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!

広告

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

What’s the Most Expensive Car You’ve ever Driven or Been Inside?

This is Jamie Fujimura from Autocom Japan. I’m one of the sales representatives here and proud of being a Autocom sales person.

So, what is the most expensive car you have driven in your life? Or what is the most expensive car you have ever sat on passenger’s seat? In my case, it is 2000 year model Dodge VIPER. I600 Dodge Vipers at the event didn’t get a chance to actually drive the vehicle, but I sat on passenger’s seat and a professional Viper driver drove me around the real race course in St. Louis, Missouri (USA). Well, it’s a long story why I ended up being there, but let’s just put that was because I was a party girl back in 2000.

This was actually an annual event held somewhere in the US and it was St. Louis in 2000. That was 6th invitational event and people who own real VIPER can join this event. Did I own a Dodge Viper??  I was a VOLKSWAGEN lover that time…… any problems?

I wasn’t invited by Dodge, but somebody who actually owns a Viper in Japan invited me. Can you belive this? I was a college student and I still clearly remember that I had to skip my psychology class….. I thought this event would be a life time opportunity, so I didn’t care about my psychology class…… bad girl.

In this event, about 600 Dodge Viper got together in St. Louis from everywhere in the US. Trust me, I got tired of looking at Viper by the last day.  600 Viper in front of you….. it was just too much.Going back to the race course, it was amazingly fun. We were required to wear a helmet and fasten the tight seat-belt. Before we started, I asked my driver to drive as fast as he can…….. call me crazy. He did some drifting and did a few runs just for me.

That was one of the DOPE experiences I have ever had.

The Viper owner who invited me to this event seems to be not driving his Viper lately. When I talked to him last time, he said his Viper has been out of battery because he doesn’t drive at all…… Sometimes, I don’t understand rich people…… ANYWAY!

I hope I can join the event again.