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Sanda Motor Corporation - Le mans 🇫🇷 RPC-88


1982 New Admiral

After only 4 years, Sanda decided to create yet a new generation for the Admiral, so this and the Archer model would be more separated (Both, aesthetically and from an engineering point of view). The previous hatchback style of body was ditched for a more simple sedan configuration. This time, a 2 door variant was not available.

Want some luxury?


After the partnership with ADM, things were going pretty good for the japanese automaker, so they decided to invest more into research and development. Since the sales from the previous generation weren’t that good, Sanda decided to update this model with some of the new technology that sanda engineers had been developing.

First change was this new generation was RWD instead of FWD, as well as brand new independant suspension in 4 wheels for extra comfort. On top of that, a new powerplant was also created, a new member of the B series engine, a 2.4L all aluminum DAOHC L6 with a brand new MFI system mated to a first automatic transmission for extra comfort (from ADM).

The new generation carried some elements from previous generation on the back, but revised

The new powerplant was rated at 132 PS more than enough to move the luxurious Admiral. And luxurious it was, it was one of the most luxurious japanese cars for its time. It had an all leather interior with lots of electronic adjustments, as well as an high end 4 speaker radio with a track player.

The old tooling equipment for the previous generation was translated to Spain so ADMoE could keep producing the Madrid.

Also available as a wagon

Price and stats
All prices are in 1982 US dlls

Sanda Admiral Sedan - $6,970.50

Sanda Admiral Wagon - $7,014.34


1982 - 1983 Ridge Super Silhouette

First proper Sanda Competition car. It was developed under group 5 regulations to compete in the Fuji Grand Champion Series, and it did raced in 1982 and 1983.

The Super Silhouette races started in 1979 and Sanda was preparing to participate, however it never did until ADM gave green light to the racing car project.

The car used as base was a 1980 Rdige Turbo. The category allowed heavy modifications and this monster, although the same as a production car on the outside, is the equivalent of a Formula racing car on the inside.

The engine is the same old trusty K8 engine series used in the road version of the ridge (1.7L 24-valve flat-plane V8) producing up to 507ps after some tremendous turbo lag.

ATT: 2:11.31
Airfield: 1:18.56

ADM of Europe™ - 1990 new Venice! -and also new formatting

1983 New Koi

Koi Sx. The first Sanda Sx car. Available in white or black with orange or red.

1983 saw the announcement of new Sanda’s compact car, the Koi, based in the 3rd generation Archer platform, specially in the archer hatchback model.


In an effort to diversify and to fill the gaps between the K Majime and the uptrim Admiral, the Archer model was splitted in 2 separate models. One of the, was the Koi, based in the Archer hatchback. Besides the change of name, the Koi has a redesing front end based on the rest of the line-up

Koi 3 door model

The engineering was simple, a monocoque steel chassis, with steel panels, mcphersons struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear, with drum brakes all around. The engines available was the the B series engine and the A series in the highest trim.

4 trims were available at launch. A 3 and a 5 door where the most common trims. Both having a variation from the engine used in the european Chappeau (but with throttle body injection), 1.2L L4 with 55ps and a 4 speed manual gearbox (3 speed + overdrive). Due to their lightness both models surpased the 20mpg.

Koi Panel

The highest trim was the Sx, intended as the sport version, for those wanted a bit more performance of this little car. The Sx had a A series 1.3L L4 DOHC engine with modern MPFI, and 77hp, plus revised brakes and better suspension and tires, for improved handling.

Last trim available was the Panel, with only 2 seats, intended for light delivery use between cities.

Koi 5 door

Price and specs
All prices are in 1983 US dlls

Koi 3 door - $4,837.35

Koi 5 door - $4,857.75

Koi Sx - $5,977.13

Koi Panel - $4,937.21


Archer 4th Gen

Sx badge, used in sporty models

Following the launch of the Koi, which was basically a 3rd gen Archer in disguise, a new model of the Archer was presented, this time with radical changes, thanks to the partnership with ADM.


As stated before, as the Koi was an archer in disguise, the forth generation Archer was in reality an ADMoE Pilgrim, only with a new rear end and re-tuned for Japan roads. Thanks to the prolific relationship with ADM, Sanda could just cut costs on design and share expenses when engineering new platforms or engines.

The Pilgrim platform was design with ADM, and it was a monocoque chassis with RWD layout, mcphersons struts in the front and semi trailing arms in the rear. The engine available was the A series DOHC L4, also co-developed with ADM.

