When you tell someone you drive a turbocharged mid engined sports car with gullwing doors, they may expect you to roll up in a Pagani Huayra. Imagine the look of surprise on their face when you roll up in this, an Autozam AZ1, instead.
It’s part of an interesting Japanese segment known as a kei cars, or “light cars.” The segment included other passenger vehicles like vans and such, but the Autozam AZ1 was a kei sports car.
Autozam was sold as a sub-brand of Mazda, but the AZ1 had a turbocharged 657cc Suzuki engine under it’s hood. It makes 64hp and 63 ft/lbs of torque, but that’s not actually too bad in a car weighing only 1,500lbs. It’s the gullwing go kart of your wildest dreams.
Despite being a small bite of awesome today, the Autozam AZ1 was not successful in its day. It launched in 1992, right as a recession was taking hold in Japan, and the AZ1 was seen as too expensive for its market segment. As a result, only 4,392 Autozam AZ1s were built, making it the rarest of the kei sports cars out there.
It certainly has a lot of flavor, and who doesn’t love those gullwing doors? It’s a proper bite sized exotic!
Enjoy the photos!