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2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S

2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S

Nissan has made the Japan-only Note e-Power Nismo even faster than before, with the new Note e-Power Nismo S. That “S” entails it has some extra power thanks to a boost in its electric output.

The Note e-Power Nismo, as its name suggests, is a Nismo-tuned version of the already existing Note e-Power and the Nismo S is one additional tier above. It features not only a power boost over the regular Note e-Power, but also gets a reinforced chassis as well as a much sportier suspension setup to transform its driving experience.

This extra performance is also mirrored in the way it looks, with new red-accented bumpers and side skirts and obligatory Nismo S badges front and rear - on the sides; the e-Power badge is displayed instead. According to Nissan, the car should provide “exhilarating acceleration,” while at the same time also being quiet and is touted as a new kind of Nismo experience.

In order to avoid confusion - Nissan also sells non-electrified Nismo and Nismo S versions of the Note, alongside the electrified ones. This new model detailed here is the e-Power Nismo S, which is a range extender hybrid.

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2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA-R

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA-R

Japan’s getting another special edition WRX STI while the rest of us can only look at it

Though it’s true that most of them are found only in Japan, there are no shortages in special edition Subaru WRX STIs in the world. We all need to remind ourselves of that because Subaru is releasing another special edition version of its power-packed performance sedan, and it’s once again exclusive to the Japanese market. It’s called the WRX STI Type RA-R, and it’s essentially a lighter and more powerful version of the WRX STI Type RA, one of the few special edition versions that made its way in the U.S. market.

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2018 Toyota Century

2018 Toyota Century

The most luxurious Toyota you can’t buy!

Introduced in 1994, the Avalon helped Toyota become a notable force in the full-size segment in the United States. At the same time, the Lexus LS achieved a similar status in the luxury market. However, the Avalon isn’t Toyota’s largest vehicle. While the Japanese-spec Crown is slightly shorter than the Avalon (by some three inches), the second-generation Century trumps even the latest Lexus LS in terms of length at a whopping 207 inches. Or at least it did until it was discontinued in October 2016. But only one year has passed, and Toyota is getting ready to launch the third-generation model at the 2017 Toyota Motor Show.

Longer and wider, the new Century has been redesigned from the ground up. But, interestingly enough, it retained the traditional boxy design of its predecessor, which makes it a classy, old-school limo that reminds of the 1990s. In a good way! Toyota also replaced the old 5.0-liter V-12 with a V-8 and added an electric motor for enhanced fuel economy. As usual, it’s equipped with Toyota’s most luxurious features and technology, but updated to modern standard compared to the 20-year-old second-gen model. Unfortunately, the Century remains a Japan-only model, so don’t get your hopes up seeing it on North American roads. Let’s have a closer look at what we’re missing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Century.

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2018 Mazda CX-8

2018 Mazda CX-8

Why not just offer the CX-9 in Japan?

In a world where SUVs have pretty much taken over the automotive market, Mazda is actually coming up quite short with its offerings, thanks to its current lineup featuring no more than the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. Over in Japan, Mazda’s home market, the offerings are even smaller with just the CX-3 and CX-5 making up the only options available to drive in SUV segment. Well, that latter fact is about to change, as Mazda has now introduced the Mazda CX-8. Essentially a slightly smaller CX-9 (we’re talking about inches here, folks) the CX-8 is designed specifically for the Japanese market, giving it something special from the brand that it helped produce so long ago. It takes on the same styling DNA as it’s taller, foreign sibling, while the power to go is derived from the 2.2-liter Diesel that Mazda has been using since 2012, but upgraded to deliver 140 kW or 187.74 horsepower or about 11 horsepower more than pre-2017 models.

Now, the CX-8 is being billed as an SUV that brings new style and depth to the KODO design language, with new “one of a kind” SUV styling. Well, go ahead and take a deep breath and sit down, because you just been taken for a long, hard ride. Mazda is about as bad as the German three when it comes to tooting its own horn, and the CX-8 is the proof. For the most part, the CX-8 is identical to the CX-9 that we have here in the states. The only real difference is the car’s size, which combines a drop in length of 6.49 inches with a drop in width of 4.76 inches, and a drop in height of just 0.89 inches. But, maybe it isn’t all the same as the CX-9 that you can find here in the States, so let’s take a better look at it to see what all Mazda is working with. Either way, it’s certain to be a plus for the Japanese market – those folks have been needed something larger than that CX-5 for a long time.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda CX-8.