Archer 4 door, very reminiscent of the Pilgrim Sedan

3 trims were available, the 2 door, 4 door and Sx (similar to the Koi). Both the 2 and 4 door came with a 1.6L engine, with ADM throttle body injection and 100hp and 92lb-ft. 4 speed was the only available transmission, with 14" steel wheels. The interior in both cars was simple but durable, with a 8 track radio.

The rear was re-designed to fit with the rest of Sanda’s line-up

The Sx version, used a bored 1.8L engine with Sanda’s MFPI system pushing 127hp @ 6,200rpm and 119lb-ft @ 4,300rpm, the most powerful NA Sanda engine so far! This version also included better and improved brakes, a 5 speed manual gearbox, harder suspension and to reduce weight, it only had 2 seats on the back (it weighted less than a ton). It had a top speed of 180km/h and could reach 100km/h in just 8.94s.

Sx had a small lip on the back. Also, aluminium wheels from the Ridge Turbo

Stats and price
All prices are in 1983 US dlls

Archer 2 Door - $7,284.10

Archer 4 Door - $7,317.35

Archer Sx - $8,135.71


1985 Archer early facelift

Archer Sx


2 years after its second generation was presented, the Archer received an early facelift. As it was based on the ADM Pilgrim once it received a facelift, the archer did too.
The main difference between the european and the japanese model was both aesthetical and mechanical. Japanese models were a bit lower as well as equipped with different versions of the A series engine. The trimming was similar as there were offer 3 models, a 4 door, a 2 door and a Sx

Archer 2 door

The engines offered were the same as before the facelift, a 1.6L L4 DOHC engine pushing 100hp for the normal trims and a 1.8L variant with 127hp for the Sx.

Archer 4 door

Specs and price
All prices are in 1985 US dlls

Archer 4 door - $5,214.94

Archer 2 door - $4,816.32

Archer Sx - $5,811.01


1985 Ridge II

10 years after the release of the first generation Ridge, Sanda decided to introduce a second generation, pretty much following the previous formula, a lightweight chassis with a small flatplane turbocharged V8.

Ridge Sx


The Ridge was Sanda’s Halo car, made almost exclusively as to showcase some of Sanda’s finest technology and tuning. The second generation was the first car Sanda offered with an independent suspension in both front and rear. Compared to the previous generation, the car grew in lenght and wheelbase, and was 200kg heavier than the original, still, it was still nimble and very fun to drive, as well as way faster.

Ridge Base

The engine was the same K8 engine, this time upgrated to a Multi point fuel injection system, pushing 160PS in the base version. A second variant pushed 190PS, used in the Sx trim.

No Sx base, but the small spoiler distinguish both trims

Specs & Price
All prices in 1985 US dlls

Ridge Base - $7,217.05

Ridge Sx - 7,848.78


1986 Sanda RPC-86

After the Ridge Super Silhouette was retired at the end of 1984, Sanda didn’t created another race purpose build car until 1986, with the RPC-86 (Racing Prototype Car - 1986).

The RPC-86 was manufactured for All-Japan Sport Prototype Championship (JSPC) for Group C prototype racing cars in 1986. It has a chassis RPC manufactured in house while the fiber glass body was outsourced. The engine was an evolution of the K8, called K8x, a 3L 3 valve per cylinder flatplane turbocharged V8 based on the K8, only bigger and made of aluminum instead of traditional cast iron, producing around 600bhp.

It featured improved aerodymanic performance, and extensive cooling. It participated in the JSPC for the 1986 and 1986 season with respectable results. It also ran in the 24 of le mans in 1986 where it was retired mid race due to blown gaskets and in 1987 the 2 cars had crashed. One of them was restored and sits in Sanda’s Heritage museum.

Test drive of the RPC-86 around the Nurburgring

Automation x BeamNG Car Repository

1986 Majime facelift

After 5 years, the Majime finally received a facelift, at the same time its cousin the ADM Chapeau did.

The new model was offered in a single trim, aimed to a budget market. The engine K3 received a new update that increased its power from 32 to 44 PS.


1986 Admiral facelift

After a modest success, Sanda gave Admiral a facelift, this time, the wagon option was ditched and the Admiral was only offered as a 4 door sedan.

