- Geo Storm
name = Geo Storm
aka = Isuzu Gemini Coupe
Isuzu PA Nero(in Japan) Asüna Sunfire( Canada)
production = 1990–1993
GM R platform
body_style = 3-door
engine = 1.5 L
SOHCI4 (Japan only)
SOHCI4 (US, Canada only)
1.7 L diesel I4
transmission = 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic4-speed automatic
length = Base 1990-91: 163.4 in (4150 mm)
1990-91 GSi: 163.9 in (4163 mm)
1992-93: 164 in (4165 mm)
width = 66.7 in (1694 mm)
height = 51.1 in (1298 mm)
weight = 2282 lb (1035 kg)
wheelbase = 96.5 in (2450 mm)
Isuzu Gemini Isuzu Stylus Isuzu Impulse Isuzu Piazza Holden Piazza Isuzu PA Nero Asüna Sunfire Isuzu I-Mark Geo Spectrum Ford Probe
Hyundai Scoupe Mazda MX-3 Toyota Paseo, Mitsubishi 3000GT
Giorgetto GiugiaroThe Geo Storm was a sport compact carmanufactured by Isuzuand sold in the United Statesby General Motorsfrom 1990 through 1993 as part of GM's Geo line of inexpensive automobiles. The same vehicles, with minor variations, were sold in Canada in the 1992 & 1993 model years only. The Storm was intended to be a budget car with the look and feel of a sports car. It replaced the related Geo Spectrum, which was sold in hatchbackand sedan, and like its predecessor, it is only sold in 2-door hatchback and station wagon.
The Geo Storm was a
rebadgedversion of the sporty Isuzu Impulseminus some of that car's more expensive features. The Storm and the Impulse were sold in Japanas the Gemini Couperef|StormHistory. The Storm lacked the Impulse's Lotus-tuned suspension as well as the Impulse's optional turbochargerand all-wheel drivedrivetrain. Although they were essentially the same car, sales of the Storm were much stronger than those of the Impulse—indeed, the Storm sold better than most small GM cars of that era. Slow sales of the Isuzu version doomed the Storm as when the Isuzu Impulse was canceled, the Geo Storm derivative had nothing to be built from, meaning both cars were discontinued in 1993.
The Storm was manufactured at Isuzu's main plant in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan. The Storm and Impulse was sold in Canada by GM as the
The most common body style for the Storm was a three-door
hatchback. The 1990 and 1991 hatchbacks were produced in two trim packages, but all Storms shared front disk and rear drum brakes and had an anti-sway bar to tighten the front suspension. The base model was priced at $10,390, and the "GSi" was $11,650 . USDref|May1990CarAndDriver
The base model's
SOHCengine produced 95 hp (71 kW) and had a 9.1:1 compression ratio.ref|May1990CarAndDriver The more powerful 1990-1991 "GSi" used a 1.6L DOHCengine that produced 130 hp (97 kW) and had a 9.8:1 compression ratio.ref|May1990CarAndDriver. The "GSi" package also included driving lights, a spoiler, a rear anti-sway bar, and a transmission with a gear ratio that was slightly better for accelerationref|StormGearRatios than the base model's transmission.
For 1991 and 1992, customers had the option of purchasing a two-door
station wagonbody style, also called a wagonback. The base price of the station wagon was $11,450, and it was never offered with the stronger "GSi" engine. Oddly, the station wagon was marketed as a "hatchback" and the normal Storm - an actual hatchback - was marketed as a " coupé"ref|April1991CarAndDriver.
In 1992, the Storm was restyled to have a smoother front fascia without the pop-up headlight covers on earlier models. The 1992–93 base models retained the same engine, features, and price that were on the earlier car, with slight interior changes such as different stereos, revised rear speaker locations, and interior trim and upholstery. The GSi version from these years cost considerably more ($13,645–14,560) but this price included a larger 1.8 L 140 hp (104 kW)
sport compacts have faster acceleration and better handling, but the performance figures for the Storm were quite respectable for an economical compact car from that era. " AutoWeek"'s 1990 review of the storm was titled "Slick, Quick And Inexpensive", and described the car as "a good performer" that "handles better than the average new car."ref|April1990Autoweek When " Road & Track" compared ten sport compact cars they said the Storm had "the highest skidpadrating (0.85 "g"), sticks like pine tar to the autocrosscourse, is second-quickest through the slalom and stops shorter from convert|80|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on than many highly respected sports cars".ref|May1993RoadAndTrack
Skid pad test figures ranged from 0.81 "g"ref|May1990CarAndDriver to 0.85 "g",ref|May1993RoadAndTrack meeting or exceeding those of the
Mazda RX-7convertible.ref|May1990CarAndDriver " Sport Compact Car" listed the Storm as number three in their "Top Ten of 1992".ref|Aug1992SportCompactCar " Hot Rod Magazine"'s Jeff Smith drove a Geo Storm that was set up for SCCASuper Productionref|SuperProduction racing and declared it to be "every bit as demanding and fun" as racing a Trans-Am series car.ref|Nov1991HotRod
Two different Geo Storm Celebrity Racesref|StormCelebrityRaces were held in 1991, the first on
July 13in Des Moines, Iowa, and the second on August 24in Denver, Colorado. Although they are not the most common type of race cars, modified Storms are still occasionally used to compete in road racing, drag racingand autocross. One of the 2003 entries in the Grassroots MotorsportsChallenge was a Storm GSi.ref|2003GRMchallenge
The Storm sold well and was popular with owners, despite getting mixed reviews from automotive magazines. The body styling was "mildly controversial".ref|April1990Autoweek Kevin Smith of "
Car and Driver" used phrases like "Planet Zarkon" and "space-capsulish" to describe the body, which he listed as one of the best and worst features of the Storm.ref|June1990CarAndDriver "AutoWeek" said that college-aged people tended to "shower the Storm with attention", but that baby boomers tended to "think that at best, the Storm is unusual looking, at worst, odd."ref|April1990Autoweek
The shape of the body was not the only thing automotive journalists criticized. The engine was described as a "buzzbomb"ref|May1990CarAndDriver or "just plain noisy".ref|April1990Autoweek A few reviewers disliked the suspension, saying the Storm has "above average body lean and needs more rebound control".ref|April1990Autoweek Some complained about the small cargo area, visibility and the absence of headroom for backseat passengers.ref|May1993RoadAndTrack
Other aspects of the Storm were more popular with magazine test drivers. Many praised the wide power band of the engine. "AutoWeek" said, "It revs quickly and easily. Running up to the 7600 rpm redline can be a delight."ref|April1990Autoweek "
Automobile Magazine" liked the handling, saying, "It's a delight to negotiate twisty...roads with its firm yet compliant suspension."
