The Isuzu Gemini, a compact car manufactured and launched by Isuzu in 1974. In several countries, the same vehicle was produced and sold under different names. Even it was marketed by General Motors’ other brands as well.
First Generation (1974-1984)
In November 1974, the first Gemini was appeared as Bellett Gemini. It was built on third generation Opel Kadett C platform, i.e. General Motors T-car platform. It was offered in 4- door sedan and 2-door coupe body styling. Initially, the chassis code was designated as PF50, but the later 1.8-L versions had the chassis code as PF60 and PFD 60.
An updated version was released in June 1979 which offered a new slant nose with rectangular headlights and a revised rear end. Other changes made in Gemini were an extended engine inlet and a broader radiator opening to assist two new engines released in November including a twin cam G18W and 4FB1 diesel both of which needed a wider radiators.
Japanese market received sports models under ZZ/R, ZZ/T and ZZ/E names. All these models received an Isuzu G180W 8-valve DOHC 1.8-L engine, usually fuel injected and delivered 97 kW at the flywheel. Other features were a shortened remote throw manual shift lever and factory LSD differential.
In South Korea, the Gemini was sold under Saehan Gemini name, manufactured and introduced by Daewoo Motors somewhere in 1982. After 1982 model, I was renamed as Daewoo Maepsy and continued to be sold before replaced by Daewoo LeMans in1986.
Second Generation (1985–1990)
The second generation R-body Gemini was launched by Isuzu in May 1985. It was sold under Gemini FF name. With a chassis code of JT150, the Gemini was offered in Japan with an engine option of 1.5-L SOHC carbureted engine. Later in November, a new 1.5-L inline-4 diesel engine with a chassis code of JT600 was released. In May 1986, a 120 PS (88 kW) fuel injected and turbocharged 1.5-L 4XB1 engine (“Irmscher”) was introduced. The facelift model was released in February 1987 with a more promising front styling and several other minor tweaks. As the rear-wheel drive Gemini was discontinued, the ‘FF’ name was dropped from the name.
In February 1988, Isuzu released a 1.6-L DOHC engine offering an output of 135 hp (99 kW). Some export markets received Gemini with a smaller 1.3-L 4-cylinder engine to comply with taxation regulations there. Trim levels offered varied from market to market, e.g. C/C in Japan, LT in overseas and S in the United States along with Irmscher, ZZ, and Lotus tuned versions.
Third Generation (1990–1993)
As for 1990 model, it was revised and eventually rebadging the coupe as the Gemini Coupe. In 1993, the production ended for Gemini. The Gemini Coupe led the base for the Isuzu Impulse and Geo Storm in US and Canada. It also paved the way for the Asüna Sunfire, offered as 1993 model year in Canada.
Like the Isuzu Stylus marketed in US and Canada, a 4-soor sedan was also offered with identical mechanical specifications. Compared to Isuzu and Asüna, the Geo version didn’t offer advanced and expensive features.
Fourth Generation (1993–1996)
The fourth generation of Gemini was launched in 1993 and ended in 1996. It was actually sold as a rebadged version of the Honda Domani.
Fifth Generation (1997–2000)
The fifth generation was also marketed as a rebadged version of the Honda Domani sedan. Year 2000 saw the last production unit of this generation.