Welcome to Autocom Japan (a video introduction)

We have prepared a video introduction of our company. Click to see how we do our business – everything from buying the cars, to cleaning and prepping them to ensure that they will be shipped safely to our customers!

広告

Honda CR-Z coming very soon!

A few months ago I posted some photos from Tokyo Motor Show 2007; Featured on one of those photos was an awesome-looking Honda CR-Z, a futuristic, hybrid concept car that looked like something that had escaped from a Sci-Fi movie.
Here is that same photo so you can see what I am talking about:

Honda CR-Z

Someone commented on that post, wondering if this concept car was going to be produced, and I most ignorantly told that person that there was little chance of that happening, since Japanese carmakers always come up with a multitude of radical concepts that aren’t meant to get past its “concept” stage.
Then, late last year I saw a huge sign on the window of my local Honda dealer shop that read “NEW SPORTY HYBRID – HONDA CR-Z COMING IN FEBRUARY! PRE-ORDER YOURS TODAY!”.
So, yeah… my apologies to the person who commented. It looks like I’d made the wrong assumption. They really are going to make the CR-Z! I’m also really late in getting this news… I would’ve found out a lot sooner if I’d been looking at the news from Tokyo Motor Show 2009.

Amazingly, the production model (or rather the 2009 concept based on it) looks very similar to the concept; something that in my opinion doesn’t happen very often, especially with a design like the CR-Z’s. Look at the photo below.. looks a lot like the car in the photo above doesn’t it?

Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe

Certainly bears a lot more resemblancec than that Suzuki Kizashi from a year or two ago, which although in its concept stage looked fresh and innovative, turned out to be really plain-looking when it eventually went into production.

See how the Kizashi transformed from this… into this.

Not much semblance between the two, is there? Now I know it’s not really fair to be setting Kizashi as an example here, but when you compare different stages of these two cars, it’s easy to see that Honda actually did a very good job in staying in line with the original design.

For anyone interested, here’s a gallery full of spoilerific CR-Z photos (Japanese site):
Honda CR-Z Photo Gallery

I wouldn’t mind owning one of these babies, although with only 2 seats I’m not so sure if it will be a bit hit among practical people with family members. What do you think? Would you want to become an owner of a CR-Z?

Honda will start selling the car on February 26 in Japan. Looking forward to how this “sports hybrid” will do out there on the market!

Oh yes, and if you’re looking to buy a quality used car from Japan, keep checking Autocom Japan’s online showcase of vehicles. Sorry there’s no CR-Z in the list (since there’s no such thing as a used CR-Z yet) but there are many other great Japanese cars for you to see. Enjoy!

Disappearing Car Door!

Hello People! This is Maki again, and today I want to share with you something that’s been around on the internet for a while already but still continues to amaze many people. Take a look at this short video:

Isn’t this totally amazing? And the thing about it is that it makes a lot of sense. Why do we continue to manufacture cars with doors that swing on hinges when there is something as wonderful as this? Hinged doors require a lot of room to swing in, and I’m sure that more than a few people (myself included!) have hit other cars or random objects while attempting to climb out of the vehicle.
I think that this is a great example of the ways in which innovative people dare to challenge something that we all consider to be normal or “common sense”, and go out of their way to accomplish something truly extraordinary.

Apparently, some folks think that the above video is a hoax. Just in case you think so as well, let me paste here a link to the website of the company that performs this customization; it has pictures and slideshows that show how they do their magic.
http://www.disappearing-car-door.com/
Looks pretty real, doesn’t it?

Just think… wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to leisurely and dignifiedly climb in and out of your car at the push of a button, and watch jaws drop all around you?
I certainly hope that carmakers worldwide will incorporate innovations like this one in the near future.

