TA B L E O F
Impreza Concept marks the beginning of Subaru’s new vision.
ス ク ープ
CONFIDENCE IN MOTION
Orders for Spec V will cease from next July, then what? To find out more, Best Car, Japan, spoke to Kazutoshi Mizuno, GT-R product specialist and chief engineer. 29
HYBRID INSIGHT: MORE INTELLIGENCE, MORE SPACE
On 6 January, Kah Motor unveiled the all-new Honda Insight, the latest hybrid model in Singapore which aims to herald a new era of efficient daily transportation.
2011 PERFECT CALENDAR! GTR’S NEXT MOVE
37 new Japanese cars to premiere this year! 26
デ ビ ュ ー
We were curious about Subaru’s mystery coupe, and now we know that it is the new Impreza.
TOYOTA’S STATEMENT OF LEADERSHIP
With the launch of the new Crown, Borneo Motors offers a heightened degree of luxury through its meticulous selection of quality finishes.
JAPANESE CARS MAKE WAVES AT THE 2011 LA MOTOR SHOW!
レ ポ ー ト
Over 10,000 units of Honda’s Hybrid ingenuity in back order, prior to its official launch! 50
A NICHE FOR NISSAN
BEST CAR’S EXPERTS ON THE FREED SPIKE
Nissan’s secret super sedan strategy revealed!
A WORLD OF 3.0 SECONDS FLAT
So… what exactly can one do within three seconds?
We Are Looking... If you have a story to tell, or would like to contribute to Best Car, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IS THE FIT HYBRID THREATENED BY PRIUS
THE UNHEARD OF SHOWDOWN
It is unusual for these cars to be ranked alongside each other, or for that matter, be ranked at all. 58
VANITY FACE OFF
Nissan Serena and Honda Step Wagon might look similar, but there’s more that meets the eye. 59
The new launched Nissan March takes on the newly launched Toyota Ractis in a battle that will leave best car’s experts scratching their heads. 60
IS BENZ STILL THE KING
Best Car special: Japanese cars Vs Mercedes Benz. 特 集
THE HISTORY OF JAPANESE LIGHTWEIGHT SPORTS CARS: VOL. 3
BESTA-LIST SUPER CARLIFE VOL. 1
FUN CAR LABORATORY VOL.3
Performance is no longer the sole consideration when deciding to buy a car, argues Terry Itoh. 90
“IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE” Best Car takes a peek under the hood of hybrid technology with Hybrid Motors’ Sales Manager, Geraldine Lim, and After-Sales Manager, Robert White.
ガ ジ ェ ッ ト： 車
BESTWHIZBANGS: CARS 94
フ ァッシ ョ ン
Kenneth Lim and Leon Koh take centrestage without the microphones. 108
BACK TO BASICS
Best Car talks Japn’erican fashion with NAKAME STYLE’s resident stylist, Taoki Mishima. グ ル メ
YEAR OF THE ALTERNATIVE RABBIT
Stuffing faces and watching fortune-telling on television is cliché…
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Forget bread crumbs. They don’t work. We tried.
THE LANGUAGE OF MAGIC
These highly-energized rendering of evocative melodies would have you audiophiles out there basking in glorious tuneage.
キ ー パ ー ソ ン
Koji “Prince” Aoyama sizes up the Toyota 2000GT.
THE SWEETEST THING
As 14 February approaches, indulge your sweet tooth with these romantic selections.
ERROL “PETROL HEAD” LIM
On his obsessions and the Impreza STI Spec C.
SHRINKING PCS, THE TABLET WAY
The advent of the Tablet age is upon us…
IMIEV LOOKS SET TO HOLD ITS OWN AGAINST NISSAN LEAF!
The electric automobile scene is abuzz with talk about Nissan’s LEAF—but have we all but forgotten about its predecessor, the i-MiEV?
