle sold through different networks.

The Vigor was developed during what was known in Japan as the Japanese asset price bubble or "bubble economy".

First generation (SZ (hatchback)/AD (sedan))[edit]

Honda Vigor
Honda Accord second gen 1982 Kleve Kennzeichen.jpg
Overview
Also called Honda Accord 2nd gen
Production 1981–1985
Assembly Sayama, Saitama, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 3-door hatchback
4-door sedan
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 L EK1 I4 CVCC-II carburetor
1.8 L ES3 I4 PGM-FI
Transmission 4-speed Hondamatic automatic
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,450 mm (96.5 in) sedan
Length 4,410 mm (173.6 in) sedan
Width 1,650 mm (65.0 in) sedan
Height 1,375 mm (54.1 in) sedan

Beginning September 25, 1981, Honda produced a variant of the Honda Accord badged as the Honda Vigor for Japan only. The first generation Vigor was a higher grade 4-door sedan and 3-door hatchback, with the 1.8 L engine as the only engine available, using Honda's CVCC-II system. The Vigor was a sportier, faster, "vigorous" Accord with a higher level of equipment over the more sedate Accord. Due to the higher level of luxury oriented equipment, the Vigor help "set the stage" for the market to accept a luxury equipped car from Honda, which appeared in 1985 with the Honda Legend. The Vigor competed with the Toyota Chaser and the Nissan Laurel in Japan. The rear lighting implementation consisted of the license plate installed in the bumper, with a black trim piece between the rear tail lights and the word "Vigor" inscribed. The Accord installed the rear license plate between the rear tail lights.

This engine used the SOHC 3-valve-per-cylinder CVCC-II setup, mated to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission with a lockup torque converter. Vehicles with a manual transmission and the CVCC carburetor earned 13.6 km/L (38 mpg-imp; 32 mpg-US) based on Japanese Government emissions tests using 10 different modes of scenario standards, and 110 PS (80.9 kW; 108.5 bhp), and 23 km/L (65 mpg-imp; 54 mpg-US) at consistently maintained speeds at 60 km/h (37.3 mph). Vehicles with PGM-FI earned 13.2 km/L (37 mpg-imp; 31 mpg-US) based on Japanese Government emissions tests using 10 different modes of scenario standards, with 130 PS (95.6 kW; 128.2 bhp), and 22 km/L (62 mpg-imp; 52 mpg-US) consistently maintained speeds at 60 km/h (37.3 mph).

Items that were optional on the Accord, such as cruise control, air conditioning with automatic fan speed control and thermostatically monitored temperature, power windows with driver's one touch express down, and power steering were standard on the Vigor. A trip computer that displayed mileage, driving time, and fuel economy that Honda called in sales brochure literature as "Electronic Navigator" was also standard on the Vigor. All Vigors were also equipped with ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seatbelts. One of the optional items on the Vigor was an Electro Gyrocator, the world's first automatic in-car navigation system.[1] Other items included digital instrumentation, four-wheel Anti-lock brakes, a choice of stereo systems from Alpine Electronics, Clarion, and Pioneer, alloy wheels (13-inch), and adjustable thigh support on the front passenger seat.

As of 1985, trim levels that were offered were the MG, ME, and ME-R for the sedan. Earlier trim packages were the VXR, VX, and VL, all using the CVCC-II induction setup. Honda's fuel injection system was offered on the VTL-i, and VT-i. As the hatchback continued to be manufactured as an Accord only, the Vigor hatchback was available with the trim packages MX-T, and the ME-T until it was replaced by the Honda Integra 2-door hatchback in 1984. Earlier trim packages for the Vigor hatchback were the TXL, TX, and TU using the carburetor, and the TT-i with fuel injection. Vehicles that were installed with fuel injection no longer used the CVCC system.[2] Some of the standard equipment on the MX-T hatchback and the MG and ME sedans included cruise control, 2 position 4 Wheel auto leveling suspension, fuel usage computer, AM/FM cassette stereo and two Coaxial loudspeakers, flow through ventilation, velour interior with split folding rear seats, and a rear cargo cover for the hatchbacks. The higher trim level ME-T hatchback and the ME-R also included delayed interior illumination (called "theater lighting"), four coaxial speakers with the stereo system, power windows and locks, disc brakes front and rear, and speed sensitive power steering.

