cars

Can you spot the Self-Defense Force personnel shown here? Oh, and their amazing jeep too [Video]

The other day, we decided to sneak out of the office and grab some coffee. And when we say sneak, we mean literally, as we made our Starbucks run slinking through the streets of Shinjuku while hiding under a cardboard box.

But while our Metal Gear-style tactics did get us to Outer Coffee Heaven safely and stealthily, there are two problems with our method. First, our crawling speed is pretty slow, even with the caffeine boost we enjoyed on the way back. Second, the cardboard box wouldn’t help us blend in with a more natural environment, which is why we now find ourselves wanting this amazing, perfectly camouflaged Japan Ground Self-Defense Force jeep.

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Throw out your clock! Website has race queen models telling you the time every minute of the day

It’s pretty easy to see the need for most jobs in the motorsports world. The drivers are there to drive the cars, obviously, and the members of the pit crews refill their gas tanks and change their tires during the race.

But what about the class of models Japan calls race queens? Ostensibly, one of their roles is to hold umbrellas over the drivers to keep them cool while waiting on the tarmac, but it’s not like the competitors behind the wheels are so dependent on their cars for mobility that they can’t just walk over to the shade and sit down there. No, the true function of race queens is to attract attention to the sponsors ‘ logos printed on what precious little fabric their costumes make use of, and considering that money is as crucial as gas in keeping a race car running, it’s an important job.

The models have just picked up another work responsibility, though: telling you the current time, with this website that displays a new race queen photo every minute of the day.

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Win props and Survey Corps uniform from Attack on Titan film just by test-driving a Subaru!

It looks like car manufacturer Subaru has their hands on some neat swag that was used on set for the upcoming Attack on Titan live-action film and, for some reason, they’re willing to just hand it off to one lucky Subaru test-driver.

You don’t need to own a Subaru or even like Subaru to be eligible to win an authentic Survey Corps uniform actually worn by a character in the film, plus an actual, “working” 3-Dimensional Maneuver Gear set – the piston-operated grappling hook setup that Survey Corps heroes sport in their fight against the series’ titular titans.

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Toyota Chocobos?! Iconic Final Fantasy music used in new car ad 【Videos】

Following several years of building dependable, affordable, yet almost utterly soulless automobiles, Toyota is trying to get back to creating and market cars with a sense of joy and playfulness. After all, it’s a waste to treat driving as just going from Point A to Point B in the dullest way possible instead of the fun journey it has the potential to be.

That’s why in its newest commercial, Toyota is invoking the spirit of adventure with a fleet of yellow hybrids running about the countryside with the musical accompaniment of one of the most instantly recognizable pieces of Final Fantasy music every composed.

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You’ve probably never had as much fun in a traffic jam than these Chinese motorists 【Pics】

Whether it be Japan’s Golden Week, America’s Memorial Day or any other national holidays in the spring, the draw of good weather and free time calls people out of their homes. Who could resist a nice drive under blue skies, while not having to think about usual daily responsibilities? Probably no one on the planet.

On May 1, China celebrated Labor Day, a national holiday. Free from work, people headed out. If you haven’t heard, China has a lot of people, so with nearly everyone having a day off, you can only imagine what the traffic was like! While most people would let heavy traffic ruin their day, some Chinese people who were stuck in an infinity-long line of traffic decided to not let the situation get them down and instead brought the party on to the road.

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Breathe easy – Toyota redesigning Prius plug-in hybrid to double car’s all-electric range

Toyota’s Prius is designed for one purpose, and it’s not to deliver the sort of exciting performance that will seduce you into taking a spirited drive through a moonlit mountain pass (that’s another car’s job). No, the Prius promise is that it will get you from Point A to Point B in the most energy-efficient way possible.

But while the standard hybrid Prius remains a popular choice for eco-conscious motorists, sales of its plug-in variant have been stagnant. Toyota is hoping to change that, though, with an updated Prius that can travel roughly twice as far under purely electric power than the current model.