BESTWHIZBANGS: LIFESTYLE 96
A genuine showdown between bona fide hybrids. 56
ガ ジ ェ ッ ト：ラ イ フ ス タ イ ル
FREEBIES R US
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PERFECT SCHEDULE! 37 NEW JAPANESE CARS TO PREMIERE THIS YEAR!
LEXUS CT200H SUZUKI MR WAGON NISSAN MOCO
HONDA FIT WAGON MAZDA DEMIO (MC)
TOYOTA PRIUS α (ALPHA)
TOYOTA AURIS MAZDA CX-5
TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID
CAR S TO B E LA U N CH ED IN 2 011
BEST CAR ISSU E 03
HONDA INSIGHT 1.5 PREMIUM
TOYOTA NEW COMPACT TOYOTA COROLLA AXIO/FIELDER HYBRID
TOYOTA/SUBARU FT-86 NISSAN SYLPHY SUBARU IMPREZA DAIHATSU E:S NISSAN SERENA HYBRID
TOYOTA ALPHARD/VELLFIRE HYBRID LEXUS GS MARCH SC
TOYOTA COMPACT HYBRID NISSAN TIIDA LATIO HONDA FREED SPIKE HYBRID HONDA SPIKE HYBRID HONDA CR-V DAIHATSU MIRA TOYOTA PRIUS PLUG-IN HYBRID TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID
LEXUS IS SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT NISSAN MARCH SEDAN
hat is right, 37 models will enter the market in 2011. While 2010 was dubbed, “The year without new cars”, full model changes had been made for Passo, Premacy, March, Lactis, Elgrand, Swift, Serena, Landy, Move, Wish, Solio and 10 others, whereas for debutants we had the CR-Z, CRVR, i-MiEV, Juke, Impreza 4-door STI, Fuga Hybrid, Fit Hybrid, FJ Cruiser , X-Trail Diesel AT, Leaf, and LFA; all 12 of them! And let’s
JAN 20 11
not forget the GT-R, Forester and other biggies. It is not difficult to guess what is expected of 2011. The figure, 37, was given last year, and that was far more than the previous years. But for all we know, the automakers—you know how they are—could easily mean 37 new cars by March, 2012! Naturally, we should expect such big names as Civic and Skyline, But instead of these, we see the dominance of hybrid or compact cars. Take Honda. It has three hybrids,
with another three light cars in the pipeline. Even Toyota has CT200h in January, to be followed two months later by Prius α (Alpha). And following the arrival of the Estima Hybrid, Lexus may premiere GS full model changes in hybrid models. 2011 appears to be the year of fuel saving, with the launch of FT-86 in Tokyo Motor Show, and the appearance of various new models. But enough of that, here we go-
With a lower height that projects sporty image—the 5-door hatchback with a body size comparqable to Golf competes directly with BMW 1-Series and Audi A3.
TO BE LAUNCHED: Lexus CT200h Suzuki MR Wagon Nissan Moco
The latest news about this CT200h is that following IS, “F” will be made available. Targeted to launch one year from now, development is underway. The engine: 2.4-litre 2AE-FXE used in HS250h. Compared to a 1.8-litre 1AZFXE, it delivers 150hp, and the engine is augmented by 52hp, to 143hp—a significant increase in performance. Instilling such power in a relatively
small body will definitely boost its performance to sports grade, following CT-F and IS-F. We expect a V6, 3.5-litre, similar to Blade-Master in performance to figure, and fuel consumption to weigh in at 25.0km/l. (Lastly, we expect the germination of a Hybrid GT sport model, and development of this CT-F to take up to two years.)
2.4-litre Hybrid Sport CT-F will be added to the Lexus stable in one or two years. The retail version of CT200h will be near identical to the concept model that first appeared at the Geneva Show in March 2010, fuel consumption is key.
