The Isuzu I-Mark is a car that went by many names. In its home market of Japan, it was the Isuzu Gemini and in North America, it was called the Isuzu I-Mark, Chevrolet Spectrum, Geo Spectrum, and even the Pontiac Sunburst in Canada. Those are a lot of names to describe what is essentially the same car. However, the coolest one of the bunch was today’s Autotrader Find, which is a 1989 Isuzu I-Mark RS; an 80s hot hatch from an unlikely brand.
What is This Thing?
For the 1989 model year, the I-Mark was only available in the sporty RS trim. In stock form, it was powered by the “JT190” 1.6-liter DOHC inline-four engine which made 125 horsepower. However, the car we see here is not quite in stock form. The listing says that it’s powered by a “special built 1.6/1.8 engine” which raises some questions. Our best guess is that the engine is sourced from an Isuzu Impulse RS. That would make it a turbocharged 1.6-liter 16-valve DOHC inline-four that made 160 hp in the Impulse RS.
That’s just the beginning of the modifications to this I-Mark RS. The listing also notes an Impulse clutch and transmission, a honed and decked engine block, a Walbro fuel pump, a fuel pressure regulator from a GM LT1 V8, and hydraulic lifters from a Suzuki Vitara. That makes this quirky hot hatch a bit of a Frankenstein.
As you might expect of any Isuzu from the 1980s, this car has some imperfections in the body. However, all things considered, it appears to be in decent shape. The listing says that it’s only had 10,000 miles added to it since the engine rebuild. It even includes some spare parts if you buy it including a door, hatch, fender, and an extra set of wheels.
The asking price for this I-Mark RS is $4,500 and the seller is open to offers. It’s located in Post Falls, Idaho, so if you fall into the very narrow category of Isuzu performance car enthusiasts in Idaho, this could be the perfect car for you. Or, if you just like the idea of a quirky hot hatch that nobody else is driving, this Isuzu is sure to stand out at your next car meet. Find an Isuzu I-Mark for sale