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Nissan GT-R driver crashes into pole, disintegrates car’s front quarter, somehow survives 【Video】

If you’re into sports cars, there’s a lot to like about Nissan’s R35 GT-R, such as its tremendous grip and ridiculous power. But if I’m being totally honest and picky, it’s a little large and heavy for my tastes, seeing as how it tips the scales at 1,740 kilograms (3,828 pounds). No matter how much torque the engine is making, there’s just something that feels good about a lightweight car, you know?

But this video shows there’s an easy way to solve that issues: Just crash your GT-R headfirst into a streetlamp at 170 kilometers (106 miles) an hour, and watch the excess weight and space disintegrate!

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Unemployed Shanghai “booth babes” protest for their right to be sexy with cars

Promotional models or “booth babes” are a controversial part of convention culture. Many see them as a gimmick at best, and at worst dehumanizing women by turning them into part of the product being sold. In China, the government considers them so “vulgar” that recently laws have been passed banning “booth babes” at events.

The first victim of the new law is the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show. Instead of dozens of beautiful women adorning cars, now there are none. But that doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared; instead the now-unemployed models are taking to the Shanghai streets, protesting for their right to be sexy and get paid for it.

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Car Wars! “X-Wings” is the movie we wish Disney-Pixar would make next 【Video】

Everybody loves a good Disney/Pixar movie (unless you don’t, in which case you obviously hate fun). And (mostly) everybody loves awesome automobiles and methods of transportation. First, we had “Cars”, and then we had “Planes”. The next logical step has to involve outer space, right? (Huh? Trains? Boats? Drones? Ssh…) After all, we all love space movies like Interstellar and, you know, Star Wars.

Now, we finally have the perfect marriage of space hi-jinks and cute animation in X-Wings, aka Car Wars! Wait, what?

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Feeling the generational gap recently? The top 20 things that Japanese youth are distanced from

Have you ever felt worlds apart from the generations above you? 

The topic of Japanese youth distancing themselves (purposely or not) from “things of the past” is something that pops up every now and again on Japanese variety shows. Most recently, an online research group also decided to tackle the topic, asking 500 people what they felt like young people are becoming more and more separated from in today’s world.

Today, we present the top 20 replies for “Things that Japanese youth are distanced from.”

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Pro drifter disguises herself as driving school student to prank first-day instructors 【Video】

Being a driving instructor has to be a scary job. After all, every day your responsibilities include climbing into the passenger seat next to someone society says hasn’t yet shown the ability to safely drive a car.

For one group of instructors though, the source of their terror wasn’t that they were stuck with a bad driver, but with one that was too good, as they fell victim to a prank of their “student” for the day being a professional drifter and racer.

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How washing your itasha makes it look more dirty than clean

If you’re one of the people who already finds the whole concept of itasha creepy, then you’re about to get a whole lot more skeeved out. But if you enjoy borderline-inappropriate pictures of anime girls, then you’ll probably enjoy these automobile images. (Possibly NSFW)

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It’s a trap! Police car meant to reduce accidents is not quite what it seems

Speed traps, or cops hiding it wait to catch speeding or reckless drivers who pose a threat to others on the road, are nothing new. Even when manpower is lacking too much to have a police officer lying in wait, a conveniently placed police car can even do the trick, making drivers rethink their actions and go easy on the gas. This particular police car, however, deserves a second glance, as it’s even more deceptive than you might think.

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New Toyota Europe ad has weather forecasters trembling in their seats [Video]

Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota is becoming as well-known for their wacky commercials as they are for their cars. We’ve seen everything from incredibly addictive live-action Doraemon ads to CMs featuring World Order and Busta Rhymes.

The car company recently took a slightly more sentimental turn with their commercials, but Toyota is back to being funny again now. A new ad for the Europe-exclusive AYGO x-wave, a canvas-topped compact car, is taking revenge on weather forecasters for their inaccurate predictions. It’s a silly ad that doesn’t focus much on the car, but we laugh and approve nonetheless.

