Can we take it home, pleeeeease?
Last November, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi announced a partnership to build some tiny electric vehicles for the Japanese market. Well, the partnership is going to build more than that (like the Nissan Dayz, pictured above in Roox form, and the Mitsubishi eK wagon), but we're most interested in the upcoming plug-in results.
It was a little bittersweet when the original Daihatsu Copen ended production in 2012. Granted, we never got the tiny roadster in the US, but knowing that it was out there somewhere just made the automotive landscape a little better. It didn't take the Japanese automaker long to see the error of its ways, because concepts for a new version, now called Kopen, showed up at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Finally, the all-new generation of the only Diahatsu you've ever wanted (okay, okay – some of
Each region around the world has its stereotypical vehicle. The US has the pickup and Europe the five-door hatchback; but in Japan, the kei car reigns supreme. These tiny cars are limited to just 660cc of displacement but they've also come with lower taxes to make them more affordable. To make of the most of their small size, they've often had quite boxy styling like the Honda N-One shown above, and because they're Japanese, they've often had quirky names like the Nissan Dayz Roox. However, if t
We get very excited here at Autoblog when someone brings up a rare car from the Japanese domestic market, even if they are distantly related to cars we can buy in the US, like the Toyota Crown Royal Saloon Hybrid our own Sebastian Blanco tested last month. But while we think often about JDM cars, the reality is that the market is far different than what we imagine. It's largely made up of tiny, 660-cc kei cars that are ultra affordable and sip fuel.
Even average production cars from Japan often seem very conceptual to US eyes. Throw in typical, nonsensical-quasi-English-words name like "Dayz Roox" and you'd be forgiven for thinking this Nissan box on wheels was still a designer's dream. But the fact is that the Nissan Dayz is a model currently on sale, and this Roox version is the latest take on the micro-van, which is a popular segment in Japan.
Apart from a tiny, one-paragraph mention in a press release about the Honda show stand in general, the company hasn't said very much about its completely charming S660 Concept. The model would seem very much to be a look ahead at a possible successor to the Beat kei car for Japanese customers, though we've been told that we shouldn't expect any kind of translation or product for the American market (despite certain key executives wanting more sports cars in the US).
The collaboration agreement announced this week by Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi will include the co-development of an electric vehicle based on the tiny "kei car" compact platform. Details are vague, but the companies say the car will eventually be sold worldwide. Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi founded their NMKV joint venture in June 2011, and the first resulting kei car went public in the form of both the Nissan Dayz and the Mitsubishi eK wagon. Those cars are built at Mitsubishi's Mi
Japanese kei cars may be defined by their small size, but we know and love them more for their wacky shapes and names. And the all-new Daihatsu FC凸DECK nails all three. Heading for a debut in a few weeks at the Tokyo Motor Show, this diminutive concept grabbed our attention not only with its quasi cab-over semi-truck styling but also its snicker-worthy name, which includes a symbol resembling a stylized hand flipping the bird.
We want the Honda N Box +. Strangely enough, this video spot, shot in Japanese and gushing with production values that are a bit foreign to us, makes us want the little Honda even more. You see, we don't need to know Japanese to see that the kei car's 'universal bridge' feature isn't a gimmick - it actually looks extremely convenient - and that the car's multi-space system takes interior functionality to a new level. We don't require a translator to laugh at the gags in this spot, either, though
It's not a secret that a few of us here at Autoblog have a crush on Japanese Kei cars. The diminutive sizes and cheeky looks of most of the segment are certainly endearing factors, but it was the sporting Kei cars of the 1990s that made for the most delicious forbidden fruit.
- Biggest automotive sales disappointments
- Fastest-depreciating cars in the United States
- Find and compare 2017 Models