Posts Tagged ‘JDM’

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2006 Toyota Hilux Surf

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Yesterday we got our first unofficial peak at the eighth-generation Toyota Hilux pickup truck which is set to go on sale sometime in the next few months. Although the Hilux pickup hasn’t been available in Japan for quite some time, the Hilux Surf SUV was sold there from 2002 to 2009. Today we’re looking at a 2006 Toyota Hilux Surf SSR-X Limited model.

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf

Just to set the record straight, the Toyota Hilux Surf is basically the Japanese version of the Toyota 4Runner. The only difference is that the Hilux Surf has a side-opening tailgate whereas the 4Runner’s tailgate lifts up from the bottom (at least it did in this generation of production). Otherwise, both cars run on the same double wishbone front suspension and solid rear axle for extra durability. This is in stark contrast to the Toyota Highlander – a similar size crossover that isn’t really intended for off-road use. The Hilux Surf is certainly off-road friendly.

It’s also worth noting that as a Limited model, this Hilux Surf would have come with Toyota’s new suspension technology that debuted in this generation – the X-Relative Absorber System (X-REAS) – which dramatically reduces body roll during intense cornering.

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf rear

Under the hood, the auction sheet shown at the bottom of this post tells us that this Hilux Surf is powered by a 2.7L engine. After digging around for some JDM manufacturer specs, we found that this particular engine offers 160 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm. Not too shabby, although it should be noted that other Hilux Surf models have engines up to 4.0L in displacement if you want more ‘oomph’.

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf interior

Inside, the Hilux Surf has decent cabin amenities like automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and a color DVD-based infotainment/navigation system paired up with a 10-speaker JBL sound system. However, what really sets it apart is the sheer space offered in the cabin. Looking at the pictures from the auction find, you can see the driver here has enough room to almost fully recline in the front seat! And you’ll sit extremely comfortably thanks to power driver’s lumbar support and a tilting telescopic steering wheel.

On the whole, this is a great Japanese car auction find with an overall rating of 4. The gleaming chrome alloys that you can easily make out in the pictures above are definitely our favorite part. Just like the 4Runner, the Hilux Surf is widely regarded as an easy-to-drive SUV that does exactly what it says on the box. It’s the perfect mix of reliability, comfort and utility. To learn more, you can get a full translation of the specs below the auction sheet:

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered March 2006, SSR-X LTD model, CBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, gasoline engine, AM HDD navigation system, digital TV, Dolce 20 inch alloy wheels, roof rail, 2 x keyless entry keys, power steering, power windows, ABS< airbag, fog lights, floor mats, visors, keyless entry, spare key, front windscreen scratches, interior grime, wheel arch flares scratches, side steps scratches and dents, rust underneath, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map"


All-New Honda Fit Shuttle Hybrid Coming to JDM

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 18th, 2015

2015 Honda Jazz Shuttle Hybrid

Earlier, we learned about the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid set to go on sale in Japan in about a month. Today we have another new hybrid model making its debut in Japan, this time from Honda. It’s the all-new Honda Jazz Shuttle, which looks about exactly like it sounds.

Basically, this is a large station wagon version of the new Honda Fit, or the Honda Jazz depending on where you live. As with the last generation of the Shuttle, you can see that Honda has essentially just stretched out the rear-and of the Honda Jazz to create a substantially longer rear overhang.

2015 Honda Jazz Shuttle rear

In fact, the Shuttle is built on the exact same architecture as the new Honda Jazz, and looks to replicate much of the Jazz’s aesthetic too. You can see the same deep body lines running along the sides of the car, and it adopts Honda’s “solid wing face” front grille. The range-topping version of the Jazz Shuttle pictured here showcases the 16-inch alloys, built-in navigation and the leather-wrapped seats and steering wheel that come with the higher-level trims.

2015 Honda Jazz Shuttle interior

Under the hood, the Honda Jazz Shuttle will be offered with two powertrain options. The first is an AWD hybrid system powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder Atkinson engine with a single electric motor and a dual-clutch transmission. The other option uses the same 1.5L engine but drops the electric motor and AWD for a standard CVT and FWD.

