Tag Archives: Japanese Cars

Lexus LFA at Cars and Caffe

Lexus LFA Cars and Caffe Lexus LFA Cars and Caffe

The ultimate Lexus thus far, with an insane engine for the ages, the LFA always draws attention. I particularly loved the red, black and white interior scheme of this car.

-Nick

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$25K Used Car Shootout: Audi B8 S4 vs Lexus IS F

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For $25K you have many great options for a high-performance daily driver. If you want a brand new car you can get a Honda Civic Si or a Volkswagen GTI, both great “hot hatches” with amazing handling and turbocharged power. Looking a couple years used, you can find a current-gen Subaru WRX, or variants of the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro. But what if you want something even more serious with more emphasis on luxury and even higher performance? For $25K, the cars will be a few years older, 8-10 years old in this case, but you are getting $60K worth of car for less than half the price.

I’m starting to look around in this general price range for my next step, and I have various options depending on what I decide to do with my current stable of cars. I decided to go have a drive in some of the cars I’ve been looking at to see what they’re really like from behind the wheel.

I went to a local dealer to check out two Audi B8 S4s, and low and behold, they had a Lexus IS F on the lot as well – it hadn’t been listed online yet. IS Fs are pretty rare, and this one was in my range, so I added it to my list to drive.

The S4 and IS F are a somewhat strange comparison, the Audi is AWD with a supercharged V6, and the Lexus is RWD with a 5.0L V8. When it comes to driving in bad weather, they don’t really do the same things. That said, both are midsize sedans that offer high performance with a lot of polish. Overall, they serve the same basic function for the same basic price, so, despite their vast differences in many areas, that means they compete.

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Toyota 200GT at The Elegance at Hershey

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This legendary Japanese sports car, the Toyota 200GT, was one of the stars of The Elegance at Hershey. Its sleek sports car shape is timeless, and its classic reputation will endure as a part of the history of the automobile. It’s always awesome to see this car in person. Enjoy!

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Boba Fett takes Slave 0.5 out for a spin. Happy Halloween!

Miata Club Edition Boba Fett 4

Saturday was an unbelievably gorgeous day, and there was the promise of a torrential downpour on sunday. What better day to go for a drive?!

Being that it was also Halloweekend, I decided to wear my costume for the drive and have my buddy, Pat, shoot some photos. Boba Fett was going to take Slave 0.5 out for a nice spin, and confuse a lot of other motorists in the process!

For those of you wondering, yes, I could see just fine out of the zip-up hoodie.

We had a great drive, and I’m really happy with how the photos turned out. It’s always fun getting some action shots.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe and enjoy!

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Honda S2000 CR in the parking lot at Radnor Hunt

Honda S2000 CR at Radnor

Taking a break from the barrage of exotics we’ve had lately, this Honda S2000 CR caught our eye in the parking lot at the Radnor Hunt Concours. This is the ultimate version of the Honda S2000, built in the final stage of production. As GT3 is to Porsche 911, Club Racer is to Honda S2000. Anyone who got in on one of these is probably doing pretty well.

-Nick

Acura NSX Convertible Conversion by Newport at Driven By Purpose

Acura NSX Convertible Newport Conversion 1

I haven’t seen too many of these NSX Convertible conversions around, and this is the first time I’ve actually stopped to really take a look at one. It looks pretty much factory in most respects, and that’s about the biggest compliment one can give. The NSX definitely looks good as a roadster.

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Acura NSX Review: Can an Acura be a “full” supercar?

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Sometimes great things do fall right in your lap. The other day I went to work and was having a pretty normal day. As I went to leave for lunch, I noticed this striking silver Acura NSX parked in front of our building. I had no idea why it was there, but where I work, at AWE Tuning, we get cool cars stopping by all the time. I checked out the NSX with my coworkers, and spoke with the driver, who I found out worked for Acura corporate. I knew my boss was going to take the car for a spin, but as we talked, he told me I could sign a release and drive the car too. Say no more, I signed the papers. It was going to be a fun lunch break…

This was crazy, a supercar drive had fallen in my lap on a random Monday afternoon. I didn’t have my proper camera on me, and the roads near work aren’t the best for testing out handling, but hey, I figured I’d make the absolute most of it. I only had about 10 minutes in the NSX, so it was just a taste, but it gave me a solid impression of what Acura’s new supercar is all about.

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Lexus LC 500 Review: Lexus Has Finally Found Their Form

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Luxury isn’t about needs, luxury is about wants, or rather, desires. Practical concerns come second to delivering a highly remarkable experience. A luxury object is an art form, and it must appeal deeply to human emotion, even at the expense of being practical or being objectively inane.

The upscale part of Toyota, Lexus has always been extremely focused on delivering on practical concerns. They have the best reputation for build quality in the entire industry, and their cars have always been solid. A Lexus has always been a nice and dependable way to get around, but they never really rose above being just a well-polished transportation appliance. They never evoked any sort of deep carnal desire, or had a sense of occasion that made you want to go out and drive just for the hell of it.

Since 2008, Lexus has been taking serious steps to spice up their brand and make themselves a player in the true luxury segment. It’s a marketplace where people want something genuinely special, not just a Camry fitted with leather and wood. Lexus needed to define their own unique experience, and boy have they made moves in the years since.

This is the new Lexus LC 500, and it just might be the best GT car you can buy for $100 grand.

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The mighty little Autozam AZ1 at the Misselwood Concours

Autozam AZ1 Misselwood 10

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!

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