With some differences in the equipment available between the Accord and the Vigor, the vehicle was essentially the same. Producing a vehicle with two different names allowed Honda to sell the car at different sales channels in Japan; the Vigor was sold at Honda Verno dealerships, and the Accord was sold at Honda Clio dealerships. The fully equipped Vigor 2-door hatchback offered cargo carrying flexibility over the first generation Nissan Leopard coupe, which was not a hatchback, an approach shared with the first and second generation Toyota Supra. Here is a Japanese television commercial for the Vigor

In 1997, Honda reused this approach to add an enhanced version of the mainstay Accord, by duplicating their efforts achieved on this generation Honda Vigor, and naming the new car the Honda Torneo.

Second generation (CA1-CA2-CA3)[edit]

Honda Vigor
Honda Vigor Front.jpg
Overview
Also called Honda Accord 3rd gen
Production 1986–1989
Assembly Sayama, Saitama, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 4-door sedan
Powertrain
Engine 1.8L A18A I4
1.8L B18A I4
2.0L B20A I4 120 hp (89 kW)
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length 4,535 mm (178.5 in)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1,355 mm (53.3 in)

June 4, 1985 saw the introduction of the redesigned Vigor as a four-door sedan only. As before, the Vigor was a luxury Accord. The 1.8 L B18A four-cylinder engine was now offered with dual carburetors and a larger 2.0 L B20A engine was offered Honda's PGM-FI, with the 1.8 L A18A engine as the basic offering. The Vigor had minor cosmetic differences from the Accord, using a different front grille and rear tail lights, as well as a higher specification. The adoption of concealed headlights reflected the popularity of the Honda Prelude, and the new Honda Integra as the Vigor continued to be a companion at Honda Verno dealerships. The Vigor installed the rear license plate in the rear bumper, whereas the Accord installed the license plate indented on the trunklid. The trim level designations were 2.0 Si, MXL-S, MX, MXL, and MF. May 1987 saw the introduction of the 2.0 Si Exclusive, adding electric retractable side view mirrors as standard. An automatic shift-lock system was added in September 1988 on the "MXL Super Stage" trim level.

The second generation Vigor also benefited from Honda deciding to employ double-wishbones at both the front and rear ends—a layout that spread to other Honda products in subsequent years. While more expensive than competitors' MacPherson strut systems, this setup provided better stability and sharper handling for the vehicle. All had front sway bars and upper models had rear sway bars as well. Brakes were either small 4-wheel discs with twin-piston calipers (only available on the JDM 2.0-Si model ), larger 4-wheel discs with single piston calipers, or a front disc/rear drum system. ABS was available as an option on the 4-wheel disc brake models. Base model Vigors rode on 13-inch steel wheels with hubcaps with more expensive models having the option of 14-inch alloy wheels. As established with the first generation car, the luxury content was also extensive in comparison to luxury equipment available from competitors at the time. Some of the items on the top level 2.0Si included a power tinted glass moonroof, optional four-wheel anti-lock brakes, optional coloured LCD digital instruments (speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and engine temperature), tilt steering with speed sensitive power steering, cruise control, power windows, power door locks, electronic AM/FM stereo radio with cassette and 4 speakers (high power) with subwoofer and amplifier, intermittent front wipers (variable), 4-Wheel disc brakes (front: 2 piston calipers with ventilated front discs), and optional leather interior.