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2018 Audi TT Lighting Style Edition

2018 Audi TT Lighting Style Edition

Another special edition German sports coupe is headed to the Japanese market

The new-generation Audi A8 is understandably getting all the love today, but it’s far from the only Audi model making the news. Over in Japan, Audi has introduced an exclusive limited-edition version of the TT sports coupe. It’s officially called the TT 1.8 Lighting Style Edition, and it’s making us wonder (yet again) what we did to deserve not getting any of these special editions in the U.S.

The TT Lighting Style Edition features a steady diet of cosmetic upgrades. It has exclusive color offerings, aesthetic upgrades, and packages that come standard on the model. Audi also picked a good variant of the TT – the 1.8 – to dress up in the exclusive garb. The automaker didn’t say how many of the TT Lighting Style Editions it plans to roll out in the Japanese market, but it did say that the car will be priced in the market at 5.29 million yen, or around $46,200 based on current exchange rates. The price tag is surprisingly modest considering that here in the U.S., the 2.0 TT starts at $43,500. Fortunately, this is one of those times where we don’t really miss out on a special edition model since American customers can basically order the same thing. That said, it still would be nice if Audi sent more of its special edition models to the U.S. That way, we wouldn’t have to keep looking to the other side of the world to satisfy our SE fixes.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi TT 1.8 Lighting Style Edition.

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2017 Mercedes CLA180 Star Wars Edition

2017 Mercedes CLA180 Star Wars Edition

May the 4th be with you, lucky customers in Japan

You know a film franchise has become completely larger than life when businesses from unrelated sectors are trying to attach their names on a fan-created celebratory day that itself has taken a life of its own. This is what Star Wars has become and the importance of today, May 4, among the franchise’s legion of fans has spurred companies to celebrate “May the 4th Be With You” on their own terms. Take Mercedes-Benz for example. The German automaker has been involved with the franchise in the past in some capacity, but now it’s taking its involvement to new heights with the introduction of a pair of special edition CLA180 models that celebrate Star Wars Day.

This is not a gimmick, people. These two special edition Mercedes CLA180 models are legitimate, and they’re set to be offered as exclusives in Japan. Yes, Japan’s getting another special edition car. Different issue for a different day though. What’s important is that Japanese customers who are interested in the new special edition CLA180 actually have a choice of getting a car that’s inspired by either Darth Vader or a Stormtrooper. More importantly, both versions come packed with plenty of Star Wars references so no matter what color of the CLA180 is chosen, buyers will get their fill of Star Wars-related features on both models. About the only downside to these SEs is the aforementioned lack of availability in other markets. I don’t know if Mercedes knows this, but Star Wars has one of the biggest fan bases in the world. It would’ve probably been a better idea to offer a Star Wars-inspired SE model in more markets than just Japan.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA180 Star Wars Edition.

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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Heritage Blue Special Edition

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Heritage Blue Special Edition

Only five models will make their way to the Japanese market

Japan is home to one of the biggest auto industries in the world, so it’s understandable why many automakers send special edition models to the Land of the Rising Sun. Recently, General Motors took its turn gifting Japanese customers with a special edition Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. The Vette is about as exclusive as they come, at least considering where it’s headed. The

limited

run sports car is officially billed as the Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition, and like most exclusive cars that come to Japan, it comes with some nifty features that underscore its status as a true special edition.

Needless to say, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition isn’t going anywhere else in the world. In fact, even Japanese customers will have to fight over the special edition Corvette as reports indicate Chevrolet will only send over five units, each priced at ¥12.8 million. That converts to roughly $115,000 based on current exchange rates. By comparison, the Corvette Grand Sport starts at $66,445 here in the U.S., so Japanese customers will have to fork over nearly double to get their hands on one. Then again, it is an exclusive Corvette Grand Sport with unique details in the exterior and interior. Having a chance to own one means paying a premium for that opportunity.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Blue Heritage Special Edition.

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Ferrari J50

Ferrari J50

The first bespoke, limited-edition model based on the Ferrari 488 goes to Japan

Introduced in 2015, the Ferrari 488 GTB replaced the 458 Italia as the company’s entry-level supercar. On top of bringing a revised styling language to the market, the 488 also marks the beginning of new era for Ferrari’s most affordable sports car, with the naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V-12 being replaced by a twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8. A convertible Spider version was released at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, while the 488 GTE and GT3 were launched to enable the nameplate to race in various events and series’ around the world. In late 2016, Ferrari presented the first-ever bespoke supercar based on the 488. It goes by the name J50 and it is based on the Spider model.

