Home | Wiki | Discord | Dev Stream | YouTube | Archived Forums | Contact

Royal Canadian Motors (RCM)


#41

RCM Fox HiMiler

With the founding of RCM from Dominion and the bankrupt Mont Royal several models were simply rebadged with the new branding, but for the Fox subcompact the branding change came with a facelift. Introduced in 1974, the Fox was a rushed attempt to enter the subcompact market following the fuel crisis. While already in development, it was released a year early with less than stellar quality and roughly 10cm cut from the wheelbase of initial prototypes, but it was cheap and it sipped gas.

The 1977 facelift improved upon some of the quality issues but the car was still lackluster compared to the rest of RCM’s lineup. At least the engine was better, the 1.6L SOHC I4 having been updated as well to improve reliability and power, even if 53 hp and 75 lb-ft is nothing to phone home about.

The HiMiler model came with some unique decals as well as features to allow it to boast an impressive 31 MPG. These features included base model elements, such as a blank plate in place of a radio to save weight, driver’s side mirror only to cut down on wind resistance, a four speed manual transmission only to avoid power losses from an automatic, but what it did get that was different was sleek hubcaps to further cut down on wind resistance and some special low rolling resistance tires, as well as the removal of the back seat.

The Fox HiMiler was purely built as a no frills commuter car to maximise fuel economy and as such anyone looking for something better suited for a family car was directed to other trims of the Fox.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#42

1977 RCM Atlantic Turbo

One of the big changes to the Dominion lineup moving forward under RCM was the access to the turbo technology that Mont Royal had been working on. Talks of the acquisition had been ongoing for a a couple of years leading up to Mont Royal’s dissolution, giving engineers the chance to play around with the turbocharging. The result of this was the 1977 Atlantic Turbo, a sleek liftback coupe that had its appearance previewed in concept form the previous year. While it may have a sporty flair with the turbo decals, the car was designed more as an economical intermediate model that didn’t sacrifice performance for it.

Under the hood was the 3.4L version of the Jetstream I6 introduced at the start of the previous decade and with the turbo strapped to it, it produced a healthy (for the time) 130 hp and 180 lb-ft while returning 20 MPG through the four-speed manual transmission.

Being around for one year only before the major 1978 facelift that added a five door liftback and turbocharged engines available across the model range, the 1977 Atlantic Turbo is a rare car that was an early look into the future of the automobile following the fuel crisis.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#43

1977 RCM Highliner 4x4

Another facelifted model for 1977, the main change the Highliner van received was a new fascia that better reflected the style of the time. The Highliner still had a choice between I6 and V8 engines, now with catalytic converters. The updated 4x4 model was offered with the 6.6L Chinook V8 producing 181 hp and 290 lb-ft and returned 9 MPG in combined cycle.

The 4x4 model was mainly built for camper conversion but it also had some popularity for those who wanted or needed a van that could handle any terrain a 4x4 truck could. Beyond the mechanical changes a 4x4 model entails, this model was available with front accessory lights, a rear mounted spare, two-tone paint (otherwise exclusive to passenger models), and running boards.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#44

1981 RCM Fox EFI

After a couple of facelifts and a company name change since its introduction in 1974, the Fox is due for a new generation in 1982. As a send off on the last model year, RCM engineers have dropped in the next-gen EFI version of the 1.6L I4-S engine. With the wonders of electronic fuel injection, the 1.6L produces 57 hp and 75 lb-ft while able to return the same 31 mpg the HiMiler model from 1977 offered without sacrificing comfort and practicality. This model of the Fox includes a back seat and a radio as it is designed as an uprated model in the range rather than an economy-above-all commuter model.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#45

1981 RCM Regal Luxe

With the downsizing following the fuel crisis, RCM found that the Windsor luxury car was not selling as much as it did before. While the idea was floated to bring it down a size or two it was dismissed as there was still a need for a large Canadian luxury car even if the market had shrunk. This is where the Regal came from, a smaller alternative to luxury for North American buyers. While not exactly small with its 2.98m wheelbase, it was smaller with less overhangs and smaller engines.

The entry level model, the Luxe, was offered with a 5.1L OHV V8 (updated from the old Dominion Sixty V8) producing 182 hp and 247 lb-ft. While not a high tech engine, it was smooth and reliable, and offered passable fuel economy and performance for the segment, with the Regal returning 14 MPG and reaching 100 km/h in 11.2 seconds with its 3-speed automatic.

In terms of styling and features, the Luxe model did not get a vinyl roof or any two-tone paint options like some of the higher spec models. The wire wheels on this trim were also an imitation: hubcaps. That said, still being a luxury car, the base interior featured velour seating for six with both middle seats folding down into armrests, though the front was set up with the middle as more of a jump seat between individually adjustable seats.

The 1981 Regal was very much a purely American-style luxury car, it would take until the next generation in 1987 for RCM to design a car that could cater more to various international markets.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#46

1981 RCM Mongoose Turbo

With the Alouette muscle car killed off a few years earlier due to slumping demand following the fuel crisis, RCM found a gap in its lineup for sportscar buyers. So in 1978 the Mongoose was introduced, a downsized performance car with smaller engines and better fuel economy than any V8 muscle car could hope for. Available as a 2+2 in liftback, notchback, and convertible body styles and with a variety of medium sized engines, the Mongoose was suited for many buyers.

