Holden Piazza

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Holden Piazza YB

1986 - 1987
4 cyl. SOHC Turbo
1989 cc
110 kw
5 spd. man.; 4 spd. auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
1 star
Since 1975 Holden had been importing and selling the Isuzu built Gemini with great success, and so it seemed logical that they would continue to enjoy such sales success with the importation of the sporty "Piazza".

Designed in Italy by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Piazza was, for the time, a thoroughly modern and sporty 2 door coupe which featured a turbo-charged 2.0 liter OHC engine - the first time a turbo charged vehicle was available at the Holden showrooms!

The most distinctive features of the Piazza were undoubtedly the wedge shaped hatchback with its enormous glass area at the rear, and its semi-concealed headlights up front. It came fitted with a 5 speed manual gearbox; however a 4 speed auto was available as an option.

Despite the bravado of the Italian design, under the skin lurked a thoroughly conventional small Japanese sedan with double-wishbone front suspension, five link live-axle rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.

While the rack-and-pinion steering was power-assisted, handling and braking were only average and Isuzu had failed to upgrade their effectiveness in line with the upgraded performance offered by fitting the turbo!

The motoring press soon realised the Piazza was 'mutton dressed up as lamb', and the expected sales were never to materialise.

GM were forced to reduce prices in an effort to stimulate sales, and disgruntled purchasers who had already forked out top dollar were refunded up to $5000 to help ease the pain of plummeting re-sale values.

The price reductions were, however, too little too late, and the Piazza suffered an early demise - released in April 1986, it would be phased out in late 1987 and relegated to the history books.

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