You might have heard that over the weekend, Toyota won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third time in a row. It’s a tremendous feat, even if it ran largely unopposed by any other automaker. Toyota also took the opportunity to remind the world that it is, in fact, working on a hypercar that will make the Lexus LFA look like a Camry. Sure, Nissan, your Z Proto might be the talk of the town, and the R390 GT1? That’s cute. This is the GR Super Sport, and it’s probably going to have close to 1,000 horsepower. Continue reading
Nissan has been through a tumultuous couple of years. In November 2018 its CEO of nearly 20 years Carlos Ghosn was arrested on charges of misappropriating company funds and has since become an international fugitive. His replacement, Hiroto Saikawa, lasted less than a year before resigning over “improper overcompensation.” All the while, the company faced falling sales compounded by the coronavirus. Makoto Uchida became CEO in October 2019, promising to turn the company around rebuild the internal structure that made his predecessors’ alleged improprieties possible. It’s won’t be an easy road, but Uchida has at least one thing going for him — his first car was a Z32 Nissan Fairlady Z. Continue reading
Today is Respect for the Aged Day, a Japanese holiday that honors the elderly. With the introduction of a new Z, one of original models that changed western perceptions of what a Japanese car could be, it seems only fitting to consider the predecessors that have made our hobby what it is today. While the Z might be an obvious choice, one could argue that its little brother, the humble 510, put more Japanese cars in driveways. There’s no right or wrong answer, and it probably depends on what your modern favorites are.
What pivotal Japanese car made our modern favorites possible?
The Nissan Z Proto is finally here, and that’s a good thing. For one, it means Nissan plans to bring a seventh-generation Z to market. Let’s not forget that the sixth-gen 370Z was introduced in 2008, or two Spider-Man reboots ago. For a long time, the fate of the Z35 — and the Z lineage at large — was uncertain. We recently found out just how uncertain it was. Continue reading
The Isuzu TX-series trucks were a fixture in Japan’s post-war reconstruction. Their rule spanned over three decades, from 1946-79, an era that saw Japan transform from a defeated power to and economic juggernaut. TX-series trucks hauled cargo, moved earth, and were adapted into fire engines. The TX-80 in particular was a best-seller in the 5-ton segment. With seemingly zero cares given to styling, these trucks were ugly as an ox but they got the job done. Continue reading
If there is one carmaker, Japanese or not, that consistently puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to performance, it’s Mazda. Already flush with a lineup of cars with razor-sharp handling, over the last few years it has also been quietly turbocharging everything too. Today the Hiroshima company announced that it’s now putting its 2.5-liter turbo into its CX-30, essentially a 3 wagon with plastic cladding. But why? Continue reading
With any car possessing as much heritage as the Nissan Z, you can’t just trot it out with paying respects to its elders. So it was only natural that Nissan would bring out its classic Z-cars from its own collection to the debut of the Z Proto in Yokohama, Japan. Here’s the entire clan, all gathered together, to welcome the latest addition to the family. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe, but the Nissan Z Proto is the first new Z design in nearly 12 years. It was way back on November 15, 2008 we showed you the first photos of the 370Z ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Since then, several other Japanese sports cars have seen reboots, but arguably none have the name recognition, the following, and the brand heritage of the Nissan Z. When you have that much history and fandom, expectations run sky-high and it’s an almost impossible bar to clear. From what we know of the Z Proto, though, we think Nissan just might have pulled it off. Continue reading
On October 18, 1969 the motoring world was forever changed when the Nissan Fairlady Z was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. These lucky attendees, who probably all have heads of gray now, got to see it in person. Did they fathom the sports car revolution that was about to transpire when the car before them was unleashed to the public? Tonight, nearly 51 years later, we can be these young men as Nissan unveils the long-awaited seventh-generation Z online. JNC will have our impressions of the Z Proto, with photos, here at 5:45 pm Pacific Time. Stay tuned.
Over the weekend Honda launched an NSX 30th anniversary minisite in Japan. But wait, you might say. Didn’t Honda already celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NSX last year? Well, you would be correct. The event at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show celebrated the 1989 debut of the Acura NS-X Concept. The production NSX was announced on September 13, 1990 and went on sale a day later, September 14. Continue reading
By tomorrow night the world will know what the long-awaited seventh-generation Z-car will look like. It’s been over 50 years since the debut of the original, so let’s take this opportunity to reflect on our fondest memories of the Z, no matter which generation.
