If you’ve been jonesing for some automotive anime action, your time has come. MF Ghost, the long awaited follow-up to Initial D, will make its debut this coming Sunday. Like its predecessor, it follows the tale of an unlikely racing hero, who takes down far more powerful cars in a Toyota 86. This time, rather than an AE86, it’s the first-generation Toyota 86 (aka Scion FR-S). Continue reading
The Tokyo Motor Show is about to kick off, and Honda is first to the gates with a retro-modern concept. The Sustaina-C looks like a modern Honda City, and it was even revealed with a new bike, the Honda Pocket, which may or may not be foldable. Could it be the next City and Motocompo duo? Continue reading
We recently learned that Mitsubishi is opening a theme park in Japan. While not automotive-themed, we do hope that they include at least some nods to their automotive division’s long history. Why not include a Pajero jungle cruise, Lancer Evolution roller coaster, or Mirage bumper cars? The possibilities are endless. For some reason, the Mitsubishi Group mothership has put you in charge of developing Mitsubishi-land.
What would you put in a Mitsubishi theme park?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What automatic transmission JNC makes a great driver’s car?“. Continue reading
The iconic Toyota AE86 was introduced to the world in 1983 in Japan, making this year the 40th anniversary of the beloved classic. So it was only fitting that Toyota mark the occasion by releasing a tribute edition of the GR86. While the package is mostly cosmetic, there are many nods to the Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno that inspired it. Continue reading
A lot of the merch that automotive companies make is pretty generic. I mean, is there really anything special about a Toyota-branded water bottle or a Nissan ball-point pen? Every once in a while, though, an absolutely genius idea results in the perfect promotional item. Such is the case with Yokohama’s Advan tread-pattern erasers. Continue reading
As car enthusiasts we desperately want Mitsubishi to show some sign of life, preferably by building a Lancer Evolution XI or even a new Pajero/Montero. Then we read about how instead of lending a helping hand to its car division, it’s building a gigantic theme park in Japan that will rival Tokyo Disneyland in size. The proposal was announced by the city of Yokohama last week. Continue reading
Hallelujah! The on-again, off-again Mazda FR straight-six sports sedan might not be completely dead yet. A new report out of Japan says that Hiroshima might be proceeding with the project, which was slated to be the next Mazda 6. Last we heard, it had been shelved in favor of SUVs, but it looks like the SUVs might just be its savior. Continue reading
Patrons of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York will notice an unexpected new addition to the lawn: a mid-90s Japanese luxury sedan. The two-tone Lexus GS300 is part of a new exhibit honoring hip-hop legend Jay-Z, who often rapped about his “off-white Lexus” in which he got his career start. The car’s is part of an exhibit called “The Book of HOV” chronicling Jay-Z’s work, and its presence an official partnership with Lexus USA. Continue reading
My wife knows how to drive a manual, but isn’t confident and doesn’t want to deal with it in traffic. Right now she sees driving as mostly an unavoidable chore, but my hope is that if we start off with a few weekend canyon drives and autocross events, she’ll begin to enjoy driving for its own sake. Once she feels more comfortable behind the wheel, perhaps she’ll graduate to a manual. She might never, and that’s okay. But that’s why the car we pick, a 25-year-or-older JNC, should be able to stand on its own as an automatic. The best scenario would be one that was never offered in a manual from the factory, thus avoiding any regrets for not getting the stick version.