Launched during a special celebration at the National Art Center in Tokyo, the J50 commemorates the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan. Created by Ferrari’s Special Projects department and designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre team in Maranello, it also marks the return of the targa body style, paying tribute to popular Ferraris of the 1970s and 1980s. If you’re not familiar with them, check out the Ferrari 308 and 328 GTS, but examples also include more recent cars such as the 348 GTS and F355 GTS.

To be sold in Japan only, the J50 is will be limited to only 10 units and each one will be tailored specifically to the customer’s requirements.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari J50.

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2017 Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited

2017 Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited

Once again, it’s exclusive to the Japanese market in limited quantities

It seems like we’ve been down this road before, doesn’t it? A special edition Toyota 86 that’s exclusive to the Japanese market is nothing new and yet, as often as our friends in Japan get these limited edition 86s, we haven’t had as much luck in that regard. In any event, a new limited-run Toyota 86 is fresh from the oven over there in Japan, and it’s promising, among other things, improved braking, sharper handling, and a special edition paint color. It’s called the Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited and yes, it’s not coming to the States.

The upgrades themselves didn’t turn the 86 Solar Orange Limited into a full-blown performance car, but in the technical sense, they helped create a better driving experience for those who are willing to spend the money for the car. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to past special edition 86s that have made their way into Japan, including the 86 Yellow Limited and the curiously designed 86 Style CB. The latter is arguably the most unique of the three examples, but the Solar Orange limited is different too in some respects. The Creamsicle paint finish, for example, is exclusive to this edition, as is Toyota’s new High Performance package, which adds a number of functionally useful components that help improve the 86’s overall driving and handling experience.

Toyota didn’t say how many examples of the 86 Solar Orange Limited it plans to build, opting only to say that pricing starts at 3,251,880 yen for the manual transmission model and 3,318,840 yen for the automatic transmission model. Based on current exchange rates, those prices convert to around $29,400 and $30,000, respectively. Interested customers have only between January 31 to March 10, 2017 to place their orders, after which Toyota will likely stop production to retain its overall exclusivity.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited.

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2016 Audi R8 Star of Lucis

2016 Audi R8 Star of Lucis

One-off Audi R8 is exclusive to the Japanese market

The Audi R8 is no stranger to being the subject of a special edition treatment from Audi. The current-generation model alone has received numerous limited-run iterations, including the the R8 V10 Plus “Selection 24h” and the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition that Audi is actually bringing with it to the Los Angeles Auto Show. But, before we got dazzled by the Exclusive Edition and it’s promise to bring laser-light technology to the US market, we need to turn our attention to Japan, where another special edition R8 just broke cover. It’s called the Audi R8 Star of Lucis and it pays homage to the Prince Noctis and the Kingdom of Lucis from the fantasy role-playing game juggernaut, Final Fantasy XV.

You’re probably wondering what Audi, a real life German automaker that we all know and love, has anything to do with the Kingdom of Lucis, a fictional place from Final Fantasy XV. For that we have to go back to July of this year when Sony Pictures released the all-CG rendered Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV movie as a precursor to the launch of the actual Final Fantasy XV game later this month. For those who caught the movie, you might have noticed that a 2017 Audi R8 was in it. Well, that was the R8 Star of Lucis in digital form. This one right here is the R8 Star of Lucis in real life.

To make the car feel more exclusive than it already is, Audi Japan and Final Fantasy developer Square Enix decided to build just one model of the R8 Star of Lucis. Just one. That fact alone makes it a lottery to own. Speaking of which, that’s exactly how the R8 Star of Lucis can be won…and then bought. That’s because a raffle will be held on November 21 wherein Audi and Square Enix will pick one winner, who doesn’t actually win the car, but is only afforded the opportunity to buy it for a price of 50 million yen, or around $470,000.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 Star of Lucis.

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2017 BMW 7 Series Rose Quartz Edition

2017 BMW 7 Series Rose Quartz Edition

Another special edition BMW is headed to Japan

Remember when the U.S. used to receive a good number of special edition vehicles from automakers all over the world? It still happens to a certain extent, but it seems that a lot of BMW’s desirable limited edition cars are headed elsewhere, most notably to our friends over in Japan. And so, after staring longingly at this new special edition from Bimmer, I present to you the 7 Series Rose Quartz Edition.

