Why hello there, Mitsuoka! How we’ve missed you so!
The eccentric Japanese coachbuilder hasn’t been in the news for a while now, but like raindrops in summer, they come out again on the news in their trademark unsuspecting fashion.
From the people that brought us the infamous Orichi sportscar and the Mazda MX-5-based Himiko Roadster comes another priceless – for better or for worse – vehicle to their growing stable: the Mitsuoka Galue Limousine, an updated four-door limo that was built on the latest Nissan Teana sedan.
Don’t worry, folks. The Galue Limousine is nowhere near the level of ugly the Orichi comes in. Actually, the limo looks surprisingly svelte given the circumstance of who made it. Similar to its previous works – except with the Orichi, of course – Mitsuoka used a heavy dose of classic British car influence on the front end of the Galue Limousine. The car’s rear, on the other hand, looks a lot more recent than the front and is the perfect example of Mitsuoka’s continued fascination with putting two elements from different generations together and just sees how it looks like in the end. The company’s had more misses than it has had hits, but the Galou limousine looks to have been the latter - a ‘single’ in baseball parlance, but a hit nevertheless.
In terms of performance, Mitsuoka uses a has a number of different trims as well as two engine options available for the updated version of the Galue Limousine – a 2.5-liter version and a 3.5-liter V6 variant. Pricing for the vehicle comes out at a range from $44,700 to $64,200 and will be made available beginning on November 12th in Japan.
About a week ago, we introduced a special edition BMW Z4 Silver Top Edition that’s being exclusively made for the Japanese market. Turns out, that isn’t the only special edition sports car that’s making its way to Japan, leading us to wonder why they always seem to get first dibs on limited-run cars. It’s not exactly fair, is it?
Having said that, our readers over in Japan will be happy to know that a special edition Ferrari California will be offered exclusively in Japan, similar to the aforementioned BMW Z4 Silver Top Edition. The limited run California is being offered by the country’s leading Ferrari importer, Cornes & Co., and was created to celebrate their 30 years of service in Japan. There will only be 10 available models in three different color schemes – four models will have a Bianco/Nero color scheme, three will have a Nero/Crème color way, and three more will have a Rossa Corso/Nero color scheme.
The engine setup will remain as is with the California’s 4.3L V8 engine producing 450hp, but the importers made sure to give this special edition California some new exterior digs, including new carbon fiber materials on the fuel cover, rear moulding, door handles, and side skirts. This California also comes with Rosso Brake Calipers and a special set of wheels in the form of 5-spoke diamond polished forged wheels with the unmistakable red Prancing Horse center caps that have been bolted down by a set of titanium bolts.
As for the pricing, you can own one of the 10 available models for 26.5 million yen or about $319,000 based on current exchange rates. It’s highly unlikely that we can buy one of the 10 models given that they’re only selling them in Japan so we’ll just settle for the next best thing: looking at the photos over and over again.
Now that Honda has decided to discontinue the UK-built Civic Type R after not meeting the Euro V emissions regulations, the Japanese-based auto company is bringing a select number of these sporty hot hatches back to the motherland as a limited edition release.
The 2011MY Civic Type R Euro will be launched in Japan in limited quantity – only 1,500 units will be made available – putting it up for grabs to the first 1,500 customers who would want to drive home with one.
There’s not a whole lot of difference between the current-generation Civic Type R Euro from its predecessor – the 2.0-liter VTEC engine remains the same – with the only new components being a new color for the three-door hot hatch – Crystal Black Pearl – in addition to a number of trim updates and a redesigned fuel cap.
The 2011MY Civic Type R Euro will be sold in its home country at a price tag of 3 million Yen, which, if you convert based on current exchange rates, is around $37,000. Too bad we won’t be able to get a piece of this Civic hatch. Would’ve been a nice addition to our garage.
Living in Japan has always had its perks. There’s the beautiful weather, the delicious tempura prawns, and if you’re a fan of BMW, the exclusive BMW Z4 Roadster Silver Top Edition.
Say what, you ask? An exclusive BMW Z4 for the Japanese market? Well, sad to say for all of us not living in the Land of the Rising Sun, but it’s true. The Z4 Roadster Silver Top Edition is the latest Z4 special edition to come out of BMW, and it will not be available in this part of the world. Guess we’ll just have to settle for posters on our walls.
The new Z4 Silver Top Edition has been designed in cooperation to Mr. Hiroyuki. It will be limited to only 15 units and is already available for order at Japanese dealers. First customers will receive their orders in April 2011.
As a relatively new brand in the auto industry, Tesla has, for the most part, been a local US brand. But don’t sleep on the boys from California just yet; the brand has taken a big step in becoming more globally recognized after opening its first showroom in Asia.
The showroom, which is located just outside of Tokyo, is the brand’s first in the Asian continent. Opening its first store in Japan is a very sensible choice for Tesla considering that it puts them closer to their corporate partner, Toyota, who recently made a $50 million investment on the California-based automaker while also inking another $60 million deal for Tesla to help Toyota in the development of an electric RAV4 SUV.
