• Feb 23, 2006

Honda announced that its ZEST minicar, what appears to be a Scion xB fighter on a slightly smaller scale, will go on sale in Japan on March 1. The little box's claim to fame is the low-floor platform technology, which results in lots of interior room given its diminutive size, along with a low tailgate. Like the aformentioned xB and similar vehicles, the car will likely become a success story with handicapped consumers: a wheelchair accessible model goes on sale starting March 17.

Honda’s i-DSI engine or i-DSI turbocharged engine mated to a four-speed transmisison will haul it through the streets of Japan by its front two wheels. The company is also bragging that some models put out 75-percent less emissions than legally requirement in Japan at the moment.

(Thanks to ebm14 for the tip)

[Source: WorldCarFans.com]



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  • 13 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong but how can it be an xB fighter if the xB is only sold in the USA and this will only be sold in Japan?

      --Noah
      • 8 Years Ago
      Argh, my eyes!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jason, just so you know the "why" of "the look", Kei cars have absolute "dimension" limits set forth by the Japanese government (and engine displacement - no more than 660cc's). Of course, these cars are usually (if not always) automatic transmission or CVT, have full equipment as "normal" sized cars (to our eyes), can be had with all wheel drive, they often have turbochargers, etc. etc., and they get GREAT mileage.

      Perfect (ahem) for Japan, or for that matter, a lot of cities anywhere in the world. Plus they seat 4, not 2 as the Smart ForTwo (though I'd surely it'd be hilarious to see four "corn-fed" Americans try to get into one..... maybe that's a sign some of us should lose some weight?!)

      Kind of like when a friend of a friend (an ex-football player, about 300 pounds and 6-foot 4 tall) tried getting into my buddy's antique microcar BMW Isetta? We got the (front of car) door shut and it looked like squeezing a jello filled balloon into a tin-can - there was "Charlie" sticking out from open windows on the side and his face/beard mashed up against the door/windshield. Yeah, it was friggin' hilarious..... it took 15 minutes to get him the hell out, as well.....

      Sorry, got sidetracked there.... not all Kei cars are sedans, though. Toyota's Daihatsu build the Copen, a cute little 2 seat retractible hardtop-convertible.

      Take a peek.
      http://www.globalautoindex.com/bodies.plt?no=1492&ass=&g=Daihatsu-Copen

      Click on the photo to enlarge it. (No jokes, now...)

      Yeah, I'd have one instead of a motorcycle - just for summertime weekened tooling around and fun (which currently is done with an antique Corvair convertible - but with the bad drivers now even in rural areas here in Michigan, I'm selling it in the spring and getting something with air bags). Maybe a Subaru SVX???
      • 8 Years Ago
      Are you sure about it being turbocharged?? Honda haven't produced a turbo since the City turbo way back in 1982.

      But then again, they recently produced their first diesel engine so who knows??
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hate to be the one to tell you but Jesus never existed. Religion is just an excuse to claim moral high ground while still contradicting yourself.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wonder how much it weighs. And are thosee 12" wheels? Someone should put a quarter next to it. I need some sense of proportion. :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very ugly. I understand that Japan has a space problem, but I don't like these boxes nonetheless.
      Wouldn't it be nice if someone came up with something of this size that looked good?
      Dtown
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3 The scion xB is sold in Japan but it's called the Toyota bB. I do understand where you are coming from because it still doesn't make sense.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Whats the deal with all the ugly cars lately?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The country club called. They want their golf cart back.

      And there's a message from Home Depot, too. Something about purple spray paint...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, if some was to label the xB more powerful, then I can't imagine how slow this car would be. I hope they get rid of the antenna and shrink the wheel gap.
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