The 117 Coupé was debuted as a prototype at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, and was later shown at the Toyo Motor show the same year. In 1968, Isuzu started preliminary small-scale production of 117 Coupés, which were effectively handmade in amounts not exceeding 50 a month. The first engine available was a 1.6 L DOHC I4, and in 1970, an electronic fuel injection unit from Bosch debuted. The model fitted with fuel injection was named the EC (for "electronic control").
The car came with a long list of standard equipment (including leather seats, dashboard trim made of Taiwanese camphor laurel wood, and headrests) and was very expensive for Japanese standards. This concerned also the less luxurious 1800N version added in 1971, powered by a simpler 1.8 L SOHC carbureted engine.
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