Tag: japanese car
Nissan and Mitsubishi today presented their jointly developed, but separately badged and marketed kei car to an amazingly large contingent of the Japanese press. TTAC readers are quite familiar with the car(s). They have watched the Nissan DAYZ and its Mitsubishi siblings, the eK Wagon and eK Custom on its first day of production at Mitsubishi’s plant in Mizushima, near Hiroshima, more than two weeks ago. Today, the car arrived in Tokyo.
TTAC’s fascination with all things Chinese mandates that we get our hands on the first Chinese car to be sold on North American shores, lest we betray our mandate. That first example happened to come from Honda – and the Made In China Fit you see here might be the one vehicle most true to the company’s roots.
Deciding what to do with a 662 hp muscle car was hard enough. Deciding what to do with the last pristine nearly new RX-7 in the country is even harder — because you can’t do anything with it, really. You certainly can’t street park it. I left it in an open lot the first night, only to discover that someone had put out their cigarette on the decklid. That was it. I ended up paying prices that would make a Manhattanite blush just so I could leave it in a covered multi-story garage visible from the bedroom window of my condo. Night after night I would stare at the slippery yellow shape under the glow of the cheap halogen lights, like a father staring at his premature baby in the neo-natal unit, checking and re-checking despite the near zero probability of anything bad actually happening.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara was the second worst-selling small SUV in America last month, with 419 sold. The only competitor that fared worse was the now-dead Mazda Tribute, which sold 1 unit (ostensibly a remainder car).
Ah, the Mazda RX-8. Given that it shares many underpinnings with the NC Miata, has a high-reving, silky smooth powerplant, 4 doors and a useable backseat, it should be a shoo-in for my next car, right? Not at all.
Google looks to be stepping their whip game up with the addition of a lexus RX450h. Joining the fleet of Prii is the luxury crossover, which Wired Magazine’s Damon Lavrinc discovered thanks to a tipster. According to Wired, Google claims that
“In the course of our work, we experiment with testing our algorithms on various vehicles to help us improve our technology,”
Which is a fancy way of saying “we got a Lexus for R&D reasons”. Lavrinc notes that the new car was spotted just days after California passed a bill mandating regulations for autonomous vehicle testing. If someone could explain to us why the Lexus has no license plates, that would be a start.
The Infiniti JX marks the fourth SUV or crossover for the brand, slotting between the FX sporty crossover and the gargantuan QX56. According to Infiniti, the brand had nothing to stem the flow of customers who were dabbling outside the brand when it came time for a three-row luxury crossover. Instead of letting their clients go off and get an Acura MDX or Audi Q7, Infiniti took the underpinnings of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and co-opted them for a luxury vehicle.
In a very small way, my family was involved in bringing the Honda CR-V to North America. As Honda hemmed and hawed about bringing their first in-house SUV to the continent, they quietly shipped over a few right-hand drive examples in late 1995 for employees to evaluate. As a car guy with two kids, my father, who was Honda’s in-house attorney at the time, was a perfect candidate, and got the bright blue CR-V for a few days. Festooned with chrome accents, graffiti-like graphics, a JDM fender mirror and brush bars, the right-hand drive CR-V got lots of attention. The CR-V finally came to North America two years later, without all the awful acoutrements that Japanese versions had in spades.
North America won’t get a “tuner special” Scion FR-S like the Japanese Toyota 86 will. Such a policy apparently contradicts Scion’s policy of offering one trim level, and the American FR-S will apparently come pretty well equipped. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see it later.