While the Ridge was positioned more as the sporty/halo car, the Admira was intended to be Sanda’s flagship, and it was more obvious with the new facelift.The Admiral 4 door came with the same L6 engine, this time bored to 2.5L and thanks to the new multi point injection system, it produced 145hp, making it one of the most powerful engines available at the time in Japan. It also came with Sanda’s first Manu-matic transmission, called TechShift, meaning all speed changes were done via computer instead of an hydraulic system, with a torque converter coupling system to improve efficiency, it also was the first model to came standard with ABS brakes.

Despise all the technological advances, some were not that reliable (like the TechShift system) and the car had a comfortable ride, but felt heavy despise the healthy engine. Although it wasn’t famous among enthusiasts, it was a common sight in the garage of japanese businessmen.

And with that, I go back to hiatus as I have to go back to school, work and normal life.

Prime (プライム) - 1990 FS 840

1987 Koi new generation, and entering EU markets

Back in 1983 Sanda presented the Koi first gen., a small car designed to fill the market between the Majime and the Archer. Fortunately, the Koi was very well received and Sanda released a second generation by mid 1987, being in fact the first Sanda car to be sold in Europe.

Koi Sx, only in japan

The Koi was based on an outgoing Archer platform, but for the new generation it received its own new platform. While the other model was boxy, the new Koi got a more round look, and also it upgraded the torsion beam rear suspension for a semi independent semi trailer arms and rocked some double wishbones front, to improve comfort and handling.

Koi 4 door

Handling was very important for this new model, as it would be the first car to be sold outside Japan. All trims came with a variant of the A series engine, pushing around 100hp and the highest trim, the Sx got 20 hp more.

Available trims where the hatchback and sedan, both almost identical (the sedan was a tad taller) and the Sx, which got 4 disc brakes, weighed 20 kg less and had 20hp more, with a 5 speed manual and Sanda’s first Viscous LSD.

Koi 3 door


Sanda 1987 XX Concept car

Given Sanda’s investment in Racing recent year, it presented a concept car call the XX concept, completely new and not based on any existing Sanda’s (or ADM’s) production car, rather in technology used in the RPC-86 race car.

It featured a spaceframe chassis with an all aluminum body, with independant suspension all around and the same mid-engine 3L SOHC turbocharged V8 used in the RPC-86, delivering 300hp to the rear wheels.


Surely this one deserves to go into production - it’s a junior supercar through and through, with styling and performance guaranteed to get you noticed on Miami’s Ocean Drive. It definitely wouldn’t be out of place in OutRun, Test Drive or Chase HQ for those reasons.


1988 RPC-88

After the mixed results of the RPC-86, Sanda only had the option to design a new race car, that this time will be competitive not only in the JSPC, but also against group C and IMSA GTP cars. This time, both the chassis (made of carbon fiber) and the body (made of fiberglass) were outsourced, although carefuly design according to very specific measurements.

For the engine, this time the K8x engine was ditched, and Sanda instead took the very reliable K8 engine from the Ridge and double it, creating the now called K16 engine, which turns out to be very reliable despise the complexity and the turbos.

2 cars were made, and both entered the 1988 le mans race, where they performed extremely well. The car wasn’t the fastest, but it was reliable and aerodynamic enough, sadly it didn’t win and both cars ended in 2nd and 3rd place. For the 1989 race, both cars entered again and this time chassis 001 win, after the leading Meliora car was forced to leave the race due to technical issues. Chassis 002 ended in 6th position.

After the 1989 wining, both cars keep racing in 1990 season, but cars were not competitive enough and they didn’t return for the 91 season, and Sanda didn’t design a new Group C car again, as it shifted its efforts in GT racers type of cars.

SPECS 1988 RPC-88
Engine: K16
Placement: Mid Transverse
Type: SOHC V16, 3 valves per cylinder
Displacement: 3,495cc
Fuel feed: Electronic Fuel Injection
Aspiration Twin turbo
Power: 700 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
Torque: 517 bhp @ 6,600 rpm
BHP/Liter: 200 bhp/liter
Chassis: Carbon Fibre monocoque
Suspension: Double wishbones, anti roll bar
Gearbox: 5 speed manual
Drive: Rear wheel drive
Assists: N/A
Weight: 1034 kg
Tires: Fujisaki 320/700R19 -- 340/700R19
Top Speed: 338km/h
0-100km/h: 4.0s
400m: 10.98s

Meliora Automotive - 1989 Alba update