Category: Autofile  

Autofile

Here’s just the thing to zip around town on. Yamaha Motor’s new eco-friendly electric EC-03 scooter is powered by lithium-ion batteries and can travel around 43 kilometers on a single charge. When you’re done, just jack it into a regular home socket and it’ll be juiced up and ready to go in six hours or ...

Jul 29, 2010 | No Comments | 1,163 views
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Autofile

If your car has a GPS navigation system, you’d better keep an eye on it. According to the National Police Agency, 35,688 car navi systems were stolen in 2009. Many of these are subsequently resold, often on internet auction sites, and police are urging manufacturers to install features that would help prevent such thefts. The ...

Jul 1, 2010 | No Comments | 1,210 views
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Autofile

One day, all taxis in Tokyo may look like this. Hinomaru Limousine’s Zero Taxi is the capital’s first zero-emission cab, an electric four-seater with a range of approximately 160km that can be quick-charged to 80 percent capacity in just half an hour. Eco car geeks will recognize the vehicle lurking beneath the paintwork as Mitsubishi’s ...

Jul 1, 2010 | No Comments | 1,411 views
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Autofile

If the thought of another inner-city summer is getting you down, then head to the Izu Peninsula or zoom off to Mt. Fuji… by motorbike. The Akasaka-based Japan Bike Rentals specializes in furnishing foreigners with their own set of wheels, ranging from the lightweight Yamaha XT250X to hardcore sport-touring staple the BMW K1200GT. Prices run ...

Jul 1, 2010 | No Comments | 831 views
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Autofile

If you’ve ever wondered what the commuter of the future will ride to work, Honda might just have the answer. The company recently unveiled the latest prototype of its EV-neo electric scooter, which it plans to lease to businesses from December. The EV-neo is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a range of 30km. ...

May 6, 2010 | No Comments | 1,630 views
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Autofile

In light of all the bad news about runaway cars over the past few months, Japan’s transport ministry said it is considering making it compulsory for carmakers to fit new vehicles with brake override systems that would enable drivers to stop even if the accelerator is pressed. Japanese auto companies aren’t waiting for a new ...

Apr 8, 2010 | No Comments | 792 views
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Autofile

Got ¥110 million to spend? That’s how much Mercedes-Benz is charging for its new SLR Stirling Moss sports car, the final model in its SLR line and the most expensive vehicle it has ever produced. Named after the legendary British F1 driver, the car promises to recreate the thrill of old-school racing by doing away ...

Apr 8, 2010 | No Comments | 887 views
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Autofile

After much huffing and puffing and badgering from foreign automakers, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry decided last month to allow imported vehicle brands to be eligible for Japan’s eco-car subsidy scheme (or cash-for-clunkers, as it’s known overseas). This has become a contentious issue over the past year: while Japanese automakers have benefited from ...

Mar 11, 2010 | No Comments | 1,221 views
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Autofile

Is this the cargo ship of the future? While sea freighting has a much smaller carbon footprint than shipping by air, truck or train, it’s still a long way off being environmentally friendly. The UT Wind Challenger aims to change that. Designed by researchers at the University of Tokyo, in collaboration with a number of ...

Feb 11, 2010 | No Comments | 2,224 views
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Autofile

The car: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Transformers Special Edition The pitch: You may remember it as Bumblebee from the Transformers movies—and now you too can be as cool as Shia LaBeouf (if you’re so inclined). In response to public demand, Chevrolet has released an ultra-limited Autobot edition of its Camaro coupe, 16 of which went on ...

Feb 11, 2010 | No Comments | 958 views
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Autofile

Vistors to the Tokyo Auto Salon in Makuhari Messe this weekend will be treated to a visual feast of bodies, paint jobs, shiny exteriors, blinged accessories and curvy models. And those are just the girls draped over the cars. Despite the recession that decimated last autumn’s Tokyo Motor Show, business is still healthy at Japan’s—OK, ...