As most of you can expect, this is not a “standard” 7 Series, even though I’m fully aware of the paradox that comes with mentioning the words “standard” and “7 Series” in one sentence. But it’s also true because the 7 Series Rose Quartz has a menu of nice features that are exclusive to it. Even better, BMW has based the special edition 7er on the 750Li, which means that in addition to its unique add-ons, it also carries a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine that pumps out 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.

The 7 Series Rose Quartz will make its debut on November 2, 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton Osaka. There’s no mention yet on how many units of the special edition 7 Series will be made available to the public. What I do know is that unless somebody finds a way to import these units to the U.S., the only way to get them is if you’re in Japan and you have 20.19 million yen to spare, or the equivalent of $193,900 based on current exchange rates.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 7 Series Rose Quartz Edition.

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2016 BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"

2016 BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"

BMW gives the 320d a little love for its 100th-anniversary celebration

BMW has picked the BMW 320d to create the third installment of its 100th-anniversary celebration. This time around, there will be 200 examples of the 320d and 200 examples of the 320 Touring built with a few exclusive exterior features and special interior appointments. Best of all, the two models will be equipped with BMW’s next-gen B47, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, clean diesel engine and a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The model is set to go on sale on May 28th in Japan and is expected to be sold in a short period of time.

With a Japan launch, obviously those of us in Europe or the U.S. will probably never get to lay eyes on one, but it’s at least worth knowing about. As expected, the 320d Style Edge 3 models get some M Sport love and a little bit of attention from BMW Individual too. Pricing for both models tips in between $50,000 and $55,000, which will be about $10,000 more than their standard-model counterparts.

So, coming in at a $10,000 premium, the Style Edge models must be pretty special, right? Well, let’s take a look at what BMW did with them to make them worth being part of its 100th anniversary.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 320d Celebration Edition "Style Edge"

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2015 BMW M4 Coupe M Performance Edition

2015 BMW M4 Coupe M Performance Edition

Ever since the BMW M4 broke into the scene back in 2014, Bavaria’s resident sports coupe has received numerous iterations and special edition treatments. In just over a year, versions like the M4 GTS, M4 Coupe Individual, and M4 Pyrite Brown Edition have all taken center stage at various points in time. Now, BMW Japan is adding two more special edition versions of the M4 into the mix, one of which is called the M4 Coupe M Performance Edition.

Taking its cues from a handful of other special edition M4s released before it, the M4 Coupe M Performance Edition comes with a bevy of upgrades to the exterior and interior, although most of it can be found on the body of the sports coupe. Oddly enough, the M4 Coupe M Performance Edition doesn’t have any performance upgrades, although some of the new components on the exterior of the M4 can be described as “performance-enhancing.”

Another downside to this special edition M4 is its availability. BMW’s only making this available in Japan so unless you live in the Land of the Rising Sun, you’re not going to get access to buying any of the 17 units BMW is building of the M4 Coupe M Performance Edition.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M4 Performance Edition.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 RS

2016 Mazda MX-5 RS

Anyone considering Mazda MX-5 ownership is probably concerned with one overarching attribute – fun. Not fun in the sense of tire-melting acceleration or space-time-denting speed, but the kind of fun that can only be had in taking a turn at the limits of adhesion as each contact patch talks directly to the driver’s spine. You could call it driving dynamics, or tossability, or even just handling if you want to be clinical about it. Either way, Mazda knows all about this kind of fun, and nowhere is it more prevalent than in the MX-5. Now, Mazda is offering the new MX-5 RS, which adds suspension upgrades and better interior equipment to the iconic drop-top, all with the aim of upping the fun factor to even loftier levels.

We’ve seen RS’ed versions of the MX-5 in the past, but this is the first time the badge has made it to the latest fourth-generation roadster. Mazda says the new suspension changes make for better control at high speeds, with cleaner weight transition when sailing through the corners. It’s also very affordable.

Sounds awesome, right? Well, I might as well break it to you now – the new MX-5 RS won’t be sold anywhere outside of Japan. Commence the waterworks.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 RS.

