Tag Archives: Japanese Cars

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

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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?

Acura NSX Hybrid 12

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

Lexus LC 500 Review 8

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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Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Review: My Next Daily Driver?

Honda Civic Hatchback Sport 1

I’m starting to consider options for replacing my Volkswagen CC as my practical daily driver, and I’ve had numerous people tell me to try out the new turbocharged Honda Civic.

Now before any of you scream “Civic Si” or “Civic Type R” at the screen, just know that I need an automatic here because my girlfriend, Gab, needs to be able to drive the car. I have my Miata and my STI when I want to shift my own gears. Also, the mighty Type R is vastly out of my budget for this move.

I’m not going too deep into financials, but I’m considering a lease that would be the same or less than what I currently pay on my CC. I also want a car that is realistically capable of touching 40 MPG when I’m cruising.

So, automatic, 40 MPG capable, and a relatively cheap monthly payment. Sounds like driving excitement may not really be a factor here, right? The options are certainly limited, but the new Civic Hatchback Sport quickly captured my interest when shopping around. I’d heard some great things about the new 1.5L turbocharged engine, and it seemed like Honda had made the Hatchback Sport model a junior Si, of sorts.

I figured if I was going to try out the new Civic, I might as well try the one most likely to catch my interest. The 1.5L Turbo is available on all the Civic models, but the Sport would have the tighter handling and the sport exhaust, which would make it more my kind of car.

So, after work, I went to go check it out, and see if the Civic Hatchback Sport was the “8/10ths Civic Si” I was hoping it would be.

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Mazda FD RX-7 with a dirty little secret at the CF Charities Supercar Show

RX-7 Front

When it comes to the Mazda RX-7, the final generation is the one I seem to gravitate to. I can’t explain why. Perhaps its the “forbidden fruit” aspect of it, since they are not often seen out in the wild. Or, perhaps its the fact that it seems to be right no matter if it still packs its original twin-turbo Wankel powerplant, or some sort of Chevrolet LS engine. Both engines fit this car’s styling almost too well. This one seems to pack an LS1 out of a Corvette and the swap is as clean as they come. Enjoy the photos. Continue reading Mazda FD RX-7 with a dirty little secret at the CF Charities Supercar Show

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Spotted in Greenwich, CT

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI 3

We spotted this member of the JDM royal family on the street in Greenwich, CT during concours weekend. I always love seeing cars that aren’t supposed to be on US roads out and about on US roads, and the Evo VI was never sold here. Let’s face it, it’s more fun when you bend the rules.

Enjoy!

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Some Highlights From the CF Charities Supercar Show in Philadelphia

Lamborghini Aventador

We attended the CF Charities Supercar Show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia this weekend. This was the first year for the event in Philly, and we liked the new venue a lot. There were some truly incredible cars, and there’s a lot more to come, but here are some highlights for starters.

Enjoy!

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