I decided to create this website after purchasing a 1993 Honda
Ascot and being unable to find any information on the vehicle printed
in English. Most of the information I obtained from Japanese sites
and translated to English using the Translate service at Altavista.com.
The Ascot/Rafaga is a mid-size luxury saloon based on the Accord
platform. It was launched in Japan in October 1993 and discontinued
in March 1997. It was a domestic-only model, but can now be bought
in countries such as New Zealand, the UK and Russia, where second
hand vehicles are imported from Japan. The differences between the
Ascot and Rafaga are cosmetic only (refer to the table below).
|Grille and exterior trim
High quality materials and the use of high gauge steel for the
body panels contribute to give the Ascot & Rafaga a luxury feel.
In addition, a highly rigid body enabled the Ascot/Rafaga to pass
proposed Japanese crash test legislation two years before its introduction.
The in-line 5-cylinder engine is mounted longitudinally, but drives
the front wheels. The transmission is located behind the engine
as in a rear-wheel-drive car, but the drive shaft runs back through
the oil sump to the differential at the front. The biggest drawback
of this mechanical layout is that it encroaches on interior space.
Although the Ascot/Rafaga is similar in length to an Accord, the
interior space is comparible to that of the Civic. It was mainly
for this reason that in 1997 Honda stopped producing any 5-cylinder
engines and replaced them with more compact V6 designs.
In a 5-cylinder engine there will always be two pistons in the
upward stroke and three in the downward stroke (or vice versa),
so the engine is not harmonically balanced. Early incarnations
of Honda's G20A and G25A engines included a balance shaft, but
in the Ascot/Rafaga this was replaced with an electronically-controlled
hydraulic engine mount.