Don’t look now, but a certain Nissan crossover is jukin’ and jivin’ it’s way to the top of the sales charts over in Japan. If you didn’t get our little play of words there, let’s do it in simpler terms.
The Nissan Juke - see! - has been such a hit in the Land of the Rising Sun that it’s been selling faster than a box set of discounted anime novels. According to Nissan, the little Juke that could has surpassed the company’s estimated orders in its first month by a whopping 300%. In just a week’s time since it was launched back in June 6, Nissan has already sold 1,300 units of the Juke and according to reports, orders for the Juke through Tuesday has already reached 5,296 units.
The Juke’s stronger-than-expected showing in its home country could be a sign of things to come for the quirky crossover as it is expected to set sail for Europe and North America in the coming months. When that happens, consumers should expect the crossover to be priced under $20,000. Whether or not it’s positive run in Japan translates to a positive reception in other parts of the world is still anybody’s guess, but if we were Nissan, we would take whatever good news came our way and the Juke’s strong showing in Japan is enough for us to open a bottle of sake and sing the night away in a local karaoke pub.
One of the greatest, if not the best roadster to ever come out of Japan is the focus of a few rumors. The next-generation Mazda MX-5 could weigh around 2,200 pounds and be able to manage 50 miles per gallon without losing any horsepower. While most people already know about these numbers and the new SKY-G engine, Best Car Japan is reporting that the SKY-G may not be getting the job.
The Japanese magazine reports that the 2010 Mazda Miata will be getting the old fashioned rotary engine. The 1.2-liter or 1.3-liter will also help keep the cars weight down. What makes us question this rumor is the rotary engine’s past. These motors have been less than fuel-efficient over the years so it seems a bit strange that it would be able to get 50 mpg.
We think that the new rotary will be paired with a hybrid, like we find in the Fiat 500 prototype by FEV . That car has a rotary motor that acts as a generator for a lithium-ion battery pack.
While all this talk is fun, we put all our chips in favor of a four-cylinder with a turbo. This will help keep the cars price down and the fun at an all time high.
Even if it’s halfway around the world from Italy, it hasn’t stopped a number of the affluent folks from Japan from building a strong presence of Ferrari owners in the country.
Recently, Ferrari Japan organized a Ferrari-exclusive festival in the Land of the Rising Sun that was attended by hundreds of Ferrari owners. All in all, about 600 Ferraris made the trip near the base of Japan’s most picturesque scenery, Mt. Fuji. Among the Prancing Horse models that showed up for the festival includes some of the rarest machines to come out of Maranello, including four Ferrari 599XX s, sixFerrari FXX s, the 1999 F399 Formula One race car, as well as a number of Ferrari F40 s and F50 s.
In addition to a host of activities that were done during the event, Ferrari Japan also used the festival to debut two of the company’s newest super toys, the Ferrari 599 GTO and the Ferrari 458 Italia .
Looking at these photos, we, just like everybody else, can only imagine what it’s like to be part of such a prestigious club. Seeing all those Ferraris in one place has definitely given us a case of scarlet envy.
After a year in the making, Subaru ’s in-house tuning company STI has unveiled the limited edition Legacy 2.5GT tS (tuned by STI). Based on the 2.5 GT S Package, the 2.5 GT tS will be limited to only 600 units and will be offered in both sedan and touring versions, with prices starting at 4,029,900 Yen (around $44,000) for the sedan and 4,187,400 Yen (around $46,000) for the touring.
The package comes with no power upgrades, but STI said it handles better and looks a lot cooler. The tS models will be distinguished by a front lip and rear spoiler, 18" alloy wheels, a less restrictive muffler, and STi badges. It also gets a revised Bilstein suspension, strut tower bars, and carbon fiber trimming.
For the interior STI offers sport seats dressed in alcantara and leather with contrasting red seams, decorative carbon trim in a titanium finish, STI leather steering wheel, and gearbox lever with red seams and STI-branded floor mats.
