Tokyo Auto Salon 2015: Day 1, Part 7-Kei Power

Continuing our coverage of the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon, let’s take a look at some cars that are distinctively Japanese, the lifeblood of Metropolitan Japan’s network of roads and the sort of cars you’ll most likely encounter anywhere in Japan. Not the Kyushas, not the Bosozokus and not even the GTRs, i’m talking about Kei-cars.

 photo P1180877.jpg
These little 660cc cars (& vans) are exempted from the requirement to certify that adequate parking is available and with many narrow roads to navigate around, Kei-cars have enjoyed tremendous sales success in Japan and have been used for both transporting people and cargo alike.

 photo DSC08204.jpg
With their much lower cost of entry, younger drivers were also snapping these vehicles up, leading manufacturers to create more and more interesting iterations of the Kei-car. From mini roadsters to sports cars to funky boxes and tiny vans full of customization potential. We had already previously touched on the new Daihatsu Copen, so let’s take a look at some of the other 660cc lovelies we encountered.

 photo DSC07396.jpg
One of the more interesting Kei-cars for me at least, was Suzuki’s Alto Turbo RS Concept. Essentially a hotter and buffed up version of their Alto. Sitting on 17″ OZ Rally wheels and sporting lots of hopped up trim with those big RS letters splashed along the side, this little car looks like it will be big on fun.

 photo DSC07420.jpg
Power outputs were not confirmed but with a horsepower cap on Kei-cars, don’t expect too much. I’d happily run as a daily driver though.

 photo DSC07435.jpg
 photo DSC07434.jpg
If you were wondering what the standard Alto looked like, here’s one. The interior build quality felt pretty good too.

 photo P1180799.jpg
A much anticipated car for this year, Honda’s S660. Essentially a successor to the much loved Honda Beat, the one on display in the Auto Salon has been given a more menacing satin black treatment but other than that, remains a concept, a really good looking one, but still, a concept.

 photo DSC08540.jpg
 photo DSC08547.jpg
Power-trains have not been officially confirmed but some are saying export markets might get a slightly bumped up 1-liter engine while JDMs remain true to the Kei-car restricted 660cc. The best part of the Honda S660? They are set to be rear wheel drive.

 photo DSC08524.jpg
Elsewhere in the Honda booth, a clay N-One was on show, allowing visitors to slowly trim and sculpt bits of clay off with the help of professional Honda staff of course.

 photo P1180838.jpg
A Honda N-One single make race series?

 photo DSC08522.jpg
Based on the very funky N-Box Slash (N-Box / ), the N-Box Cyber Concept showcased some chunky customization from Honda. I think it looks sweet. Hopefully cars like these will start to attract more young car buyers and getting them back into cars once again.

 photo P1180914.jpg
One of the hot favorites, K-Break’s custom USDM style N-One.

 photo DSC07404.jpg
 photo DSC07425.jpg
Back with Suzuki once again and with a name sounding cheekily similar to “Hummer” and looking like a miniaturized version of an FJ cruiser, this is Suzuki’s little mini-SUV, the Hustler.

 photo DSC08087.jpg
 photo DSC07391.jpg
A cheeky name indeed and having become a rather popular platform to build on, there were plenty of Hustlers on display throughout the show.

 photo P1180927.jpg
Just showing how versatile and crazy a Kei-car platform can be when it comes to the aftermarket World of tuning, here’s a student built mini-BMW E30 M3 tribute from NATS (Nihon Automobile College).

 photo P1190077.jpg
 photo P1190079.jpg
On the topic of tributes, how about a Honda Beat running some Porsche-esq headlamps? Or maybe a much better executed mini Porsche 356 based on the previous Daihatsu Copen.

 photo P1190059.jpg
Kei-satsu anyone?

Advertisements

One thought on “Tokyo Auto Salon 2015: Day 1, Part 7-Kei Power

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s