Unfortunately, just like the X-Trail Hybrid, there’s no word that Honda plans to sell a Jazz Shuttle in the US or any other market besides Japan. Our guess would be that they’d launch it in East Asia before the US or UK, but only time will tell.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2006 Honda Airwave

2006 Honda Airwave

Here we have a 2006 Honda Airwave. You can see on the auction sheet below that this airwave is one of the “L” models, which is the more luxurious of the two trimlines, “M” being the other option. As such, this Airwave features a large sunroof, high definition built-in navigation (and this was back in 2006, so that’s actually a big deal), and an exceedingly spacious interior.

2006 Honda Airwave rear

Looking at this auction find, you can see that not that much has changed in the past 10 years. There’s no doubt that this car looks a little bit dated, but it honestly doesn’t look that different in either form or function than the upcoming second-generation Jazz Shuttle.

2006 Honda Airwave interior

Either way, you can get more information via the auction sheet translation below:

2006 Honda Airwave auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition B, first registered July 2006, L Skyroof model, DBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, original Gathers HDD navigation system, original rear and side cameras, discharge headlights, power steering, power windows, original AWs, sunroof, ABS, airbag, original navigation system, original TV, 7-speed paddle shift, keyless entry, spare key, seats worn, door mirrors scratched, wheels scratched, front windscreen scratched, interior grime and scratches, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map, seats stained”


Nissan Rogue Hybrid Possibly Coming to the US

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 17th, 2015

2015 Nissan X-Trail Hybrid

After Toyota showed off their new RAV4 Hybrid at the recent 2015 New York Auto Show, Nissan is chiming in with a new hybrid offer of their own. Nothing is guaranteed yet, but rumors have surfaced that Nissan is considering adding a hybrid powertrain to the second best-selling vehicle in their lineup – the Rogue compact crossover.

The news comes from an interview between the Nissan X-Trail’s chief engineer, Nobusuke Toukura, and Automotive News. For those unfamiliar with Nissan’s nomenclature, the US Rogue is sold in most international markets as the X-Trail. Nissan is getting ready to add a hybrid version of the Rogue/X-Trail to their JDM portfolio, and is mulling the possibility of bringing the same powertrain to the US.

That means that if the US does get a Nissan Rogue Hybrid, it will likely use a 30 kW one-motor hybrid system with two clutches, unlike the multi-motor hybrid systems that have been implemented by both Honda and Toyota. The Rogue’s hybrid system would be paired with a 2.0L four cylinder engine that outputs 145 horsepower, along with Nissan’s standard CVT transmission. AutoNews says that the 2.0L engine is more favorable for the hybrid setup because it offers superior with low-rev torque and acceleration compared to the larger non-hybrid 2.5L engine that’s also offered in the X-Trail.

If Nissan is indeed going to release a Rogue Hybrid, now is definitely the time to do it…

For one, a hybrid crossover would keep them aligned with new competitors entering the scene in the form of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and a possible Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid. For two, US hybrid sales are expected to surge in the next five years as emissions regulations continue to tighten up. Thirdly, the Rogue is on an upswing this year, with a 28% increase in year-over-year sales during the first three months of 2015. When you consider that Nissan estimates that a hybrid option could account for 40% of future sales, it seems like an easy decision to make.

On top of all that, the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid going on sale in Japan next month will get an impressive 48 mpg, which makes it easy to see where Nissan got their expected 40% hybrid sales distribution – who could say no to 48 mpg in a crossover? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for official word from a Nissan USA spokesman to know whether the model is guaranteed to make an appearance on US shores… So far, still no comment.


Honda S660 Concept Edition Commemorates JDM Launch

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

2015 Honda S660

Honda has been on a sporty spree throughout 2015. Following in the footsteps of the new NSX and the Honda Civic Type R, their latest addition to the lineup is the Honda S660 roadster. After a full two years of buildup, Honda is finally ready to release the production version of their new two-seat roadster in Japan. To commemorate the car’s release, they’ve revealed a limited edition Honda S660 Concept Edition, pictured below:

2015 Honda S660 Concept Edition

2015 Honda S660 Concept Edition

The S660 officially launches later this week on April 2. As the name implies, this is a 660cc mid-engine roadster, and one of the smallest roadsters currently in production by any automaker anywhere. The turbocharged 660cc engine has three cylinders and outputs a meager-sounding 63 horsepower and 104 Nm of torque.

Meanwhile, power is sent to the rear wheels only with a six-speed manual transmission (the first-ever kei car to offer such a transmission) or a seven-speed CVT. If you opt for the automatic, you’ll get paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel with available Sports Mode driving – definitely a worthy upgrade.