Prius is STILL the Most Fuel-Efficient Car

Well, here’s some car-related news that’s worthy of attention.
Last week, United States’ E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) has released its latest list of fuel-efficient vehicles. And guess what car won first place in the list of top 10 economical cars? The Toyota Prius… again! According to the Japanese article at carview.co.jp, this is the 4th consecutive year in which the Prius has emerged victorious among a multitude of green cars.

Amazingly enough, the latest Prius has managed to run 21.68km per litre in the city (that’s 51MPG!) and 20.4km/l (48MPG) on the highway.

EPA's Greenest Car

EPA's Greenest Car: Toyota Prius

Here is the top 10 list:

1:Toyota Prius
2:Ford Fusion Hybrid
3:Honda Civic Hybrid
4:Honda Insight
5:Lexus HS250h
6:Nissan Altima Hybrid
7:Ford Escape Hybrid
8:Smart ForTwo
9:Toyota Camry Hybrid
10:Lexus RX450h

It’s interesting to note that 9 of the top 10 vehicles are hybrids, cars that move by means of an electric motor as well as an engine. The only non-hybrid car in there is the tiny Smart ForTwo (which I am personally quite fond of, because it’s so cute). Even better is the fact that 7 of the cars are Japanese: 4 Toyota/Lexus, 2 Hondas, and a Nissan.

For a more detailed list, check out this link: Most and Least Fuel-Efficient Cars.

As you can see on that link, on the other end of the fuel-efficiency scale are big expensive supercars like the Lamborghini Murcielago, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti and the Bentley Continental. While the MPG figures for those cars are pretty depressing to look at, I guess that if people can afford those cars in the first place, they won’t have any trouble keeping their gas tanks filled. I wish I were one of them!

On another note, I must mention that I have fallen in love with the 10th car on the list: Lexus RX450h. Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful luxury SUVs I have ever set eyes on!

Lexus RX450h

Lexus RX450h

New School Security Guard

Hi everyone. This is Jamie from sales department. How are you guys doing lately?
Are you ready for Halloween??
My best experience at Halloween is my first year in the US, which is back in 1997….. wow such a long time ago.

Anyway, today’s topic is this : Security guard in fancy machine.
Please check out this pictures.
Honestly, I could not recognize him until he got closer to me like this distance.
He is a security man at Nagoya International Airport.
Isn’t it fancy? Japanese security peopel are getting lazy or what?

Toyota i-Real Kei

Toyota i-Real Kei

Toyota i-Real Kei

Toyota i-Real Kei

It’s already a robot, isn’t it?

Since I got so curious about this ride, I had a small chat with him.
He said he can lean back a little bit when it’s not moving. I was like “is this a sofa”??
He said it can go as fast as people’s normal running speed, so that they can catch bad people.

mmm…if I were him, I could easily fall in sleep in there.
I give him a gold medal for “the cutest secury man of the year”. What do you think?

Narita Airport

Nagoya Airport

The Smallest Car in the World?

Hi everyone, it’s Maki here again. This is my first post on this blog in a few weeks, so let’s hope I can make this at least a little interesting to read.

These days, with fuel price and the prices of so many other things on the rise, many people are turning their attention to cost-efficient small cars. In fact, there are so many small hatchbacks in Japan today that it’s practically impossible to keep track of all their names.

And actually, these cars actually make a lot of sense: most of them can seat up to 5 people, carry luggage in the back (albeit not very large ones), require a refill only once in a blue moon, can effortlessly conquer narrow roads, and most importantly, will get you where you want to go. So, unless you need to drive on muddy hills, carry tons of luggage or have a large family, there is no need to own a big car; for many people, a small hatch can be just the kind of car they need.

Let me show you a few examples of popular small Japanese cars that are commonly found in stock at Autocom Japan. (To see the entire stock list click here)

Toyota Vitz

Toyota Vitz

KSP90

Honda Fit

Honda Fit

GD1

Nissan March

Nissan March

AK12

Toyota Ist

Toyota Ist

NCP61

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

ZC11S

They are all good, reliable machines.
My intent today, however, is not to show you every little detail of these cars to show you how good they are; I don’t know well enough about them to do that. Instead, I’d like to show you how small cars can possibly get and still be functional as… well, a car.

