Tag Archives: kei

The Suzuki Lapin LC brings adorable retro style back to kei cars

If you missed your chance to get a Nissan Figaro, the throwback design of the Suzuki Lapin LC is here to save the day. It’s been a while since a Japanese carmaker has produced something in the retro-cute category. With … Continue reading

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Subaru 360 “Beach Van” charms its way to the kei car Grand Prix at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon

In a show where copious horsepower and dazzling bling overshadows less shouty cars, a humble Subaru 360 Custom has taken the Grand Prix for kei cars at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. Called the Subaru 360 Beach Van, it might … Continue reading

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2021, Part 01

To close out 2021, a year where things were finally opening up again, we’re going back to the Japanese Classic Car Show. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, JCCS was back in full form. Perhaps trying to … Continue reading

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Honda S660 extends final production run, for the fans

It’s always good to hear a story about a carmaker doing something for the fans. Honda announced that sad news back in March that production of the S660 roadster would be coming to a close. That led to a spike … Continue reading

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The Daihatsu HiJet has won Good Design’s lifetime achievement award

The Daihatsu HiJet, perhaps the most ubiquitous of all the many kei trucks in Japan, has won Good Design’s “Long Life” award. It’s one of Japan’s highest honors in the field of industrial design, recognizing graphics, products, and architecture that … Continue reading

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Suzuki surpasses milestone of 25 million kei cars sold

It’s taken 65 years and 7 months, but Suzuki announced on May 11 that it has sold 25 million kei cars. That’s not a huge number compared to, say, the Toyota Corolla, which has sold over 44 million of a … Continue reading

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EVENTS: The inaugural Kyushu Kei Car Meeting

On Sunday April 25th the inaugural Kyushu Kei Car Meeting was held in Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture. I see a raised hand in the back there. “Inaugural” means, like, the first one? Well, yeah. Due to a glaringly obvious oversight, … Continue reading

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Enkei expands selection of Neo-Classic wheels

Enkei has added new variants for two of its iconic wheels in the Neo-Classic line, a selection of wheels that have evolved with modern production processes but still retain their classic form. The Apache 2 Neo and Mesh 4 Neo … Continue reading

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The Honda S660 has completely sold out the rest of its production run

Honda announced on March 12 that production of its S660 roadster would come to an end, in March of 2022. That gave a year’s notice for anyone who wanted to buy one. Of course, this successor in name to the … Continue reading

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The Honda S660 will end production with another homage to the Beat roadster

Honda has announced that production of the S660 is coming to a close. A spiritual successor to the Beat and tribute to the S-series roadsters, the mid-engined kei sports car will end its run in March 2022. Honda is sending … Continue reading

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TAS2021: Here come Daihatsu’s Tokyo Auto Salon cars

Daihatsu has officially taken the wraps off their 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon builds. We saw mock-ups of them last month, but now videos of the finished cars can be seen in motion, complete with jaunty music. This is probably the … Continue reading

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100 YEAR CLUB: Mazda, Part 03

Among automotive journalists, including many of us here at JNC, Mazda has long occupied a special place in our hearts. To this day, their cars just tick for us. Why? As we near the end of the year that marks … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Behold, a loop of Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway in 1986

While most people are downing large quantities of Netflix right now, here’s something a bit more relevant to our interests: Home videos of driving through Tokyo in the Showa Era. It’s a clockwise loop of Tokyo’s Shuto, and speaking of … Continue reading

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MARKETWATCH: A Subaru 360 has sold for $50,000

A 1969 Subaru 360 has sold for an insane $50,000. For that price, you could afford a number of significant Japanese classics. A Datsun 510 or Fairlady Roadster, Toyota Celica or AE86, early Mazda rotary, and so on. Or, you … Continue reading

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OH, KEI! The Jimny Santa Monica was a cute beach cruiser based on Suzuki’s mini-4×4

With summer is upon us, so are dreams of beachside cruising. In the history of kei cars, there was perhaps no vehicle more fitting for that purpose than the Jimny Santa Monica (it’s right there in the name!). Built upon … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Every Honda S-car, driving

Every iteration of Honda’s S-series cars has been a hoot to drive. In a newly released video, the Honda Collection Hall in at Twin Ring Motegi compiles runs by each of their S roadsters around the narrow footpath behind the … Continue reading

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There was a Subaru 360 on The Sopranos, youse guys

Last week we asked what show had the best background JNCs. I had no idea at the time that I would find one of Japan’s iconic kei cars on HBO’s groundbreaking Y2K-era mobster drama, The Sopranos.

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VIDEO: More of the Daihatsu museum in a virtual tour

Daihatsu has uploaded more videos continuing the virtual tour of curiously named Humobility World, the company’s museum in Osaka. In part one, we saw the earliest Daihatsu products, a 5,842-pound diesel engine that’s likely the heaviest thing in Humobility World, … Continue reading

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Mazda 100th Anniversary Edition models include a nod to the R360 Coupé

Mazda is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and they are marking the milestone with a series of 100th Anniversary Special Edition cars. Announced this morning in Japan, the lineup draws inspiration from Mazda’s very first passenger car, thee 1960 … Continue reading

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Here’s how Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary

Turning 100 years old is a tremendous milestone for anyone. Mazda celebrated with an understated gathering at their headquarters in Hiroshima. The entrance was arranged with two cars from Mazda’s past, and two from its present. Around them, the lobby … Continue reading

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