Zenshi Axia (3rd Generation, SH305J), 1984-1989
The third generation Axia made it’s debut in the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show as the Concept V8. This generation also marked the new beginning of the Axia transitioning from a midsize executive sedan to a fullsize one, the then empty gap replaced shortly by the Luris, the predecessor to the Altrea.
The Axia, now a fullsize sedan, possesses a longer wheelbase, body length, and interior space to boot. It’s dashing good looks resulted for popular use within movies and TV shows. Designed this time around to target the European luxury sedans that were the definition of luxury, it proved to be a formidable opponent, being equipped with moquette upholstery with adjustable front row seats, steering wheel, and climate control.
The main (and only) engine powering the SH305J is the TY40-CE 4.0L V8 engine, boasting 225 HP and 237 lb-ft of torque, mated to either a 3-speed automatic or a 4-speed manual. Later models (1986+) utilized 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmissions. Despite being larger than it’s previous counterpart, the H205F, the Axia still was surprisingly nimble, being able to take corners without any sign of falter.
The SH305J Axia was a considerable success to Zenshi, as it showed that not only were they capable of building a large luxury sedan, but also that they were capable of creating a luxury sedan that didn’t suffer in terms of performance. All of these qualities soon formed up to what would be the foundation for the development of the SH405V in 1989.