The Legacy 2.5GT tS is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
Maybe we should reconsider our position towards anime, especially in light of the fact that our Japanese friends can go really over-the-top with their fanaticism towards it. Normally, we’re tolerant of those who enjoy it, but when the obsession goes a little overboard - as is the case with this one - then we can’t help, but wonder what these loonies are thinking.
It’s cool if it were any other car, like maybe, a Corolla or a Civic , but painting anime and manga characters all over a beautiful Ferrari 360 ? Imagine the outcry over there at Maranello. They never, in their wildest dreams, would have thought that somebody would do this to one of their exotics.
Maybe the owner of this car should get married to the owner of that Hello Kitty Ferrari 360. That would be a sight to see.
The Nissan GT-R is a car that made sensation ever since its official launch. And with the New-Spec unveiled recently it seemed that it needed no improvement. But Nismo announced it will unveil a special edition built for the Japanese market.
It will be called "Club Track Edition" and as you might have guessed it was designed with the race-track in mind. It features a stripped out interior, racing seats, six-point seatbelt, a roll cage and 20" Rays forged wheels from the SpecV only wrapped in sticky slicks. Nismo is also offering adjustable Bilstein suspension.
There’s no doubt that the Mitsuoka Orochi is one of the ugliest cars in the world. And we know that there is rarely a time that something that ugly goes away quickly and quietly. Japanese maker Mitsuoka , however, is attempting to sway the attention from the horrific display of craftsmanship on over to the new special edition supercar they have just unveiled. The Premium Gold will be limited to only 20 units and will be priced at almost $100K.
The Premium Gold edition features a new front spoiler and two elements on the trailing edge of the body. A new exhaust system with four pipes is also attached and, in the interior, Alcantra leather is added.
The Orochi Premium Gold is powered by the same Toyota sourced V6 engine that delivers 231 HP and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Now, go back and read that statement again. We’ll wait....
Yes, Japan is trying to sell this "supercar" for almost $100K and it only delivers 231hp. Makes one think what the hell is going on over there. After years of concentrated effort (the car has been in the works since about 2001 when the concept was unveiled) we would think that they could come up with something better than this. We doubt there will be a rush for the 20 that will be produced.
Comparing a Shelby Cobra to snow may be the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard, but hear us out first. For all the giddiness we feel when we first see snowflakes falling on the ground, it’s pretty much the same feeling we have when we see a Shelby Cobra. However, as time passes on, the effect of snow becomes less of a novelty and more of a hassle. Snow angels are replaced with the chore of having to shovel snow on the streets, making it a tedious and tiring experience.
To some extent, that’s exactly what we feel with the Cobra. The first few times are awesome, blasting in and around streets at breakneck speeds with not a care in the world. That is until we realize the fact that this car comes with a 7.0-liter V8 engine. Yeah, it’s a gas-guzzling serpent and not exactly a healthy option for our wallets.
But what if we told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? No, we are not talking about the girls in the picture, but of an actual Cobra. Would you listen?
The latest edition of Best Car is no different. In this issue, the magazine runs a story regarding the soon-to-be-released Toyota FT-86 , only this time, the story mentions that Toyota may also release a tuned-up version of the FT-86, which the magazine is calling the ’FT-86F’.
Unfortunately, we got lost in translation just by looking at the magazine so we really couldn’t piece together what the article was talking about. But thankfully, the rendering of the supposed FT-86F showed enough changes from the standard model that it was relatively easy to spot the more aggressive styling cues in the car, including those enormous air-intakes on each side of the bumper, a rear wing spoiler at the back, an upgraded hood and two modified center-mounted exhaust pipes.
Check out the photos of the magazine and see the differences yourself.
Nevermind that we don’t understand a single word of this commercial; the new Honda CR-Z is getting prepped for its initial marketing blitz in Japan with a set of new commercials that promotes Honda’s new hybrid car.
In typical Japanese fashion, the commercials border on the quirky side with a touch of high imagination. Then again, we kind of figured that the CR-Z doesn’t really need that much promotion in its native land, especially when news broke out that orders for the CR-Z have already reached 10,000 units in just its first month .
But as they say, you can never have enough promotion for a new product, especially when you have the resources to do so.