Ever wondered what are Kei Cars?? If You are a JDM Fanboy or are deep into Cars you definitely would have heard about this term but do you exactly know what it means?? To start with, this category of cars originated in Japan. It's a Japanese Vehicle category for the smallest highway-legal passenger cars. There are similar categories for micro vans and Kei Trucks. These cars are very successful in Japan and almost every manufacturer has made some Fun Fact: Isuzu is the only Japanese manufacturer that hasn't made Kei cars Some examples of Kei Cars: Honda N-BOX, Suzuki Spacia Daihatsu tanto, and Others...
But there are some rules and regulations for a car to be classified as a Kei car, not every small car qualifies as a Kei Car, there are engine and size limitations too.
It all started in 1949 with the creation of the Kei car Category, where Kei Cars typically used to have a 150cc 4 stroke engine and 100cc 2 stroke engine, there was a 2.8-meter length and 1-meter width limit. But there was no limit to the power that those engines could produce because they were anyways really small.
But in 1990 the rules were revised, the engine got bigger, the length and width limit increased to and a power limit of 64 Ps was set by the government. Now it’s almost been 30 years, the lengths and the engine limit has increased but the power limit has stayed the same, so these cars are anything but fast.
But these rules are there for IC Kei Cars, and as we know the world is going to electric so electric Kei cars are coming in as well. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was the first electric car, with a 63 Bhp electric motor and with a 100 km range which is pretty good for a small city car.
Now if talk about the Kei car market, you won’t see many of them roaming around outside japan but in Japan, they are popular AF, they hit about 40 percent record market share in 2013 despite the government increasing taxes on them.
Another reason for the popularity of these cars is the affordability factor, they are literally very inexpensive and due to them being small, lightweight, and funky, the majority of their sales are buying the Youth, they aren’t very popular among the elderly. If we want to get an idea of their price, they typically cost about 9 to 11 lakhs depending upon the variant.
Cars like the smart for two have also been given the Kei Car tag and are one of the only Kei cars to be made outside of Japan. You would be surprised to know that the Suzuki wagon r and the Suzuki Alto are some of the best-selling Kei cars currently in the market.
If I talk about my Favourite Kei car, it is the Autozam AZ-1, the Kei car which had Gullwing Doors (yes the ones you saw on the Pagani Huayra), had a relatively powerful engine and weighed just 720 Kgs.
I would be making a writing a separate Post on the Autozam AZ-1 in the future but that will be for this time regarding Kei Cars.
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