So which of the cars above is the smallest? To be honest, none of them are.They are, in fact, giants compared to what is known today as “the smallest car ever to go into production”: the Peel P50.

And here’s a photo of it. Isn’t it the cutest thing?

Peel-P50

It looks like a cyclops with its single headlamp. Ok, so I have to tell you first that this is NOT a Japanese car, it is 100% British, manufactured by Peel in the Isle of Man during the early 1960’s. (People often say that we Japanese are the best at making small things, but it looks like the Brits have beaten us to it this time)
The car seats only one adult, weighs less than 60kg, and its engine capacity is no more than 49cc.
Instead of writing about this as if I know everything, I should just refer you to its wikipedia article here, from where I got all the info.
I did not know of this vehicle’s existence until I happened upon a video of famed British TV show Top Gear, in which presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who is 6ft5in tall, crammed himself into this tiny little car and drove himself around London. In my honest opinion, it’s one of the best Top Gear features ever, and a timeless classic.

Here is that famous Top Gear video clip for everyone to see:

According to Wikipedia, the Peel P50 can do 100MPG(!!). I’d say that’s more than economical enough for me! Of course, a car of this size is way too small to drive around safely in these days, and I’m sure everyone wants cars that seat more than a single person. Still, it’s interesting to see the kinds of small cars that people have been making decades ago, and how they have changed over the years.

By the way, this little Peel is now a vintage car and costs many, many times more than any of the Japanese cars pictured above. Amazing!

Tokyo Motor Show 2009… how will it turn out?

So, summer has ended and a new season has begun.. hope everyone’s doing well! Here in Yokohama, weather has suddenly turned chilly and rainy (we’ve even had a typhoon earlier this week). Like so many others, I find myself wishing that this summer had lasted a wee bit longer (actually, more like a LOT longer!).

Now on to topic… as car enthusiasts all over the world know, this is the year of the 41st Tokyo Motor Show. Set to take place from near the end of October to early in November, this biennial event always attracts millions of car lovers from worldwide wanting to see the many innovative concepts and exotic supercars. Only this year, it appears that things are looking rather bleak for this international event. Take a look at the current list of exhibitors at the official site:

http://www.tokyo-motorshow.com/en/booth/index.html

As you can see on that page, most non-Japanese car manufacturers have pulled out of the show, leaving mostly Japanese car makers such as Toyota and Honda. That means no Ferrari, Chrysler, Maserati, Lamborghini, Audi, or Volvo? not even Volks Wagen?? Ok, so of course their quality cannot be compared to Japanese cars, but it’s really sad because in the 3 previous motor shows I have been to, those European and American cars always added a flavor to the show.

The last Tokyo Motor Show we had (TMS2007) was not as great as the previous ones, but still much bigger than this year’s is set to be. I’d like to share with you today some photos of that 2007 show. I know they’re 2 years old now, but we will not be seeing the likes of most of these in this year’s event (And everyone likes to see pics of exotic cars, right?). They are all fascinating cars to look at, and their brands will be sorely missed this year.

Maserati Gran Turismo
Maserati Gran Turismo

Honda CR-Z
Honda CR-Z concept (hybrid)

Mazda Taiki
Mazda Taiki

Mitsuoka Orochi
Mitsuoka Orochi, design inspired by a serpent

Alpha Romeo 8C Competizione
Alpha Romeo 8C Competizione

Audi R8
Audi R8, one of my all-time favorites

Ferrari 599 GTB
Ferrari 599 GTB


Subaru Imprexa WRX. Too bad Subaru pulled out of WRC soon after this was released.

I don’t know if I’ll go to this year’s motor show after seeing this exhibitor list, but if I do I will be sure to post pictures.