What automatic transmission JNC makes a great driver’s car?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s in your ideal classic and daily two-car garage?“. Continue reading
In Japan carmakers proudly display their wares at their company headquarters, but that’s not always the case for their American subsidiaries. For years, Honda kept their US heritage collection in a warehouse — a nice one — but one that wasn’t truly accessible by the public. Back in July that warehouse quietly closed for good, and on September 12 reopened the official American Honda Collection Hall at its US headquarters building in Torrance, California. Continue reading
Honda has revived its foldable Motocompo city bike for the modern era. It’s called the Motocompacto, as trademark filing in 2020 revealed, and it’s a little bike that folds into a tidy rectangle. This time around, it’s electric. The original was paired with the Japan-market Honda City hatchback, but the new one is a standalone product you can buy on its own. It’s still designed to fit in the trunk of a car, though not a specific one, but the best part is that you can buy one at a Honda or Acura dealership the US. Continue reading
Remember the Nissan Hardbody teaser from last week? It debuted today and as was foretold from the teaser it’s an option package on the Frontier rather than a distinct model. However, the package contains several nostalgic nods to the original D21 Our favorite is probably the 3-spoke block wheels that are essentially a carbon copy of their 1980s’ counterpart, just bigger. Continue reading
Akio Toyota may have retired from being president of Toyota, but he appears to be active as ever when it comes to promoting cars. And it’s not just cars from his own company, which his grandfather founded, that he’s promoting. Not satisfied with showing up at a rally behind the wheel of a Honda, it has also been revealed that Toyoda-san, still a chairman at Toyota, is helping Subaru return to the World Rally Championship. Continue reading
If you needed further proof that Akio Toyoda is the most delightful car executive in the world, look no further. The former president of Toyota recently charmed Japan’s netizens when he was spotted at a rally event in Japan driving a Honda. “What kind of car is this?” the cameraman asks as Toyoda pulls up. With nothing short of total enthusiasm, the current Toyota chairman says, “It’s a Honda!” before chucking a thumbs up and driving off. Continue reading
Due to life circumstances, you have only two parking spaces at your residence and will for the foreseeable future. Fortunately the car gods have granted you one space for the JNC of your dreams, no questions asked except it must be 25 years or older. The other must be your daily driver for work and family-hauling duties. It can be however old you want, which means it also be a classic if that fits your particular needs. Please show your work (explain why you choose the cars you name).
What’s in your ideal classic and daily two-car garage?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What Honda model is the most Honda?”. Continue reading
Nissan dropped a mysterious little teaser Thursday centered around the delightful D21 Hardbody. The no-nonsense compact pickup embodied the notion of form following function, and there was a minimalist beauty in its simplicity. We aren’t naive enough to think that Nissan will bring back the D21, but the press release reads, “The Hardbody legacy continues,” and “Beloved compact truck begins its next chapter Sept. 14.” As the Hardbody is one of our favorite trucks, consider our interest piqued. Continue reading
The dust is still settling from Toyota’s Century SUV bombshell, and strong opinions will continue to reverberate for some time. In the meantime, thanks to some design illustrations we can glimpse what those who worked on the car originally imagined. It’s not uncommon for there to be a huge chasm between what a designer intends and what is practical for packaging and production, but we can’t help but feel some opportunities were missed. Continue reading
At the time Toyota was developing the original Century, the most luxurious cars available in Japan were foreign made. Kiichiro Toyoda wanted to build a Japanese car that could go head-to-head with them, but Toyota’s experience in building passenger cars was in its infancy and the brand lacked the history-laden cachet of the marques it sought to challenge. “Heritage will come later. It would be forgery to pretend it exists, when it does not,” said Kenya Nakamura, the Century’s chief engineer. “We must create a completely new type of luxury car. The Achilles heel of luxury cars today is their inability to change.” This seems to be Toyota’s way of saying they need to change with the times. Continue reading
Honda has made some fantastic vehicles in its 75 years as a company. But if you had to pick just one car to represent the distilled essence of Honda, what would it be? From the humble Civic CVCC to the world-beating NSX, there’s a tremendous breadth of engineering excellence under the H banner. Is it even possible to narrow it down to just one? Maybe not, but make your arguments here.
What Honda model is the most Honda?
At long last Toyota has revealed the full story of how they recreated their first race car, the 1951 Toyopet Racer. News of the car’s existence was only made public last year, and after 71 years lost to history no examples had survived. Toyota sought to build a replica from scratch, and though the car was primitive by today’s standards the project, even with all the manufacturing might behind one of the largest automakers in the world, proved much more difficult than it might seem at first. Continue reading