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2015 Toyota 86 Yellow Limited

2015 Toyota 86 Yellow Limited

Toyota is offering another limited edition of its Hachi Roku successor, the GT 86, and it comes in three forms that progressively add tweaks to the car’s interior upholstery, exterior styling, and handling performance. It’s called the Yellow Limited, and it’s only available to Japanese customers.

The three iterations include the base Yellow Limited, which comes with new details on the inside and outside, the Yellow Limited aero package, which throws on a wing big enough to need navigation lights, and the Yellow Limited aero package FT, which adds new components to the suspension.

Toyota says the special edition was created to “highlight the sporty feeling” of the GT 86 (aka, Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ here in the states), and on paper, I’d say highlight is an understatement. This thing is practically dipped in neon, depending on the desired specification.

But does it work? Is it worth extra outlay? Or is it just another limited run without any real substance?

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota 86 Yellow Limited.

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2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI

2016 Subaru BRZ tS STI

Subaru has just released details on its latest special edition BRZ, and it comes with subtle exterior enhancements, an upgraded suspension, and enough STI badges to start your own tuning division. Only 300 will be produced, and each will be offered exclusively to customers in Japan.

We’ve seen a few special-edition BRZs in the past, so what makes this one so special? Could it be *gasp* more power finally from that 2.0-liter engine?

Sadly, no, STI instead focused on enhancing the BRZ’s already stellar handling with even more performance underpinnings, like specially tuned coil springs and dampers, big brakes, and additional bracing.

But everyone already thinks the BRZ is a really fun car. It’s won a mountain of awards for being the best “driver’s” vehicle or “enthusiast’s” ride, which begs the question – what can be done to make it even more polished?

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru BRZ tS STI.

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2016 Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid

2016 Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid

In the “what took so long?” news category, Subaru recently announced that it would start selling a new hybrid Impreza model in Japan next month. With a lineup full of compact and midsize vehicles (most of which have all-wheel drive), Subaru is looking for ways to increase the fuel economy across its lineup, and this hybrid model makes perfect sense.

Currently, the only gasoline-electric hybrid customers can get from Subaru is the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, but starting July 10, the Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid brings Subaru’s hybrid tech to the standard version of the entry-level hatchback. Since the XV Crosstrek is essentially just a lifted version of the Impreza hatchback with a little extra body cladding, creating this new model was probably more of a challenge for Subaru’s marketing team than its engineers.

Even as conventional cars push the limits of efficiency, hybrids should continue to play a bigger role in the automotive industry as automakers look to maximize the overall efficiency of their fleets. In Subaru’s case, the Impreza Sport Hybrid marks just the second hybrid in its lineup, but a more advanced plug-in hybrid is planned by 2018.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid.

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2015 BMW 640i M Performance Edition

2015 BMW 640i M Performance Edition

It’s been less than a week since BMW launched the limited-edition 5 Series Grace Line model in Japan, and the Bavarian automaker has announced yet another special-edition car exclusive to the same country. This time around it is based on the 6 Series and goes by the name 640i Coupe M Performance Edition.

As its lengthy, official name suggests, it’s a mid-range 640i model powered by a 3.0-liter, inline-six engine rated at 315 horsepower. What sets it apart from the version you can buy at any U.S. dealership is the M Sport package that adds an array of special features inside and out.

Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz are famous for launching several limited-edition models in Japan over the course of a model year. In essence, these cars are basically regular models equipped with all sorts of packages you can buy just about anywhere else in the world, but the trick here is that they cost less than they would with all those features added as separate options.

The fact that most of them are limited to less than 100 units likely attracts customers looking for something a bit more exclusive. All told, it’s a good marketing scheme BMW should be using more often in Europe and the U.S., as many enthusiasts would love to have access to a highly optioned, limited-run model. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the 640i M Performance Edition.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2015 BMW 3 Series M Sport Style Edge Edition

2015 BMW 3 Series M Sport Style Edge Edition

BMW loves releasing random special editions in Japan, and oftentimes they are limited to only mild body kits and a few extra standard features. Well, for 2015, BMW has just released this Japan-exclusive version of the 320i and 320d that it calls the M Sport Style Edge.

Like many Asian special-edition Bimmers, this model’s updates are limited in terms of exclusivity, as most of the updates are simply added standard features. Things like upgraded rims, a new aero kit, and upgraded interior trim are just a few examples of what makes this Bimmer special. However, the fact that BMW will offer only several hundred of these M Sport Style Edge models may be enough to make up for its slight price hike.