till on the road
It has been over a decade since Geo Storms were produced, but they can still be found in the used car market where their primary selling points tend to be low cost and reliability, features that make them ideal cars for student commuters. "Hot Rod" magazine's Jeff Smith said, "The Storm is also exceptionally durable and easy to maintain."ref|Nov1991HotRod
Year to year changes
:1991: A "hatchback" (station wagon/wagonback) model was added, other than that, the Storm carried on unchanged.ref|May1990CarAndDriver:1992: All three models of the Storm got a new headlight cluster, tail light, and front clip. The GSI version also got a new spoiler and a larger
DOHCengine which offered 10 extra hp.ref|May1993RoadAndTrack:1993: The wagonback was dropped, and the hp rating of the base model dropped from 95 to 90 which would be the Storm's final season.ref|CG
Overall, there were six versions of the storm; the GSi, station wagon and base models were all produced with both the original flip-up lights design and with the smoother look of the 1992-1993 model yearsref|StormVersionPics .
# [http://www.xs4all.nl/~mjs/storygemini.html History] of the Gemini series of cars from Isuzu.
#"Geo Storm GSi." (includes related articles) (evaluation). John Phillips III, Larry Griffin, Nicholas Bissoon-Dath and David Kunkler. Car and Driver v35.n11 (May 1990): pp61(5). (2378 words)
# [http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage/hist/specstorm.html Geo Storm Specifications]
#"Geo Storm Hatchback." (evaluation). Phil Berg. Car and Driver v36.n10 (April 1991): pp165(2). (836 words)
#"Slick, Quick and Inexpensive", Autoweek,
April 16, 1990(includes their own review, as well as quotes from owners and from the staff of other magazines like Motortrend, Car and Driver, and Automobile magazines.)
#"Little squirts: ten sporty point-and-shoot cars for a price that won't soak you." (includes related rating information from six reader/testers) (Evaluation). Kott, Douglas. Road & Track 44.n9 (May 1993): 56(12).
#"Top Ten of 1992; #3 Geo Storm"." Alan Paradise. Sport Compact Car. August 1992. P. 27-28.
# SpeedWorld's explanation of [http://www.speedvisionwc.com/history.html Super Production] cars and the World Escort Challenge
#"Storm Warning; Customizing Chevrolet Geo Storms for Racing". Jeff Smith. Hot Rod. November 1991. P. 60-62.
# Information on Geo Storm [http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage/feature/bsas.html Celebrity Races]
# [http://www.grmotorsports.com//archives/2003pictures.html photos] from the 2003 GRM challenge
#"The Bonsai GTs. (comparison test of the Nissan NX2000, Geo Storm GSi and Mazda MX-3 GS)" (includes article on the retirement of the Honda CRX) (evaluation). Richard Ceppos. Car and Driver v37.n5 (Nov 1991): pp112(7). (1941 words) From Professional Collection.
# [http://auto.consumerguide.com/auto/used/reviews/full/index.cfm/id/2166/ Consumerguide review on the Geo Storm]
# [http://www.cartalk.com/ct/survey/survey_results.jsp?make=Geo&model=Storm&year=0&x=122&y=23 CarTalk survey results for Storm Owners]
#"Eleven for thirteen. (quality sports cars under $13,000) (evaluation)." Smith, Kevin. Car and Driver 35.n12 (June 1990): 46(13)
#"Industry News (Race Prepped Storms)." Sport Compact Car. Summer 1991.
#"Geo Storm." All Chevy. November 1989.
#"Geo Storm." Super Chevy. December 1989.
# This site has [http://slothnet.com/cars/storm/GeoInfo.html pictures] of all storm versions
* [http://www.xs4all.nl/~mjs/storygemini.html Geo Storm History]
* [http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage/hist/specstorm.html Storm pricing and specifications]
* In its first year, the [http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage/ Geo Storm outsold] GM's Cavalier, Sunbird, Corsica, and Beretta
* [http://www.stormaddicts.com Storm Addicts Website]
* [http://www.stormowners.com Geo Storm Owners Club/Forum]
* [http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage/ Isupage]
* [http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage/feature/sloc.html Steve Lockett's Storm configured for SCCA Improved Touring (ITB) Road Racing]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1431875134390375655 Video: Steve Lockett's 10.9 pass beats a camero at the drag strip]
* [http://www.sbrscca.org/solo/2005_points/Points_4/other.html Geo Storm autocrossing] .
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