Third generation (CB5/CC2 & CC3)[edit]

Honda Vigor (3rd generation)
Honda Vigor third gen.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Honda
Also called Acura Vigor
Honda Inspire
Production 1992–1994 (Acura)
1989–1995 (Japan)
Assembly Sayama, Saitama, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size (Int'l)
compact (Japan)
Body style 4-door "B" Pillar hardtop
Layout Longitudinal front-engine, front-wheel drive
Related Honda Rafaga
Honda Inspire
Honda Ascot
Powertrain
Engine 2.5 L G25A1 I5
2.0 L G20A1 I5
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,805 mm (110.4 in)
Length 4,690 mm (184.6 in) (Japan)
4,836 mm (190.4 in) (Acura)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in) (Japan)
1,781 mm (70.1 in) (Acura)
Height 1,355 mm (53.3 in) (Japan)
1,369 mm (53.9 in) (1992 Acura)
1,321 mm (52.0 in) (1993-94 Acura)
Chronology
Successor Acura TL
Honda Saber

At the launch of the fourth generation Accord, the Vigor was no longer based on the Accord chassis. The third generation Vigor, fulfilling as the top level sedan at Honda Verno dealerships in Japan, was shared with the all new Honda Inspire and the new second generation Honda Legend, sold at Honda Clio dealerships. The Vigor was sold in the United States and was badged as the first generation Acura Vigor in 1992.[3] In Japan, the Vigor competed against the Toyota Chaser and the Nissan Laurel. The Vigor in Japan was available in four trim packages, starting with the Type N, Type E, Type W, and Type X. In May 1991, the Type N package was no longer offered, and the top trim package was the Type S-Limited. Starting January 1992, the trim packages were 2.5XS, 2.5S, 2.5X, 2.5W, 2.0G, and the Type W. In North America, the Vigor came in two trim packages; the LS and the higher content GS, and the 2.5 L engine was the only engine available. In Japan, the smaller G20A engine used regular grade fuel, while the larger G25A engine used premium grade fuel. One of the optionally available items was Digital signal processing integrated into the stereo system that allowed sound modification for various types of music.

Production began in 1991[4] and the vehicle went on sale as a 1992 model in June of that year, slotting between the Integra and the Acura Legend in North America, with the platform shared as the Honda Inspire between the Honda Concerto and the CB series Honda Accord in Japan at Honda Clio. In order to keep the Vigor classified as a "compact" according to Japanese vehicle size requirements, the Vigor sold in Japan was available in two versions; the shorter and narrower vehicle with the G20A engine, and a longer and wider version with the G25A engine that was also only sold in North America as an Acura.

Honda's longitudinally mounted 5-cylinder petrol was the only engine available. The transmission is attached behind the engine, with a driveshaft that sends power to the front of the car to an asymmetrically installed limited-slip differential which then supplies power to the front wheels using half shafts; this allowed the powertrain to remain slightly behind the front wheels. This also gave the car a 60:40 front to rear weight distribution.

Comparisons to the Lexus ES 300, which was roomier and softer in ride, generally favored the Lexus as the more appealing buy for the average luxury car buyer, whereas the Vigor was stiff and small.

In response to the reviews, Acura made several changes to the Vigor for the 1994 model year, increasing rear seat room, softening the suspension and re-engineering the steering rack to help isolate the driver from road imperfections in an attempt to make the model more like the ES. The tactics were unsuccessful; buyers favored the more powerful Legend as a sports sedan and still seemed to prefer the ES as an entry-level luxury model.

Poor sales and no improvement in market response led Honda to drop the model, and production ended on May 13, 1994. The Vigor was replaced by the 1996 Acura TL/Honda Saber.[5]

Sources[edit]

  • First generation equipment decalarations transcribed from Japanese language brochures for each year it was manufactured.
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Old School JDM Sat-Nav". grandJDM. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  2. ^ http://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/honda/vigor_1gen/vigor_1gen_4-door/1981.html
  3. ^ "1992 Acura Vigor Review at". Edmunds.com. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  4. ^ "Acura History at". Conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  5. ^ "Acura Vigor Used Vehicle Review: at". Canadiandriver.com. 1998-01-16. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 

External links[edit]