Jan 14, 2010 | No Comments | 1,262 views
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Autofile

What: Taxi Walker Who: Happinet Toys Why: If you needed an added incentive to forego that taxi ride home in favor of a brisk stroll, this should do the trick. In addition to logging distances walked and calories burned, this pedometer also tells you how much money you’re saving by striking out on foot rather ...

Jan 12, 2010 | No Comments | 916 views
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Autofile

“There aren’t many rental services in Tokyo that give you complete freedom,” says Hiroaki Ehira, the CEO of Omnifox. The Iidabashi-based IT consulting firm last year branched out into an altogether different line of business: renting bicycles. Coolbike lets you borrow compact folding bikes for a flat rate of ¥2,000 per day. For an extra ...

Dec 10, 2009 | No Comments | 3,246 views
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Autofile

Now you don’t have to leave the Vespa at home when you go shopping for a new Louis Vuitton bag. Japan’s first dedicated parking meters for motorbikes commenced operation at the end of last month in the fashion paradise of Omotesando. They’re being provided on a trial basis by the Metropolitan Police Department, in response ...

Dec 10, 2009 | No Comments | 1,371 views
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Autofile

Proof, as if any were needed, that there’s a niche for everything in this country: Hachimaru Hero (“80 Hero”) is a biannual magazine dedicated solely to the cars and bikes of the ’80s. The latest issue, emblazoned with a Toyota Soarer 3000GT and the headline “Cars Were Fun in the ’80s” (as if we needed ...

Nov 12, 2009 | No Comments | 1,896 views
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Autofile

Here’s just the thing for getting out of traffic jams: Nissan’s Land Glider–or the Lean Machine, as it’s affectionately known. This electric two-seat concept car could pass for a motorcycle, both in its compactness and the way it handles. Individual electric motors positioned above the axles allow the cocoon-like vehicle to tilt up to 17 ...

Nov 12, 2009 | No Comments | 2,380 views
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Autofile

Other car conventions may have flashier rides and more glamorous women, but there’s only one place where you can watch a tricked-out truck bounce like a body-popper. After dates in Nagoya, Kitakyushu, Sendai and Osaka, the Lowrider Car Show Japan Tour returns to Makuhari Messe on November 22 for a final dose of automotive fun, ...

Nov 12, 2009 | No Comments | 1,733 views
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Autofile

What: Japan EV Festival 2009 Where: Tsukuba Circuit, Ibaraki Prefecture When: Nov 3 (Culture Day), 8am-4:30pm Why: As global CO2 levels continue to rise and oil stocks plummet, suddenly even the most dedicated gas guzzlers are starting to take electric cars seriously. Chances are that attendance will be higher than usual at the Japan Electric ...

Oct 15, 2009 | No Comments | 1,176 views
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Autofile

This is just the thing to bring drunk husbands home, take granny shopping, or send the kids off to school on. Honda’s new “personal mobility” device looks like a unicycle, but there’s no pedaling involved. All you need to do to zip around on it—sideways as well as forward and back—is lean in the direction ...

Oct 15, 2009 | No Comments | 1,047 views
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Autofile

Tarento Aiko Kaito, 25, has been appointed poster girl for the National Autumn Transportation Safety Campaign, which runs September 21-30. The posters also feature police mascot Pipo-kun, and are emblazoned with the catchphrase, “Yuzuri ‘Ai’ no machi, Tokyo” (Giving others the right of way in Tokyo), a play on the celebrity’s name. Kaito, who drives ...

Sep 17, 2009 | No Comments | 1,249 views
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Autofile

The familiar—and tragically pathetic—sight of salarymen wheezing their way up hills on those small-wheeled folding bicycles may soon become a thing of the past. Not because the bikes themselves are on their way out, but because they’re about to go turbo charged. Sanyo’s new CY-SPJ220 Eneloop Bike, due to hit stores on September 21, is ...

Aug 21, 2009 | No Comments | 1,225 views
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