Kei cars are a uniquely Japanese phenomena which began as a tax and insurance stimulus for the Japanese car industry in the post WWII era. Kei regulations only restrict physical size, engine displacement and power, so manufacturers have used every square centimetre and stacked it with as many advanced technologies as possible. The top-selling Kei car is Suzuki's Wagon R which offers a DOHC VVT 660cc engine, CVT transmission, engine stop-start, EBD, ABS, plus a Viscodrive coupling that provides on-demand AWD capability without electronics. Prices start at under 10 million yen (USD 9100) and the fully optioned Wagon R still comes in at under USD15,000. Maybe we need a similar stimulus based around size and emissions.
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