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Guilty Pleasure: Asüna Sunfire


1992 Asüna Sunfire

1992 Asüna Sunfire

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Weird examples of badge engineering and license-building always warm my heart.

The Iran Khodro Paykan, for example, or perhaps the IKA-Renault Torino.

The Big Three Detroit automakers got into some strange mirror-world marques when they crossed the border into Canada, where you could buy Mercury Econoline vans or Chevy IIs badged as Acadian Invaders, and--of course--it becomes impossible for a Guilty Pleasure addict to resist the allure of one of the most obscure Detroito-Canadian marques of all: Asüna!

The Asüna name (don't forget the umlaut!) was slapped on a hodgepodgian trio of imports from GM's "what the hell do we do with this stuff?" Asian partnerships, and it lasted from 1992 through 1995.

There was the Asüna Sunrunner (aka Geo Tracker aka Suzuki Sidekick), the SE (aka Daewoo/Pontiac LeMans), and an Asüna-fied Isuzu Piazza aka Impulse.

To confuse matters further, GM decided to borrow the name from the remarkably terrible (yet totally unrelated) Pontiac Sunfire and apply it to their crypto-sporty Canadian Isuzu. Why? How?

Obviously, I need one, so that I will enjoy the privilege of explaining just what in the hell is an Asüna. Given the difficulty of registering a Canadian-market vehicle in the United States, however, I'll probably need to find an Impulse and upgrade it with Canada-sourced badges.

1992 Asuna Sunfire

1992 Asuna Sunfire

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