2015 Honda S660 interior

Although the numbers sound low, remember that this is technically classified as a kei car in Japan. That means that there are legal limitations to the power the vehicle can output in order to offer its drivers the financial benefits that come with driving such an efficient car. And, ever since the S660 Prototype made its debut all the way back in 2013, Honda has put special care into achieving a low center of gravity and perfect 45:55 weight distribution for “excellent cornering”.

The other new feature that Honda has incorporated into the S660 is their Agile Handling Assist electronic control system. Basically, this system monitors the movement of the roadster’s body throughout turns and alters brake torque in accordance with optimized performance.

S660 Concept Edition plaque

Fittingly, Honda plans to sell 660 units of the Honda S660 Concept Edition roadster. The special edition models get a Premium Star White Pearl paint job, contrasting leather-wrapped seats with red stitching, and of course the obvious Bordeaux red top instead of the normal black one. The Concept Edition is meant to showcase how little the Honda S660 has changed since the original concept back in 2013. Apparently they’ve been very deliberate about keeping the concept’s same look and feel intact for the production roadster.

Unfortunately, the Honda S660 is currently earmarked for Japan-only production. However, rumor has it that Honda will manufacture a more powerful international model with either a 1.0L or 2.0L turbocharged engine, fittingly named the Honda S1000 or S2000. Who knows, maybe we will see a preview for the model in New York? We’re not counting on it, but it would sure be a nice surprise.


Suzuki Alto Lives on in JDM as a Kei Car

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

It turns out we were wrong about the Suzuki Alto. We thought that the new Suzuki Celerio we saw earlier this month would replace the Alto (along with the Splash) in all of Suzuki’s current markets. However, it turns out that the Alto will live on in both India and Japan, albeit as two completely different cars. The facelifted Alto you’ll learn about below has just gone on sale in Japan.

2016 JDM Suzuki Alto Kei Car

2015 Suzuki Alto Kei Car in

Suzuki will continue selling the Alto as a kei car in the Japanese Domestic Market. However, it won’t look anything like the Alto that most of us are used to seeing. The image above shows us a fairly simple design with a few retro flairs to draw in the hipsters. The boxy body and the grille in particular have give it a very “retro” look – the grille is asymmetrical with absolutely no chrome or metallic accents… Something you won’t find in very many cars today.

That retro design theme continues into the cabin with flat, simple seats and a minimalist center console. You’ll find cool features like a center-mounted gear lever, and a mixture of analog and digital read-outs on the dash. Otherwise, the color-scheme is fairly plain – neutral tones all over, with the most exciting color being the beige on the A/C vents and center dash.

2015 Suzuki Alto kei car interior

Under the hood, you’ll find a microscopic 660cc three-cylinder engine that runs on gas and outputs a conservative 54bhp – just enough to navigate the tight city streets of Japan. Don’t expect to haul any concrete or lumber though; the car only outputs 63Nm of torque at optimal rev-ranges. Of course, this small engine is what allows the JDM Alto to give its drivers the financial benefits of owning a kei car, which is well-rewarded in Japan.

2015 Suzuki Alto JDM interior

Even though we don’t have images of it at this time, Suzuki has also stated that there will be a slightly sportier version of the JDM Alto coming later next year. It’ll be called the Alto Turbo RS, and it’ll get a two-tone color-scheme on the outisde, a bit more vibrancy on the inside, and unspecified modifications to the powertrain. It’ll be tough to make any really significant performance improvements if Suzuki wants to keep the Turbo RS version in the kei car category, but we’ll just have to wait and see what they can do. Until then…

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Suzuki Lapin

2014 Suzuki Alto auction find

You can clearly where the new JDM Alto gets its looks from – the older Japanese models, like this Lapin, also have a very boxy look about them, unlike the curvier variants on sale in other parts of the world.

2014 Suzuki Alto interior

The 2014 model Lapin is still a kei car, so it has the same small 660cc engine and minimalist feature set. However, this Japanese car auction find is in very good condition, and if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car that does exactly what you need it to for comfortable and convenient city driving, this is the car for you. Get a more specific translation below the auction sheet:

2014 Suzuki Alto auction sheet

“Grade 6, interior A, exterior condition A, first registered July 2014, AT, AC, keyless entry, push button starter, CD player, power steering, power windows, ABS, airbag, minor scratches, odometer reading 4KM, marks as per map”