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Mon, 8 Jul ’13

Start Your Engines: Strange Japanese Cars

Whips of the Rising Sun

Toyota Sera: Move over, Marty McFly; you’re not the only car owner with suicide doors straight out of a sci-fi movie. Meet the Toyota Sera, produced for six years, exclusively for the Japanese market. The two door coupe is a a pretty standard offering from auto giant Toyota – save for those butterfly doors (and a roof that is made mostly of glass panels). Roads…where we’re going we’re probably going to need roads.

Autozam AZ-1: Japan apparently really likes Back to the Future, as the AZ-1 is the second “butterflied” automobile that we’d NEVER get in the West. While “Autozam” may sound more like a superhero sound effect than a comfy car, the AZ-1 delivered style and ease, while looking like a character straight out of Pixar’s Cars.

Mitsuoka Viewt: A viewable newt? No, the Viewt, first put on the market in 1993, looks like a scaled down Rolls Royce…in the body of a tiny hatchback. Travel the roads in luxury as long as you’re not very tall.

Honda Coupe-9: There is something different about an air-cooled sedan. Yes, the engine was kept at a workable temperature with the cunning use of a fan attached to the cars “flywheel”. On chilly days, the engine even wafted back heat to the driver and passenger. On hot days…you’re out of luck.