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Roadster link to concept Specs link to mods links

Like most cars, the Roadster has seen a host of improvements over its lifetime. This culminated in the launch of the Mk2 in 1999. It lost the trademark pop-up headlamps, but is essentially the same car 're-skinned' with subtle modifications and improvements. As that great American adage says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

There are many books available on the history and exact specs of the Roadster, so I won't bother recreating them all here. Some books also contain the original roadtests from the car's launch.

I've listed the spec of my own car below. It's a 1994 1.8 with power steering, air conditioning and electric windows. Until recently, these items were regarded as extra luxuries in the UK, even on ordinary cars such as Fiestas, Escorts and so on. Nowadays you have to try quite hard to find a new car over 10,000 without these items!

The high spec of Japanese imports is one of the main reasons that so many Roadsters have been imported to the UK, as well as the low price of course.


Dimensions Length 3950mm
Width 1675mm
Height 1230mm
Wheelbase 2265mm
Track (front) 1410mm
Track (rear) 1430mm

Inline 4 cylinder, 16 valve twin-cam, fuel injected, longitundinally mounted
Displacement 1839cc
Power 133bhp @ 6,500rpm
Torque 114lb ft @ 5,500rpm

The Roadster engine is incredibly over-engineered for the application. It is essentially the engine from the 323 turbo, but without the turbo and higher compression pistons. It retains features such as the oil-spray jets to the underside of the pistons to aid cooling. Check out the mods and links sections for more information.

Transmission Gearbox 5 speed manual
Differential Torsen limited slip

Suspension Type Unequal length double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bars front and rear

Brakes Front Vented 255mm discs
Rear Solid 251mm discs

Wheels & Tyres Wheels 7 spoke Alloy 14 x 6J
Tyres 185/60 HR14

Weight 1015kg (approx)

Performance 0-62mph 8.4secs
Top speed 112mph (limited)