Asia Rocsta debuted in 1989. The model was equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox and one of two engines – gasoline (1.8 l, 86 hp) and atmospheric diesel (2.2 l, 72 hp). The mechanical part of this SUV is copied from the legendary Willis, the one that was supplied by our allies during the World War II through land-lease.
In 1994, a modernization was carried out, affecting the appearance and interior, as a result of which the front of the car began to resemble the first generation Mitsubishi Pajero. At the same time, sales of cars with a body extended by 45 cm began. In parallel with the “new” Rocsta, the previous modifications were produced.
In 1996, more than a hundred cars were assembled from car kits at the Avtotor Kaliningrad plant. All of them were diesel and, depending on the configuration, could have air conditioning and power steering.
In 1998, Rocsta was discontinued, giving way to the conveyor belt of the new Retona model.
During the ten years that Rocsta stood on the assembly line, several of its modifications were released, differing mainly in the type of top and body length. As for the roof, it could be tarpaulin, removable plastic and all-metal, and there were two body options: the short one had a length of 3.7 m, the long one was 450 mm longer. On the basis of the latter, a double pickup truck was made, but it was not exported and was sold only in the domestic market of Korea. In addition to bodies, modifications differ in the design of the front. The corrosion resistance of the body can be described as mediocre, and first of all, rust appears under decorative plastic overlays. But the transformation of local rust into through corrosion is slow.
Two engines were offered for Rocsta: a 1.8-liter 86-horsepower gasoline and a 2.2-liter diesel engine, developing 72 hp. Cars equipped with a gasoline engine were not in great demand in Europe and were mainly supplied to the domestic market, while diesel is of greatest interest. This four-cylinder vortex chamber assembly with an overhead camshaft is not a Korean development. It was released under a license agreement. It was this engine that the Japanese company Mazda completed with some of its models. As befits a diesel engine has a moderate appetite and does not consume more than 10-12 liters of diesel fuel, even in severe off-road conditions. On average, fuel consumption in the city-highway mode is approximately 8 l / 100 km.
Rocsta is a full-fledged SUV equipped with an appropriate transmission, in which the main axle is the rear axle, and the front one is connected manually and communicates tightly with it (there is no center differential in the transfer case). The front hubs are equipped with freewheels, which allows the rear axle mechanism to not spin idle when driving with rear-wheel drive, which has a beneficial effect on the resource of all its elements and also reduces fuel consumption. The couplings are manually engaged, and in order to be able to use all-wheel drive, you must first get out of the car and move the switch on the hub from position 2 to position 4, and then connect the front axle with the lever from the passenger compartment. The gearbox was installed only a five-speed manual, and the transfer case – two-stage. The role of guides and at the same time elastic elements is played by archaic springs. To absorb damping, oil shock absorbers are used, which go very briefly. Their service life does not exceed 30-40 thousand km. Perhaps this is because this short-base car is characterized by increased “trembling” and “jumping”. Due to its low weight, its good distribution along the axles and the high-torque Rocsta diesel engine, it has almost no competitors in cross-country ability.
It is worth mentioning that the vast majority of cars do not have any modern comfort elements, and the power steering can easily be absent in the steering. However, occasionally there are instances with air conditioning and electric windows. The cabin is tiny in size, and only a large travel bag fits in the trunk.
With the placement of the same driving problems do not arise for quite large drivers, which is achieved due to the wide range of seat adjustments and the angle of the steering column. For all its primitiveness, the model was quite successfully (given the small volume of production) sold in Europe. This is due primarily to its low price, as well as a successful diesel engine.