cars

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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Japanese women weigh in: Which cars do they not want to see their boyfriends driving?

A couple of days ago, we heard the guys’ opinions on the ladies, so now it’s time to hear what the ladies think about the men – specifically, about the kinds of cars men drive. Japan’s MyNavi Woman took a survey asking Japanese women which cars they wouldn’t like for their boyfriends to drive, and some of their responses you may find a bit surprising!

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No Photoshop here! Chinese city really does have a two-headed, German-made fire truck

Speed is of the utmost importance for emergency responders. When a fire breaks out, for instance, a delay in rescue workers arriving on-site can directly lead to lives being lost.

But while fire trucks have powerful, torquey engines that enable them to haul a full team and all of their firefighting equipment, they aren’t the most nimble vehicles when you need to bust a U-turn on a narrow road. Thankfully, some firefighters in China’s Nanjing City don’t have to worry about pulling off such complex maneuvers on their way to a blaze, thanks to their crazy-looking double-headed fire engines that can be driven in either direction.

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Tokyo Disney Resort’s amazing customer service includes safety checks of guests’ cars

Aside from the costumed characters and colorful parades, one of the things that makes Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea so popular is the stellar customer service they offer. Even in a country where service is almost universally prompt and polite, the Tokyo Disney Resort goes above and beyond the norm in providing an unrivaled level of hospitality to guests.

As a matter of fact, Tokyo Disney Resort employees are so dedicated that not only will they make sure you enjoy yourself during your stay, they’ll even help ensure you have a safe trip home, as one park attendee recently found out when the parking lot staff performed a spot check of her car and alerted her to a potential safety hazard.

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Get ready for yuru-kyara car plates! Japan to lift ban on colourful regional license plates

In larger countries like Australia and the United States, vehicle registration is carried out at the state level. This has long allowed each state to produce distinctive designs, including slogans or iconic imagery on number plates. In little Japan, however, vehicle registration is issued by the national government, so car owners have had no option to show their local pride with a regional license plate…until now.

The Ministry of Transport has announced that from next year, local authorities will be free to put colourful character designs on car number plates. Let’s have a look at some of the potential ways to pimp your Japanese numberplate!

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Mr. Sato goes to Tokyo Auto Salon 2015, forgets to take photos of the cars…

While Japan makes some rather unique cars, itasha aren’t the only custom cars in the country. From oni-kyan wheels for drifting to Chibatman, it sometimes seems like half of the vehicles in the country have been modified to extremes. But to get an idea of just how popular custom cars are in Japan, you’d need to head to Tokyo Auto Salon, which saw nearly 300,000 attendees last year!

This year, not wanting to miss out on all the fun, our brave Mr. Sato donned his most garish, chinpira outfit and headed down to look at some cars…and the women who get paid to stand next to them.

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Indian man still insists on driving backwards at full speed after eleven years

There’s a particular type of male who when in possession of a vehicle strives to make it the most outstanding machine on the road for better or for worse. This generally involves painting obnoxiously loud colors onto their cars, which have been fitted with even more obnoxiously loud speakers. The result is a visual and audible horror show only appreciated by those with a similar mindset.

And then we have Harpeet Devi of India who has reached new heights of annoying car customization. He had his transmission customized to have four speeds in reverse and only one speed forward so he can drive backwards everywhere he goes.

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Japan’s hydrogen fuel cell stations begin to open, but are they worth the switch?

With Toyota’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV), Mirai, now available, many wait to see if this revolutionary car with take off or fall flat in Japan. On 25 December, JX Nippon Oil & Energy began selling hydrogen for these new vehicles at a cost of 1,000 yen per kilogram (US$8/kg – $3.60/lb).

So is that worth giving up the pumps for…whatever hydrogen comes out of?

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Dirty Car Art is the perfect excuse not to wash your car ever again

Have you ever doodled in the dirt on your car before you finally got around to washing it? Or perhaps when you were younger you wrote something rude in the dust on the neighbour’s rear window? American artist Scott Wade took his doodling many steps further and now creates this stunning Dirty Car Art that you’d never want to wash off.

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