You can check out our full review of the standard 320i here

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 BMW 320 M Sport Style Edge.

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2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge Edition

2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge Edition

For the 2014 model year, BMW decided to take the beautiful 3 Series and ugly it up a bit by releasing the Gran Turismo version. The 3 Series GT is the definition of a niche vehicle, as it hovers in the no man’s land between a wagon and a compact SUV. For the 2015 model year, the U.S.-spec 3 Series GT saw limited changes, but the Japan-spec model earned a new, limited-production model dubbed the 320i Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge.

This special model doesn’t have anything overly wild and crazy to make it special. Instead, BMW focused on adding in a handful of premium features without jacking up the price too much. The issue is with such a narrow niche and plenty of traditional wagons to choose from that offer more features, more room and a lower price, it is arguable whether this limited-edition 320i GT makes any sense or not.

Continue reading my review of the 2015 BMW 320i Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge to learn more.

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2016 Honda S660 Concept Edition

2016 Honda S660 Concept Edition

The new S660 kei car is slated to hit Japanese dealerships early this April, and to commemorate the occasion, Honda is launching the limited-run Concept Edition, which brings with it enhanced exterior styling and upgraded cabin equipment. Only 660 units will be produced, all of which are destined for the Japanese market.

The two-door roadster was originally seen at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, and is essentially a spiritual successor to the 90s-era Beat, featuring an exceptionally low curb weight and very compact dimensions. Honda designed the vehicle around the philosophy of “Heart Beat Sport,” promising a driving experience in line with full-fledged sports cars.

It’s unfortunate that those of us residing stateside won’t get a chance to take the wheel of this simple, fun drop-top, but for anyone living in the Land of the Rising Sun, the S660 should deliver plenty of cheap thrills. While not extensive, the upgrades seen on the Concept Edition do provide some incentive to get in on Honda’s new project. But the question is, are they worth the bumped-up price tag?

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda S660 Concept Edition.

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2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition

The current iteration of the Nissan GT-R has been melting our hearts since 2007, but the GT-R’s story doesn’t just begin with the version that we get here in the States. Over in Japan, the GT-R’s got an even longer history that dates back to 1969, the year when the GT-R first entered the market, eventually becoming the forefather of the Skyline range. Forty-five years later, as of 2014, the GT-R has taken different forms, including the current iteration. As such, Nissan is celebrating this milestone by unveiling the GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition in Japan.

The GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition is based on the 2015 Nissan GT-R and will only be available in the model’s Premium trim. The upgrades on the model are pretty limited, too. That’s a little disappointing considering what Nissan could have added to the car if it really wanted to go overboard to celebrate its 45th anniversary.

Maybe it’s waiting for the 50th anniversary model to unleash all of its goodies? That’s an issue for another time, but the bottom line remains the same. Lack of changes notwithstanding, the GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition is still the same fire-breathing Godzilla we’ve all come to love. As sports cars go, it’s still one of the best in the world.

Sadly, the special-edition model is exclusive to its home market. Unless you live in Japan, you get no dibs on the 45 units Nissan plans to build to celebrate the GT-R’s 45th anniversary.

Updated 03/16/2015: Nissan announced that a total of 30 GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition units will make it to the U.S. market. It will be priced at $102,770 and, just like in Japan, will be offered with a special "Silica Brass" paint, plus a special gold-tone VIN plate located inside the engine compartment and a special commemorative plaque on the interior center console.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Edition.

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2015 Toyota 86 Style Cb

2015 Toyota 86 Style Cb

The GT86, along with its two brothers, the BRZ and FR-S, hit the production line in 2012 as a joint venture between two of Japan’s best automakers: Toyota and Subaru. Since their debuts there have been cries and screams for a convertible or turbocharged model, but Subaru holds the cards on the production side of this partnership, and it’s reluctant to change anything. However, Toyota does have some freedom with the GT86, and it used that to create a special model dubbed the Style Cb based on the existing sports car.

This special-edition GT86 appears to be a Japan-only model, so don’t get your hopes up of seeing a Scion FR-S-based Cb any time soon. Look for this new model to debut in Japan in April 2015.

Does the Cb have what it takes to fill the void left by the lack of a turbo or convertible version of the GT86?

Click past the jump to read my full review to find out.

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