The base model retails from ¥3.5 million*. FSport retails from ¥4 million*, whereas the top grade will retail from ¥4.3 million*. As an entrylevel Lexus, the pricing is slightly steep, but since November, sales has been brisk, contributing to roughly one-half of all Lexus sales. As expected, the superior fuel consumption is a big draw, not to mention the sporty image and paddle shift—a first for Lexus—complete with mode-switch for sport-mode travel. The engine and power train make use of Prius’ 1.8-litre and its hybrid system, but controls are unique to CT200h. As for fuel consumption, it lags by 2.5km/l compared to Prius’ main grade S or G’s 35.5km/l, but this is due to the use of larger tires, which is unavoidable. * Prices are only indicative of the Japanese automotive market. For local pricing, please contact the relevant dealerships.
This powerhouse is similar to IS-F, but the bonnet bulges to accommodate a larger engine, the top of bonnet bulges; the tires are larger and wider for an aggressive styling. Speculated price: ¥5 million*.
EXPECTED SPECIFICATIONS** SIZE: 4450x1765x1460mm ENGINE: 1.8-litre, inline-4 engine BODY: 5-door hatchback AGENDA: to compete with BMW 1-Series and Audi A3.
** Specifications of available models may vary. For more information, please contact the relevant dealerships.
Spec V’s replacement will be lighter!
’s Big r a C t s e B ons i t s e u Q Bold R Honcho! For GT-
Orders for Spec V will cease from next July, then what? To find out more, Best Car, Japan, spoke to Kazutoshi Mizuno, GT-R product specialist and chief engineer.
Two and a half months ago on 18 October, GT-R had a huge minor revamp, 0~100m start acceleration which was originally 3.6 seconds shed 0.6 second to reach 3.0 seconds and become the first or second in the world, trying to be the top runner. At the same time, a new setting for Egoist, the new grade with super luxurious specification that broke the record price of ¥15 million*. Besides that, Circuit Special Club Track Edition is added to GT-R product series, in response to the wishes of many GT-R fans. Amid these announcements, reliable sources revealed that GT-R development site will soon move to a new location
BEST CAR ISSU E 03
which is being built. In the past we had to beat around the bush to obtain information, but last month GT-R R&D Manager Mr. K. Mizuno called our office, and offered us the opportunity to ask directly whatever we want to know. If you asked this kind of confidential information, you would never get a reply for sure, and may be impolite too to ask. So making use of the opportunity we called him directly and asked.
Best Car: Since the new model has just been
announced, may be it is too soon to pose this question, but what will be the next step GT-R has in mind? Mizuno: If you asked me like that, may be it is a bit difficult to answer [of course], but let me put it this way. We call GT-R users up and listen to what they have to say about further changes and their wishes. And
GT-R HAS ALREADY EMBARKED ON THE NEXT LEVEL
News of the R35GT-R first surfaced in 2001 at the Tokyo Motor Show, where it surprised many.
At the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, a GT-R prototype was unveiled, and the designs for the retail model was refined.
01 Two years later, it was launched by none other than Renault/Nissan President Carlos Ghosn. At 480hp, it is the most powerful car in Japan.
The carbon material required for lighter weight is expensive. Some parts of the new GT-R will use it, but overall, a simpler weight lightening measure will be taken.
I reply directly, and by doing so we visualize the future of GT-R.
Best Car: Thank you for your suggestion, can you tell us what will happen next to GT-R? A hint will do. This is what the readers and GT-R fans are most concerned about.
Faster! A little bit cheaper… Best Car prefers a lightweight version! * Prices are only indicative of the Japanese automotive market. For local pricing, please contact the relevant dealerships.
Mizuno: Last October during minor revamp announcement—[which Best Car was not invited to!]—I mentioned briefly that production for Specification V will stop in July 2011. Maybe you want to know more about that? We heard that a lighter GT-R is on the drawing board. Considering the changes made by Porsche, I think this will definitely happen within 5 years. What do you think? GT-R is GT-R, we are different from Porsche in what we are aiming for. Instead, you should come and have a look at the development site. Up to now, only a few of Nissan staff have visited. It shows the place where GT-R was borne, how decisions are made –from development to sales—and for the media, a “penetrating” coverage can be created…
A deal has been struck! Stay tuned to Best Car for our coverage of the future of GT-R!