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Rolls-Royce’s new sedan, with silk and cherry blossoms, is as luxurious as a Japanese garden

For generations, Rolls-Royce has been the most exalted name in British automaking. Yes, the Mini may have had the most historical significance. Various models of MGs and Triumphs provided immense pleasure for the driver at an affordable price, and Aston Martin did likewise at unaffordable ones. But for absolute presence and luxury, none of them could ever touch Rolls-Royce.

For its latest showcase model, though, the carmaker with a history as English as high tea looked east for inspiration, and the result is the Serenity Phantom, a car decorated in silk and cherry blossom motifs that looks like it’d be as appropriate for transporting a member of the Japanese imperial family as a British royal.

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Nissan unveils “smart BBQ” car that comes with a drone, karaoke machine, mist shower…and a grill

Outdoor barbecues are the epitome of summer fun. But if you live in Japan, you’re sure to be drenched in sweat after ten minutes in the hot, humid weather. Luckily, Nissan created a solution to the hassle and heat of the typical cookout: the Ultimate Smart BBQ vehicle. The all-electric compact car includes everything you’ll need for a summer barbecue, including the grill and high-tech mosquito repellant, and comes with some things you might not necessarily need, like a “flying selfie camera.”

“With this electric vehicle, you can always enjoy a BBQ that goes far beyond your expectations,” commented Osamu Suzuki, editor-in-chief of the Nissan Social Project. Intrigued? Check out this crazy car after the jump!

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How to double the value of your $10 car: Spend 30 minutes adding racing stripes!

Some of you may remember the fateful day last spring when our Japanese-language reporter Go bought what was probably the cheapest car in Japan by acquiring his current ride for just 980 yen (US $8.30). Nine months later, not only is his 1997 Mitsubishi Minica still firing on all three cylinders under its hood, but it recently passed its mandatory biennial safety inspection, called shaken in Japanese.

In celebration, Go treated the Minica to a wash for the first time since he drove it back to Tokyo from Nagoya. With a fresh coat of wax, it was looking better than ever, but Go still wasn’t 100-percent satisfied with the car’s appearance. See, Go believes the Mini is just an overall cooler car than the Minica, so he set out to transform the latter into the former using the finest vinyl sheets and magic markers he could find.

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Drive off In an official One Piece Nissan Serena

Nissan is collaborating with One Piece to offer a limited edition Serena Highway STAR S-HYBRID. Dubbed the “Thousand Serena,” a play on the Straw Hat Pirates’ Thousand Sunny ship, it features a special One Piece car wrap and hubcaps.

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The Toyota Isis: The car with the most unfortunate name in Japan

Toyota, being the largest, most internationalized of Japan’s automakers, tends to do a pretty decent job steering clear of picking car names that sound weird or shocking to non-Japanese consumers. Sure, its product lineup briefly included the Emina, but that only sounds gross if you’re too impatient to carefully read the letters in order.

Until now Toyota hasn’t had anything as unintentionally startling as the Mazda Bongo Friendee, Daihatsu Naked, or Nissan Fairlady. But if you’ve taken a look at Toyota’s Japanese website recently, you may have found yourself doing a double-take as you noticed one of its current offerings seems to share its name with a well-known jihadist rebel group.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Toyota Isis.

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One story, three versions. Toyota ads evoke our emotions, remind us we’re all human [Video]

First loves, first cars, best friends and beautiful scenery; Toyota is hitting all the right notes with their newest car commercials/web movies, entitled “The World is One,”  for their “Toyota Next One” campaign. The commercial itself is really cute, if not borderline risqué for a second, but when you learn that there are actually three versions of the exact same commercial, taking place in three different countries, the charm is taken to a whole new level and gives new meaning to the tagline at the end, “We’re all driving on the same road.”

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