Japanese Kei class cars

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ninety, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. ninety

    ninety NERDS!!

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    I've got a Suzuki Cappuccino, which I absolutely love. I've had it for 5.5 years, and it still makes me smile.

    I've seen the Honda Beat a couple of times on the road, but never parked, until last week, when on the hunt for TF's, it was in the same car park.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Some background on the Kei class cars:

    I'm not sure about now, but in the nineties in Japan, if you couldn't prove you had somewhere to keep your car, i.e. driveway, garage, etc, you were only allowed to buy a Kei class car. This was to try and reduce the clogging up of the roads. The Kei class cars were all tiny, as they were restricted by length, width, weight, and engine size. Most of them were boxy shopping run-arounds, but a few were more interesting. Daihatsu turbocharged a shopping box, and Honda, Suzuki, and Mazda all made tiny sportscars.

    My Cappuccino's engine is a 3-cylinder 660cc DOHC 12 valve, with an inter-cooled turbo, it revs to 9000rpm! It absolutely screams at high revs :D  It's all completely standard apart from a Larini stainless steel exhaust. It's rear-wheel drive, and weighs 660kg, it can be a handful in the wet, and particulary in the snow, wheee! The roof comes off in three bits, going in the boot, with the rear window and roll bar, folding behind the seats, so it can be a coupe, targa, or full convertible, almost a TF!

    The Honda Beat is naturally aspirated, RWD, and mid-engined.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  2. Socialvegetable

    Socialvegetable Wrecker

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    Awesome. In all the car shows I've been to, I've yet to see a Kei car in person. I'm assuming they don't meet crash safety or other regulations in the US without serious modifications.

    The Beat looks like a toddler-sized NSX in some ways, and I'd love it if it weren't for the wrap-around headlights. I can only imagine that one of these would be fun to own as a second car (or daily driver if you don't need anything more).

    The closest I'll come to driving one of these will be in Gran Turismo.
     
  3. Darkwing48

    Darkwing48 Heroic Decepticon

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    Look at the shrimp, looka the shrimp.
     
  4. Seawing

    Seawing Lurker of the depths Moderator

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    any pics of your Cappuccino with the top parts stowed away?
     
  5. megatronkicksas

    megatronkicksas Well-Known Member

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    I wish the American license plates were like the ones in Europe, they are so cool and classy.
     
  6. michael_knight

    michael_knight Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for asking, but how do you fit in that thing? I'm 5' 10", and I drive a '94 toyota celica. Like this:
    [​IMG]

    If this car was any smaller, in any direction, I would feel cramped and boxed in. It's just big enough for me. Your car looks like it's half the size, parked next to that WRX.


    I'm sorry what? They're colored pieces of metal with numbers stamped on it. Nothing more. In the US our plates have some ingenuity. Not every state, but many. Look at Kansas, Hawaii, Wyoming, Utah, etc.
     
  7. trump

    trump WWBD?

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    US plates are cooler. If you pay attention to them, you can actually learn stuff!
     
  8. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Dunno how it works there, but I can't help noticing that the silver car is parked on the distinctive "no parking" criss-cross paint on the ground.

    I hate it when people do that. That, and when people in drive-thru's stop in the ONE SPOT you're not supposed to stop in, because it blocks traffic going past the resturant. They think they're special.
     
  9. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    How about the fact the red car is in a handicapped spot. I can't see tag hanging from the mirror...
     
  10. trump

    trump WWBD?

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    I'd imagine that's the OP's car, and it was there just long enough to take the pictures.

    On topic, I'm looking through the Wikipedia list of Kei cars, and not recognizing any, with the exception of the Suzuki Carry truck. One of my old neighbors sells them, but they have to be used as farm vehicles to be driven on the streets here.

    Pre-Edit: Thought the Suzuki Samurai might be a Kei car, and it is. Cool!
     
  11. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Aww damn, I didn't even notice that. That, and people who park in the preggers spot. I saw a dude walk out of a car parked there, all by himself. No shame. He wasn't even fat or nothin'.


    And those cars are small. They're like little toy cars.
     
  12. Matrix Soul

    Matrix Soul Skull 4 reporting in!

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    I've always loved the Honda Beat, but of course cars like that weren't available in America, so I ended up getting a Honda Del sol SI, and someday, if I ever strike it rich, I will have both cars in addition to many many TFs that I'd love to have.
     
  13. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I friggin' love compact Japanese cars. Used to drive an '85 Daihatsu Charade, now I'm rocking an '88 Suzuki Mighty Boy. Will try and get some pics later.
     
  14. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Ebay:
    Them's some smaaaaaaaaaaaaall cars.
     
  15. Cheetatron

    Cheetatron Eh

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    Funny thing yesterday when I went to the gym I saw a Japanese kei class car in the parkeing lot I think it was a Mazda I took some pictures; if anyone is interested I can upload them
     
  16. ninety

    ninety NERDS!!

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    I'm quite surprised that I don't! I'll need to take a few if we ever get any sun again over here.

    I'm 5' 10" also (I think), there's a surprising amount of room inside, a 6' 2" mate fits no problem. It's too narrow for fat people though.

    Yeah, I came out of the shop, spotted the Beat and moved my car next to it to take the pics.

    I had Matchbox cars as a lad, bigger boy now, bigger toys :D 
     
  17. getoninja

    getoninja 1# Porno Moderentor

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    Japan has many small cars nobody knows about, like those Scions we been getting.
    But the Beat is a cool looking car, wish it was imported here along with many other cars like all the Skylines and Evos. And the Beat kinda looks like a mini NSX.

    whats the MPG for the Cappuccino?
     

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