The birth of the rally legend “Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral”
'87 Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral
As part of “25th Anniversary” project, and the continuation of Integral system development since the first introduction in homologation special, Gracelet Integral 4 - S, now the Mk.III Gracelet received with the ultimate version to keep up with the competitors.
The premier launch was on September 1987 at Suan Ambhorn Palace in 25th anniversary of the company since 1962, with many interest from around the world of this little racing machine.
The Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral was completely different from usual Gracelet, even Gracelet 1.6 Swift Ti Twincam Turbo from having different frontend design with twin sealed headlights and using longitudinal mounted engine rather than uasual transversly mounted in regular Gracelets.
While having the new engine same in turbocharged Cdx, the power delivery system was the same as appeared in Gracelet Integral 4 - S but better torque distribution, thanks to the new center differential with more distribution at the rear for shape handling like driving RWD cars without compromising the traction and safety on slippery surfaces.
Not only the performance was enhanced, but also the safety features and the interior were enhanced as well.
The Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral were equipped Anti-lock Brake System as standard for better control and safety.
After the premier launch, SBA decided to launch very special edition of the Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral named “25th Anniversary Edition” with total production of 250 cars worldwide. Only sold in Exclusive Black with Special Gold wheel rims.
The export version of Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral was debuted at 1987 Tokyo Motor show, only two months away from the premier launch in Thailand as part of 25th year anniversary and was produced from 1987 to 1992.
It was homologation special with only one goal, to compete in motorsports. SBA’s aim was still the same, Group A rallying, meaning that SBA has to manufactured 2500 units out from the entire range Gracelet Mk.III model.
However, due to its drastic nature of using longitudinal mounted engine, a far contrast from transversly mounted in usual Mk.III Gracelet which led to controversy of the eligibility as homologation special, resulted to late homologation approval from FIA in early '88 and increased production from the original number of 2500 units to 25000 units wordwide.
Later the Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral was serious challenger with other manufacturer in world rally championship with more success from Azure Giovanni, Mikka Kolianen and Steward Wilson who drove for the private team but finished in top 10 overall place in 1988 Olympus Rally.
'88 Gracelet 2.0 Ti Integral (US Specs)
As part of US market expansion, SBA decided to export the “Integral” as well, but a bit later than the rest of the world due to the further development for the engine and other safety regulation to be eligible to sell in the States.
Changes from global exports version were, catalytic converter due to emission standard which decreased the maximum power from over 220 horsepower to 216 horserpower, side markers and driver side airbag as standard, as automatic seatbelt system deemed not crashworthy enough for such performance machine.
The total number of US Spec were only 500 cars and it was sold out completly after the stellar result in 1988 Olympus Rally in hands of local driver, Steward Wilson for finishing within top 10 over place, only minutes away from John Buffum’s Audi Quattro.
The original advertisement for US Market.