BEST REPORT – O! レ ポ ー ト
Well-poised, this car is differentiated by its LED rear combination lamp.
The Honda Fit (Jazz) Hybrid was unveiled at its official launch on 8 October, 2010.
INDEED Over 10,000 units of Honda’s Hybrid ingenuity in back order, prior to its official launch!
A cut above the rest, a chrome grill distinguishes the new Fit (Jazz). Enter the Hybrid model that can potentially stop the Prius from building up a further lead. Honda’s Hybrid knowhow has finally been introduced to its best-selling compact range, the Fit. The Fit Hybrid’s exteriors have undergone a minor exterior change with its exclusive front grille, which features a clear-blue coating and metallic garnishing. A tuning of the IMA has also enabled Fit to achieve a higher performance in hybrid driving.
ive r r a s ha d i r b om y r f H e t i g The F price ran *. with a2.1 million ¥1.6~ 44
BEST CAR ISSU E 03
f f o s u i r P k c To kno p! o t e h t :
n The Missio
The basic Fit Hybrid costs ¥1.6 million*. Its main equipments comprise of a Full Automatic Air Conditioner, Cruise Control, Telescopic Steering Wheel, LED rear combination lamp, Center Console Box, Eco Assist, as well as a LED Door Mirror Indicator.
The Hybrid Smart Selection costs ¥1.7 million*. In addition to its basic Hybrid offering, the Smart Selection includes an in-car package: HID lamp, Smart key system, Half-shade front window, Switch panel coloured in champagne metallic colour, and silver-coloured inner door handles.
The Hybrid Navi Premium Selection costs ¥2.1 million*. In addition to its Smart Selection, the Navi Premium comes with HDD Inter-navigation system, ETC, VSA, Security Alarm, Seat heaters for both the driver and passenger seats, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Paddle shifter, Luggage room lamp, Comfort view package, Upper glove box with automatically controlled air conditioning, and 15-inch aluminium wheels.
Highlights of the new Fit Hybrid. • The Hybrid costs ¥1.6 million* • The car employs a more advanced IMA than Insight. Moreover, the petrol version has also been upgraded • Sports model RS has been significantly improved • The 1.3-litre basic grade has also been refined
* Prices are only indicative of the Japanese automotive market. For local pricing, please contact the relevant dealerships.
mongst the cars manufactured by Honda, Fit was the fastest in achieving accumulated sales of 1.5 million units in Japan; it has since sold over 3.5 million units worldwide. And after a lengthy wait, the Fit Hybrid has finally been added to Honda’s fleet. Until now, it was believed that only hybrid-dedicated models such as the Prius and Insight could achieve good sales. It is shrewd indeed to “hybridise” a popular car as the price is usually lower as a result of increased production. There is not a big variance between the basic Fit and its hybrid upgrade. The only difference lies in its front and rear grilles, that feature a metallic opalescent blue-coating and metallic garnishes; complete with a blue rear combination lamp, and Honda's emblem. This car consists of a 1.3-litre i-VTEC engine and IMA system, similar to Insight. However, unlike Insight, the Fit’s motor is tuned to reduce start-up timing and that significantly improves its acceleration. This is also helped by the fact that the Fit weighs in at 1,130kg—60kg lighter than Insight. In addition, the car has improved the speed range; when utilising the ECON mode, its idling-stop function can be used more easily. These would enable a better fuel consumption than Insight!
F E B R U ARY 2 0 1 1
BEST SHOWDOWN 対 決
Best Car Special:
Japanese Cars vs Mercedes Benz
ST I L L
KING!? Best Car’s Benz faction AntiBenz faction Confrontation
BEST CAR ISSU E 0 3
The existence of V8 was actually ignored until one year, but it was revived as the high-class cars required it. Nevertheless, the main one is V6, and hybrid will also be combined with V6. ~ Dr Dieter Zetsche, President of Daimler AG
Benz’ strengths and future strategy TEXT • MAKITERU ISHIKAWA
Downsizing of CL550 represents one of Benz’s future strategies.
