10 cool Japanese Kei cars
Kei cars may be small in size but they're big on character - Here are 10 super cool kei cars made in japan
Kei car is a Japanese category of small vehicles, including passenger cars, microvans, and pickup trucks. This class of vehicle emerged as Japan's economy was suffering post-WW2, and people could not afford a full-sized car, yet had enough to buy a motorcycle.
To promote the growth of the car industry in Japan, and as an alternative delivery method for small business owners, the kei car class was created.
Below are 10 of my favourite Kei cars...
10. Suzuki Hustler - The cute little Hustler weighs just 790KG and is powered by a 3-cylinder, 0.658L engine that produces 53hp from standard but can be spec'd up to a 64hp turbo.
9. Toyota Pixis Joy - The Pixis a Kei car with an SUV influence. It's a 5 door that packs a 658cc engine and is available with 4-wheel drive or front wheel drive.
8. Suzuki Alto Turbo RS - This little pocket rocket is powered by a 660cc, 3-cylinder DOHC engine and only weighs 670 KG, or 720KG in the case of the AWD model.
7. Daihatsu Copen - The original Copen was produced from 2002-2012. It was powered by a 659cc, 16 valve, turbocharged, DOHC, 4 cylinder engine. A second gen car is now in production in Japan.
6. Suzuki Cappuccino - Weighing just 725kg (1,598lb), the Cappuccino is powered by a turbocharged, three-cylinder, 657cc DOHC engine. The small, rear wheel drive sports car is said to have 50/50 weight distribution when both seats are occupied.
5. Honda S660 - the S660 harks back to the original 2-door sports coupe - the S500. It's powered by a 660cc engine with approximately 63hp. The mid-engine design means the car has great handling qualities.
4. Mazda Autozam AZ-1 - a mid-engined sports kei car, designed and manufactured by Suzuki but sold by Mazda under its Autozam brand. The AZ-1 is powered by a 657cc engine and is most recognisable thanks to its impressive Gullwing door design.
3. Honda Beat - the Beat is a rear wheel drive, mid-engined, two-seater roadster produced from 1991-1996. It's particularly special because it was the last car to be approved by Soichiro Honda before he died in 1991.
2. Mazda R360 Coupe - this was Mazda's first real car, introduced in 1960, it featured a short 69 inch (1753mm) wheelbase and weighed just 838lb (380 kg). It was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled 356cc V-twin engine that put out just 16hp.
1. Subaru 360 - Nicknamed the "ladybug" in Japan, the 360 was one of Japan's most popular cars and was available in two-door, station wagon, "convertible" (coupe with roll-back fabric roof) and sport model variants.