By on July 2, 2014



Honda is gearing up to launch the all-new, turbocharged Civic Type-R, but they’ve actually made a boosted Civic before. And it was badged as a Triumph. The last Triumph ever, in fact.

Banovsky’s Car of the Day tells the story of the Triumph Acclaim Turbo, a badge engineering job between Honda and British Leyland that saw a fancy Civic (known as the Ballade) fitted with a turbocharged and built in a British Leyland factory. It was apparently one of the most reliable British Leyland cars ever built, but only three remain today. And it was also the last car to ever wear the Triumph badge.

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29 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: Honda’s Turbo Triumph...”

  • avatar

    Honda boosted a first generation Legend too with the 2.0L V6 Wing Turbo. And don’t forget about the Honda City Turbo (reminds me of that arcade game where you try to avoid hitting a cat and rising spikes).

  • avatar

    “It was apparently one of the most reliable British Leyland cars ever built”

    Because it wasn’t actually a BL. LOL.

    Honda + British marques has never worked out well for anybody involved.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, they were working out rather well (at least by BL standards) for the decade or so that they were doing the joint venture. The problems re-continued when BMW swooped in and bought the whole mess.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        My recollection was that the Stirling — a re-badged first generation Acura legend but in Ol’ Blighty (and sold here in the U.S.) was far less reliable than it’s Japanese “twin.” In fact, the Stirling upheld the lousy reputation of British-made cars.

        • 0 avatar

          The Stirling was horrible by the quality standards of the US market, but the Honda-engineered Rovers were amazing by British standards.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          That’s true. Sterling was already gone by the time I was born but I’ve seen a few of them around. I always wondered how they managed to be consistently worse than Honda/Acura products while sharing the same parts. How could you possibly mess that up?

          • 0 avatar

            British labor. They could screw up gravity.

          • 0 avatar

            The Sterlings (Rovers) had some bits that were different from the Honda/ Acura versions, including interior trim and a different electrical system. That was the stuff that tended to go wrong.

            Honda builds cars in the UK right now, without issue. The plant labor wasn’t the problem; as usual, the blame lies with the management of the plant and the parts and engineering that went into the cars.

          • 0 avatar

            Ha, the only area which Brits are supposed to do well (sumptuous leather and wood interiors) failed. The electrics are of course unsurprising.

            But I agree, it was the Rover plant building the Hondas that was wrong, not the Honda engineering.

    • 0 avatar

      In regards to Honda + British marques, the Honda Crossroad was a re-badged Land Rover Discovery. Probably the least reliable Honda ever.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Sure enough! I didn’t know there *was* such a thing. Apparently they were getting their SUV fix from both Land Rover *and* Isuzu (Acura SLX, Honda Passport).

        Then Honda did that excellent first-gen CR-V, followed by the remarkable MDX and the always-popular Pilot…and now the company should never need to borrow an SUV again.

        • 0 avatar

          The Isuzu Rodeo was, I believe, the MOST rebadged car historically.

          • 0 avatar
            Car Ramrod

            I love me some Holden Jackeroo, but I always assumed that title went to the GMX360 platform.

            Edit: I think wikipedia proves your case… plus the Jackeroo was a Trooper.

          • 0 avatar


            Isuzu Cameo
            Isuzu Rodeo
            Isuzu Vega
            Chevrolet Frontera
            Chevrolet Rodeo
            Holden Frontera
            Honda Jazz
            Opel Frontera
            Vauxhall Frontera

        • 0 avatar
          Joe McKinney

          In exchange for supplying Honda with the Passport and SLX, Isuzu got a rebadged first-generation Odyssey they called the Oasis.

          • 0 avatar

            And in exchange for that, Isuzu provided Honda with diesel engines in Europe for the Civic and Honda sold V6 engines to GM for the Vue.

  • avatar


    Good to see that even the British were subjected to the bad taste of 80s turbo graphics packages.

  • avatar

    Honda also made a boosted Honda City Turbo. I think it was only sold in Japan however.

  • avatar

    Looks like a first generation Prelude had sex with a Nissan Stanza. Ugh! I can’t imagine any Prelude lowering its standards for a Stanza.

  • avatar

    No worse than GM Daewoo or Sergio’s Alfa Dart bored.

    No Dolomite Sprint here. Shoulda Prelude a Stag…

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Be honest: prior to today, did anybody here already know that the last Triumph ever made was a rebadged 2nd-gen Civic with a vinyl top, rubber air dam, and TURBO stripes? I sure as hell didn’t, and would have called BS on anyone who said so.

    A vinyl top and a Rubbermaid air dam. That makes even the most outlandish American cars of the late 70’s/early 80’s look tasteful.

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