The S-Class Hybrid will have A V6, 3.5-litre engine.
e questioned the President of Daimler AG, Dr Dieter Zetsche, directly on the future of Benz in France, during a 20-minute test-drive of “CL” specially arranged for six Japanese journalists last September. For such a busy man, we he answered us in an unusually polite manner. (Maybe it is because of Benz’s emphasis on the Japanese market.) It was clear from his response that Mercedes Benz would focus on downsizing their engines. He also added, “The existence of V8 was actually ignored until one
year, but it was revived as the high-class cars required it. Nevertheless, the main one is V6, and hybrid will also be combined with V6.” Mercedes Benz will also focus on the compact class. In fact, it is collaborating with Renault/Nissan precisely because of these companies’ excellent technological capabilities in the category. “Below C-Class, FF cars will fit in nicely, but we cannot afford to spend a huge sum for its development,” said Zetsche. “That’s why Renault/Nissan are in the picture. The actual product will be disclosed in September 2011, and it will be a car that locks horns with Audi 3A and BMW 1-Series… A, B-Class is destined for the North American market. The new factory for that will be built in Hungary.” That is what Mercedes Benz is doing— downsize the engine for higher end cars, simultaneously develop the V8 for a wider range of products, and break into the compact car category and produce cars that will appeal to young drivers.
C63 AMG installed with newly developed 5.5-litre engine. Despite smaller displacement, It delivers greater power.
F E B R U ARY 2 0 1 1
BEST WHIZBANGS > LIFESTYLE ガ ジ ェット：ラ イ フ ス タ イ ル
THE TABLET WAY Shrinking PCs,
The advent of the Tablet age is upon us. What with the tablet craze in full storm, braving this tornado would need more than a gutsy predisposition. The latest internet tablets to hail from Asia sees these iPad alternatives, level the playing field with their dynamic versatility and extraordinary efficiency.
Creative Zii10” Tablet Running on Creative’s patented ZiiLABS ZMS-08 HD Processor, this made-inSingapore Creative Zii unit comes with a 10-inch (1024x600) TFT Resistive screen and X-Fi Audio enhancements; aptly named X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi Expand. Packaged as the ultimate entertainment tablet, the ZiiO10” allows for simple HDMI-delivery onto a large-screen HDTV, as well as a single-touch onscreen icon to manage all Bluetooth-paired devices. Beam out in-style, now.
BEST CAR ISSU E 0 3
Touchy by Natu re— Be for total prepare dominati d on; the to way. Th uch e Force is great one, you with this ng pada wan.
Samsung Galaxy Tab An easy pill to swallow, the first tablet from Korea’s giant mobile communication manufacturer sees Samsung demonstrate its prowess in the form of this multimedia rich tablet. With its astoundingly simple UI and interchangeable home screens; this Galaxy takes on the universe with a quick swipe of interactivity. Embedded with its speedy 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, full Adobe Flash 10.1 support, 3G/ WiFi connectivity options—and the now famous Corning’s Gorilla glass, as seen on its elder but small-framed mobile sibling—the Galaxy S; sharp display on its 7-inch (1024x600) TFT LCD make even odd angles look good.
BEST GIFTS ギ フト
Freebies R US
You Like, we give, you take.
book d e c a F n o Like us 28 February an before to win one of stand prizes! these C
Anthony Hair Boutique Mysterious Café (P.110-111)
Up for grabs: 20 $50 vouchers
Kinki Up for grabs: 20 $50 dining vouchers
BEST CAR ISSU E 0 3
Up for grabs: two $50 vouchers for men, two $100 vouchers for women
HydraCoach Up for grabs: 5!