Tag Archives: kei

NEWS: Retro fourth-gen Suzuki Jimny leaked ahead of July debut

Though it has been on the market for nearly 50 years, the stalwart Suzuki Jimny has had only three complete generational changes. The fourth generation of the kei SUV debuts this July, but renderings based on leaked information in Japan’s Best … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A cartoon history of the Suzuki Alto and motorcycle business

After a brief hiatus, Suzuki is back with two new cartoon videos explaining how the company got where it is today. The first outlines the genesis of the Alto, a revered name in kei cars, and the second explains how … Continue reading

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This Kenmeri Skyline does not look o-kei

Japan is a place where space to park for your car is at a premium. Compared to most driving populations, Japan is full of visible feats of Jedi parking, where cars are squeezed with millimetric precision into the smallest parking … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: Mazda R360 Coupé

Of all the mainstream carmakers, Mazda puts the most stock into the driving experience and the sportiness of their vehicles. However, this is not just a recent occurrence. Mazda’s had drivers’ cars in their blood since their first post-war passenger car. Let’s take … Continue reading

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VIDEO: You can’t not love the Subaru Sambar

Scott Coletti is a lifetime Subaru fanatic, and his 360 Sambar is among the best kept examples stateside. I can only think of a handful that are anywhere near to being on par. He’s honest about the van — it’s … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: Suzuki Alto Works

Poor America. We don’t even know how bad we have it. In the States, we think of hatchbacks as puny, minimally equipped tin cans that people buy because they can’t afford something better. Elsewhere in the world and especially in Japan, not only are … Continue reading

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25 YEAR CLUB: Mazda Autozam AZ-1

Kei cars are cool. Slow and small they might be, but they are feats of engineering ingenuity that extract the most space, efficiency, and usability out of a tightly defined set of rules. And sometimes, the most fun as well. … Continue reading

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VIDEO: What it’s like to drive an Autozam AZ-1

“Ridge Racer-feeling” are the words used to describe the Autozam AZ-1, the Mazda-Suzuki collab that was quite possibly the pinnacle of the kei car breed. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, just death and taxes, or something like that. So in … Continue reading

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Tokyo Motor Show: The State of Cars in Japan

By now you have seen plenty of car magazine and social media channels declare the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show as being a disappointment. Leading up to the show, there were whispers of some tasty production cars being revealed: a Fairlady Z … Continue reading

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Kei Hero: Subaru 360 Young SS

The Subaru 360 gets a lot of praise as being the first massively successful car in the Japanese market, as important as the VW Beetle was for Germany and the Model T was for the US. That is great and well deserved recognition, … Continue reading

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Tokyo Motor Show: The heritage is strong with Daihatsu

Daihatsu came out strong this year with heritage models. We’ve already seen the Daihatsu DN Compagno concept, which shared the stage with a classic Compagno. Also at the Daihatsu stage was its most iconic nostalgic car, a 1959 Midget. 

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JCCS Spotlight: Best in Show goes to the most stunning Subaru 360 restoration we’ve ever seen

The competition has never been harder for a Best in Show award at JCCS. We did the perhaps obvious thing by giving the JNC award to a Datsun 510, but the JCCS judges collectively gave the coveted Best in Show … Continue reading

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NEWS: Daihatsu’s retro concepts for the Tokyo Motor Show

This year’s Tokyo Motor Show might see the revival of some legendary models — Supra, Z, S2000, Evo — but it might be Daihatsu that takes the cake for the most charming heritage concepts this year. The compact car specialist has revealed a … Continue reading

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Have a relaxing Labor Day from JNC

It’s Labor Day in the United States so the JNC staff is taking a break from our regularly scheduled program until tomorrow. Fifty years ago, though, the Mazda factory was hard at work churning out three-wheeled trucks. The K360 kei car … Continue reading

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NEWS: Honda announces reproduction parts for the Beat

Twenty-six years after the car’s debut, Honda has announced that it will begin making reproduction parts for its Beat sports car. The mid-engined kei roadster, introduced in May 1991, is a beloved enthusiast’s car in Japan, the only market in which … Continue reading

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Mazda restoring its first production passenger car, the R360 Coupé

Back in early 2015, Mazda embarked on a restoration project of a 1967 Cosmo Sport. As we reported, it began with the company desiring to instill the Mazda spirit in the carmaker’s next generation of employees through close study of heritage, … Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 06 — Trucks, Wagons, Vans, and Kei Jidosha

One of the great things about the New Year Meeting is that in addition to all the brilliant classics and street machines, commercial vehicles are welcomed as well. There aren’t many places on the planet where you’ll see such a gathering of classic Japanese … Continue reading

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Honda T880, an adorable retro kei truck concept

One of the coolest and most unexpected concepts to emerge from the Tokyo Auto Salon this year was the Honda T880. Based on the Honda Acty, it takes the unmistakable look of Japan’s ubiquitous kei trucks and creates a design that is … Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Remember George Michael with this supercharged Subaru kei car ad

The Subaru Rex Combi VX Supercharger was introduced in March 1988, and along with it came a snazzy new ad campaign. The addition of a supercharger to the 550cc kei hatchback boosted output from 36 to 54 horsepower, which doesn’t sound like … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Kiryu Classic Car Festival, Part 01

The Kiryu Classic Car Festival holds a special place in the history of JNC. Back in 2006, long before any other English-language sites were interested in kyusha, it was the first show we covered in Japan. That also happened to be the first time … Continue reading

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