Yet despite the opening of the store in Tokyo, the company is tempering their expectations as far as how many cars they’re going to sell. The only model that is currently available in the Tokyo dealership is the Roadster and the price tag attached to it - $150,000 – is two/thirds more expensive than what it costs in the US. That being said, Tesla has one thing going for it in Japan: electric vehicles are tax-free and eligible for government incentive cash payments in the country thereby curtailing the Roadster’s price tag by $40,000, giving it an end price of somewhere similar to its retail price in the US.
Here’s another cool special edition Subaru Forester that will not be offered on the US market! It’s called the Forester tS and will come with lots of STI components and upgrades that offer an improved driving dynamic. It will be limited to only 300 units and deliveries in Japan will begin in 2011.
The new Forester tS is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer 4-cylinder with 263 HP and 347 NM of torque. The engine will be mated to a new 5-speed automatic transmission. This special edition will hit a top speed of 150 mph.
It will be distinguished by STI suspensions with sport springs and shock absorbers, STi seats, aluminum pedals, steering wheel with paddle shifters, and a big red push-button ignition. The new edition will be offered in only four exterior colors: Obsidian Black, Pearl White, Stylish Silver, and WR Blue Mica.
Why do all of the good cars stay outside of the U.S.? Hey automakers, we would like to drive cool cars too!
How far can you really go to test out the limits of your supercar? The Japanese owner of this Ferrari F40 went on a highway and decided that he wanted to at least appreciate the investment he made after buying the F40 by going over 186 mph.
Full-on pedal to the metal, folks. You can just imagine what a car crash would do to that car, let alone to the insane driver behind its wheel. The funny part to this story, despite it happening years ago, is that this video of him driving the F40 at break neck speeds became such a cult video that he was able to sell over 10,000 copies of it on the black market. Yep, that’s what people did before You Tube even came into existence.
Unfortunately for the enterprising Japanese, one of the people he sold the video to was an undercover cop who, after seeing him exhaust every last bit of juice of the F40 on the highway, promptly charged him with reckless driving.
It seems that BMW is really spreading the love with the many special edition M3 models they’ve scattered all over the world. Just a few weeks ago the Chinese market received the M3 Tiger Edition and Australia received its BMW M3 Pure Limited Edition. This time, BMW felt the need to provide the Japanese with their own special M3. It is called the M3 Competition Package, and yes it is painted in the same Fire Orange metallic paint as both the Tiger and GTS models.
Other than the paint job that customers will either love or hate, the M3 will receive black 359M styling wheels (19 inches in size), black painted air intakes on the bonnet, black kidney grills, and chrome exhaust tips. BMW has also not left carbon fiber out as the material was used in the exterior mirrors, rear spoiler, and the inserts on the interior.
The BMW M3 may look a faster with all of these extras, but under the hood you’ll find the usual 420 HP, 4.0 liter V8 engine. There hasn’t been any mention of how many units will be produced for the Japanese market or how much it’s going to cost, and speculation based on previous models offers a variety of options. There were only 50 of the M3 Pure Limited Edition models built, each priced at $135,000-$148,300, but the BMW M3 Tiger Edition got 250 units with prices yet to be revealed.
They say that beauty comes from within, and it seems Toyota is taking that statement to heart as they are providing the iQ with a facelift consisting solely of a modified interior just in time for the Paris Auto Show. But before that, Toyota will unveil a special edition iQ just for the Japanese market.
This special edition is called the iQ 130G and is distinguished by a revised bumper, exterior mirrors painted in a gray finish, and a revised exhaust tip. On the interior the 130G will get a new color combination for the leather finish and piano black trimming. Japanese customers will also be able to choose from a long list of options in order to customize their car.
The iQ 130G is powered by a 1.3 VVT-i engine that can produce 95 HP in JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) spec. The engine is mated to either a manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission.
Considering this special edition was made specifically for the Japanese market, not everyone will be able to enjoy it. We guess we will just have to wait for the Scion iQ to be launched on the US market in 2011 before we get to see any iQ action.
Believe it or not, the much-maligned Mitsuoka Orichi can now be rented out in Japan. We don’t want to believe it, but apparently – and unfortunately – it’s true.
The decision was made to rent out the Orichi by its manufacturer Mitsuoka – no surprise there – for anybody looking for a cheap sports car to drive around in Japan. And by cheap, we mean $390 a day.
It’s not as pricey as most rental sports car we’ve seen in the past, but then again, we don’t know anybody who’d shell out $400 a pop per day to be seen in this hideous sports car. There is that other option that we think is a little more palatable. For $177 a day, you can navigate your way around the streets of Osaka in a Himiko, the company’s not-as-powerful-as-the-Orichi-but-definitely-more-pleasing-to-the-eye roadster.
Either way, you could do a lot better than renting out these two cars. But if you’re going to play the ‘I’ll do it for the experience’ card, then, by all means, give it a go.