The Glaze is an entry-level luxury car debuted at the 1980 Tokyo Motor Show for the international market, and at the 1981 Detroit Auto Show for the North American Market. It was a car that made waves with the luxury car market for being “different” than most other luxury cars at the time.
Its simple design made it resemble most other compact cars of its time period, however touches of chrome and other small details gave it a truly premium feel.
For the NA market, came in two trims, the 2.8 “Standard” base model trim and the 2.8 “GLS-T” both powered by a 2.8L SOHC inline-6 shared with the 3500. The Standard trim made 114HP from a naturally aspirated engine, and was mated to a 4-speed “Yuro-matic” transmission which sent the car from 0-60 in 12.5 seconds. The GLS-T made 150HP from a turbocharged engine and was also mated to a 4-speed “Yuro-matic” transmission which could send the car from 0-60 in a much quicker 9.9 seconds. Stopping power was provided by solid disc brakes on all fours, and could stop the car in 39.4m on average. The GLS-T weighed 1460kg and the Standard weighed 1350kg. The car was by no means designed for performance, but can offer decent driving fun when asked to.
The interior of the NA market Glaze differed between the trims. The Standard model offered power locks, power windows and a nice little compact cassette player. The seats were covered in high-quality cloth and the interior trims were lined with a mix of matching cloth and leather. Nothing too bizarre for a base model entry-level luxury car. The GLS-T featured power-adjustable front and rear seats, power locks, power windows and a slightly more premium compact cassette player. The seats were covered in a mix of leather and cloth and the interior trim lined with high quality Italian leather and maple bits on the center console and dashboard, which gave off a highly premium feel for it’s rather unassuming exterior. The leather was also available in 5 colors; Beige, Burgundy, White, Brown and Dark Grey.
Safety features included regulated 5 mph bumpers (discontinued following 1982 amendment), passive seatbelts, as well as driver and passenger side airbags standard on both trims.
The car went for sale in the North American market in 1981 for 15,500$ for the base “Standard” trim, and 25,000$ for the higher end “GLS-T” trim. (38,000$ and 55,000$ respectively adjusted for inflation.)
650,000 cars were sold in North America from 1981-1986, with 166,000 of those coming from Canada.
Introduced at the 1980 Tokyo Motor Show for the international market, it was lighter due to less stricter safety regulations, and sleeker (1981-82 MY) than the North American counterpart.
Differences were the lack of the overly large 5 mph front bumpers (1981-82 MY), and the extra trim level.
Internationally, the Glaze had 3 trim levels - The base model 2.8 “Standard”, 2.8 “GLS-T”, and only offered in Japan and select European markets, the 2.8 “LS Turbo”.
The cars remained mechanically the same as the North American market, with a 2.8L SOHC inline-6 on all trim levels, a monocoque steel chassis, corrosion resistant steel panels, and double wishbone suspension on all fours. Performance also remained nearly identical for the Standard and GLS-T trims, 0-100km/h in 12.3 seconds and 9.5 seconds respectively. Stopping power was again provided by solid disc brakes on all fours, and could stop the car in 39.3m on average based on tests.
Interior amenities were also the same, with power locks, windows and cassete players on all trims, as well as power-adjustable front and rear seats being reserved for the GLS-T and LS Turbo trims. Interior trim and seating material for Japanese market Glaze GLS-Ts and Glaze LS Turbos were custom made according to the buyer, and could select from a combination of maple and leather, walnut and leather, maple and cloth, or walnut and cloth, with the color of the leather dyed in the customer’s preferred color. This was the case for select European markets as well. For markets without custom made interior available, leather and cloth seats as well as maple and leather lined interior trim was standard on the GLS-T and LS Turbo.
Safety was the same as the NA market, with passive seatbelts and driver and passenger side front airbags standard on every trim level.
LS Turbo - Japanese and European exclusive
The LS Turbo was available for the Japanese and select European markets, and was a more performance-oriented variant of the Glaze.
The engine was a turbocharged variant of the 2.8L SOHC inline-6 similar to the one in the GLS-T, but featured a larger compressor, turbine, performance oriented headers, and various tweaks and produced 167 HP. The engine was mated to either the 4-speed “Yuro-matic” transmission, or an optional 5-speed manual. The car can go from 0-100km/h in 8.8 seconds when equipped with the 5-speed manual.
Vented disc brakes were available on all fours, and could stop the Glaze LS Turbo in 39m on average.
The suspension was more tuned towards handling than comfort, which made it a great car for track racing and thanks to it’s durable construction made it a fairly decent car for amateur rallying.
In Japan, the LS Turbo was available in two bodystyles, the regular 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe, everywhere else only the 4-door sedan was available.
Pricing outside the US remained nearly identical, 15,500$ for the “Standard” trim, 25,000$ for the" GLS-T", and 28,000$ for the “LS Turbo” in both bodystyles. (38,000$, 55,000$ and 73,500$ respectively, adjusted for inflation.)
Sales figures outside the US totalled to 750,000 cars sold from 1981-1986, with 550,000 of those sales coming from Europe. Combining North American, European, and Japanese sales, a total of 1,400,000 Glazes were sold from 1981-1986, and out of the 1.4m cars sold, 95,000 of them were LS Turbos, 22,000 of which are coupes.
TO BE UPDATED WITH MORE IMAGES