Honda's new N Box platform was purpose built for Japanese domestic market Kei car regulations - the idea was to create a comfortable, spacious passenger environment for four adults using the available real estate of a minicar platform. The whole N Box package is designed to be customised and the Wa Concept, which took a bow today in Tokyo, has patent leather seats and a traditional Japanese lacquerware exterior. It's gorgeous!
Daihatsu is Japan's oldest car maker, celebrating its sixtieth year of production this year, having honed its skills in micro-vehicle design in an environment where space is at a premium, and the roads are as congested as any country on earth. Toyota's controlling interest looks set to pay off as the world is belatedly realising that small cars are the future. The three new concept cars it will exhibit at the Tokyo Motor Show two weeks from now point the way to the future in several ways.
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.