Introduced with the 1981 facelift was the Mongoose Turbo, using an updated version of the turbocharged Jetstream I6 that was introduced in the 1977 Atlantic Turbo. Now destroked to 3.2L and using EFI, the engine produced 150 hp and 196 lb-ft and through the four speed manual transmission it allowed the Mongoose to reach 100 km/h in 8.5s while returning a combined 18 MPG.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#47

1987 RCM Atlantic

A new generation of the midsize Atlantic hit the market in 1987 with some of that popular downsizing from the era. Where RCM made itself distinct was that the downsizing was mainly in the form of short overhangs, allowing for a spacious cabin with the decently sized wheelbase. Following the trends of the time, the new Atlantic was changed to a transverse-FWD layout and designed with a sleek European-inspired shape while keeping the angles that some other new cars at the time were starting to eschew. As usual it had the standard coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles midsize buyers expected, though the liftback was not replaced.

Power came from an I4 or V6 engine, the V6 being the 3.5L version of the 24 valve SOHC V6-M producing 163 hp and 195 lb-ft. The new electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive allows for a 0-100 km/h spring in 8.8s and 21 MPG. Safety equipment and interior features were the newest of the day, as midsize cars buyers expected, with the V6 models having comfortable velour or leather seats as well as power windows and locks.


1988 RCM Atlantic Mosport SV6

In 1988 the Atlantic Mosport SV6 was released, featuring a Mosport tune on the 3.5L V6 to bring it up to 173 hp and 198 lb-ft. While the performance gains were modest, the suspension was also stiffened up, functional aero elements were added along with a sport body kit. The interior of the Mosport SV6 models was of the highest spec with unique red stripes and badging to match the exterior styling.




Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#48

AAA-tlantic. Will I have to rename my modern chonk SUV? :smile:

I like the subtle visual changes on the Mosport variant. Those pillar taillights look cool too. One thing I miss here is the drivetrain type - is it FWD or RWD?


#49

Thanks! It’s FWD, I forgot to mention that in the post since it just changed to that layout.


#50

1987 RCM Provincial VE-6 and 4WD

With the introduction of the RCM V6-M in 1987, RCM finally dropped the engine into the new generation of the Provincial that was in dire need of more power since its 1985 introduction. This downsized mid 80s Provincial was also more car-like than its predecessor to take on the newer competition in the small van (now minivan) market, making use of a car-like monocoque chassis with a low and flat floor.

What the Provincial did differently was being offered with a 4WD model, complete with rugged tires, increased ride height (partly to angle the driveshaft below the floor), as well as a skid tray and manual locker, making it a viable competitor to SUVs and in a way an early form of crossover.

As expected from a minivan, several seating configurations were available ranging from 5 to 9 seats, with a front bench seat and the third row both being optional. The middle row was available as a standard bench seat, a shortened bench for two to allow easy access to the back, or even as two individual seats. These seats were available in a range from basic vinyl for fleet use up to plush velour for high spec models.

The mid spec 9 passenger V6 model with 3 speed automatic achieves 19 MPG in combined cycle while the same spec 4WD model for 5 passengers achieves 17 MPG.





Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#51

1991 RCM Labrador

In 1991, RCM facelifted their Labrador family of full size pickup trucks and SUVs to better keep up with the times. These were still solid steel, boxy, body on frame, V8 or I6 powered beasts that could go anywhere, but they got some updated technology to bring them into a new decade.

Labrador Expedition

Popular since being introduced with the current generation, the Labrador Expedition was a model that prioritised off-roading for the whole family. The comfortable and well-appointed interior featured seating for five (with optional third row to bring seating up to eight) with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic with overdrive.
Other features of the Labrador Expedition were chromed steel wheels, a manual locker, running boards, roof rack, and a rear mounted spare to improve ground clearance.

Under the hood was the same 5.4L V8 but updated with MPFI to deliver 256 hp and 301 lb-ft. Paired with the automatic transmission, the Labrador Expedition returned an average 13 MPG and could accelerated to 100 km/h in 9.1s.


Labrador Premier

New for 1991 was the Labrador Premier, RCM’s first true luxury SUV. With the high flying economy in the 1980s, private ownership of large utilitarian trucks and SUVs went up as people needed to haul boats, large travel trailers, and trailers carrying various toys. For this, the Labrador Premier was marketed as being the capable luxury car that could haul those things, allowing those who could afford it to ride in comfort to wherever they needed to go.
The luxurious features of the Labrador Premier included self levelling air suspension, 17" chromed alloy wheels, a leather interior with seating for five (with optional third row to bring seating up to eight), a high end sound system, electronic climate control, sunroof, and various painted and chromed exterior design elements.

Under the hood sat a unique version of RCM’s 5.6L V8-M. This version of the engine featured MPFI and a twin exhaust system while delivering 275 hp and 318 lb-ft. With the 4-speed automatic in the Premier, it returned a nearly 12 MPG average and could bring the 2.1 ton SUV to 100 km/h in 8.9s.


Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#52

1996 RCM Yukonite

The SUV craze of the 90s came at the perfect time for RCM’s development cycle of the Yukonite, with a new generation introduced in 1996 with more family oriented features than ever before. Available in 2 or 4 door models with a variety of I4, V6, and V8 engine, as well as 2WD or 4WD paired to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, the 1996 Yukonite was aimed at just about every midsize SUV buyer out there.

Yukonite Colonial

The Colonial trim was a new one introduced in 1996 for the suburban buyer looking for a family hauler. Available with the V6 engine, it had various option packages as well as the choice between 2WD and 4WD and the manual or automatic transmission. The engine was the 3.4L eco-utility version of the V6-M producing 162 hp and 195 lb-ft that when paired to the 4-speed automatic with 4WD returned an average 21 MPG while acceleration to 100 km/h took 10.1s.

With the Colonial trim came two-tone paint, running boards, fog lights, adjustable roof rails, 16" alloy wheels on road tires, four wheel disc brakes with ABS, cloth seating for five (leather optional), and a 4 speaker stereo system (6 speaker stereo with CD player optional).



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#53

1994 RCM Fox

The all-new 1994 RCM Fox featured a rounded, aerodynamically optimised design that was all the rage at the time. The hatchback models were dropped, leaving the Fox only available as a coupe and sedan to avoid cannibalising sales of Cascadia and Solo models.

The EL trim was the entry level one, featuring unpainted bumpers, steel wheels with optional hubcaps, and a 5-speed manual only. Power for the Fox EL came from the I4-S2 engine at 1.5L and producing 79 hp and 87 lb-ft. 0-100 km/h took 11.8s while average fuel economy was 37 MPG.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#54

1993 RCM Atlantic

In 1993 RCM brought in a new generation of the popular Atlantic midsize car, now with smoother and rounded styling befitting the 90s. As the say “don’t fix it if it’s ain’t broke” goes, not much was changed in terms of mechanicals other than updates. This meant a transverse FWD setup with I4 or V6 engines in a sedan or wagon body with seating for five.

Atlantic DE (North America)

The DE model was the middle of the range Atlantic, available with a V6 engine and a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual. The 3.2L V6-M was the engine of choice and in 1995 it was updated to provide 174 hp and 189 lb-ft. With the automatic transmission it meant a 0-100 km/h of 8.8s and average fuel economy of 23 MPG.

Features of the DX model were cloth seats, a 4-speaker stereo with optional upgraded 6-speaker stereo with CD player, an optional sunroof, 16" alloy wheels, and disc brakes all around with ABS.


Atlantic V6 (Europe)

The Atlantic was introduced to the European market in 1994 as a large family car with upscale features. The V6 available was the V6-S, a 2.1L 24 SOHC unit producing 116 hp and 126 lb-ft. With a 5-speed manual this allowed for a 0-100 km/h of 11.2s and 26 MPG. Features included velour seating with optional leather, 4-speaker stereo with optional CD player, a 5-speed manual with optional 4-speed automatic, an optional sunroof, 16" alloy wheels, and disc brakes all around with ABS.

Atlantic Borealis LX

Introduced in 1995 was the Atlantic Borealis line: high riding wagons with AWD. These features paired with updated styling and rugged plastic cladding were RCM’s attempt at quickly entering the new road-going SUV market while still developing standalone models. Only available with the revised V6 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission, the Borealis would reach 100 km/h in 9.7s and return 22 MPG. The transmission offered shorter gearing while the alloy wheelss were smaller (15") to improve offroad capabilities.

The Borealis was only available in DX and LX trims, with the DX trim offering the same equipment as its FWD counterparts. The LX trim level featured adjustable roof rails, optional leather seats, and the 6-speaker stereo with CD player from the FWD models but also two tone 15" alloy wheels unique to the Borealis.

Atlantic BTCC

RCM entered the Euro-spec Atlantic V6 into the 1994 British Touring Car Championship. The 2.1L V6 received a pair of turbos to produce 238 hp and 162 lb-ft, enough to bring the car up to 100 km/h in 5.8s. Despite the best efforts of RCM’s racing engineers, the Atlantic was in a field of mostly smaller and nimbler competitor but it still managed to end the season in 10th place.



Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][RD 10 SUBMISSIONS]
#55

The euro Atlantic looks really cool, though the engine is very much underwhelming - that, and it makes my “reasonability check” glow orange :smile: Honestly I don’t think there was any 6-cylinder in the 90s European market with such a low power (maybe excluding N/A diesels from Mercedes) - it’s a power level resembling some pretty basic 2-litre, 8 valve I4s. And the 2.1 litre displacement would incur high taxes in many countries - though that bit is not entirely unrealistic, as Jag for whatever reason also had a 2.1 V6 marketed as a 2.0.

I love the BTCC variant. Never too much motorsport variants of ordinary cars :ok_hand:


#56

That engine was made around some regulations in a challenge, hence the strangeness of it. ET was too low to allow me to use DOHC on it so that nerfed the power I could make from it.