For me, personally, it was probably receiving a Bluestreak toy from my aunt as a birthday present. Transformers, though, were flying off store shelves and nearly impossible to get. My aunt didn’t even know what they were, just that they were “popular with the kids.” I’ve competed in a TSD rally in a good friend’s 240Z, gone camping with my wife out of a 370Z, driven a sub-200-mile Z32, and attended the Z’s 50th birthday party at the hotel where the original 240Z was unveiled, but I will never forget this toy. At the time my peer group was outgrowing Matchboxes (but not cartoons created as 30-minute toy advertisements targeting children) so it was no longer “cool” to like toy cars. Bluestreak not only made me realize there was something special about the Z, but rekindled my love for cars of all sizes, a passion that I haven’t strayed from since.
What’s your fondest Nissan Z-Car memory?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “If you could only own one car from each Japanese marque, what would your garage look like?” Continue reading
Pre-war photos are very difficult to come by, but Isuzu has just released a video comprised of images of the Isuzu Sumida bus from 90 years ago. The Sumida was one of Isuzu’s earliest designs, introduced in 1929. In fact, it even predates the company known as Isuzu, which at the time was still called Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering. Design began in 1927, in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that leveled much of Tokyo. With rail systems disrupted, it became clear that trucks and buses were desperately needed if Japan’s economy was to recover and grow. Continue reading
Sure, it didn’t have any licensed cars (although there was that one car on the cover that looked like a cross between a Mitsubishi Eclipse and FTO), but it as the name implies, it was inspired by the mountain driving popular in Japan at the time. It was a pioneer of drifting physics as well, which became integral to the personality of the game. In other words, the PlayStation and Ridge Racer brought an early form of touge battles to American living rooms long before anyone in the States knew of Initial D (Sega, for its part, went with the 3D Daytona USA).
Nissan is really coming on strong with the Z Proto teasers. It was only Monday that they seemed to hint at a manual transmission. Many of you jokesters said that it was probably just the gear selector for a CVT, a not entirely unjustified concern. However, another teaser that dropped just this morning shows definitively that yes, the Z Proto will have an honest-to-god stick shift, with six-speeds and a rev match on/off switch like in the 370Z. We also get a few more glimpses of the exterior and some engine sounds. Continue reading
The Nissan Bluebird 910, also known as a shorter, four-cylinder version of the original Nissan Maxima, saw no shortage of racing action. Nissan even entered it in the 1981 Safari Rally, equipped with a turbocharged Z18ET said to output 230 horsepower. Sadly, it got stuck on one of the stages and thus timed out of the race. Still, Nissan managed to sweep the podium with other entries, so it was an overall success. Happy 910 Day from JNC!
Oh, Nissan. You would not be you if you didn’t follow a week of promising teases of the new Z without some crushing disappointment. Turns out, Nissan is completely giving up on the March, and handing development over to Renault entirely for the next generation. Though it might not seem like a big deal to Z and GT-R fans, the March has been an essential member of the Nissan family since its launch. Continue reading
The Honda Trail 125 motorcycle, successor to the once popular bike known colloquially as the Hunter Cub, is coming to the US. The stripped down, toughened up version of the Super Cub has been a favorite for outdoorsy types for decades, and went on sale in Japan in March. It is only fitting that the Trail Cub (this thing has many different nicknames around the world) return to the States, as it had its origins here 60 years ago. Continue reading
We know there are lots of brand loyalists in our readership, but this is a game some of the JNC staff have been playing offline. What if the Honda Heads, Toyotaku, Mazdafarians, and their ilk were forced to consider a garage where you could not own more than one car from each marque? And to make this harder, let’s say that these are all the cars you are allowed to own. We often think of respective sports cars as the “best” from each badge, but do you need a stable full of two-door coupes? Keep in mind that your tow rig, winter beater, and spouse’s daily will all have to come from this pool.
For the purposes of this question, let’s establish that the marques are Toyota/Lexus/Scion, Mazda, Subaru, Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infiniti/Datsun, Mitsubishi, and Isuzu. If you’re going to throw in a Hino or Suzuki in there we won’t complain, but one car per marque.
If you could only own one car from each Japanese marque, what would your garage look like?
A new teaser trailer for the seventh-generation Z Proto seems to imply that the car will be coming with a manual transmission. Not only does it show a brief clip of a driver’s hand coming to rest on a gear selector, the video ends on that image. Nissan is clearly trying to make a statement, and it’s a statement that matches what sources have hinted to us. Continue reading