John Cooper Works Mini Coupe on sale in Japan from Dec.

BMW announced the sale of its compact coupé Mini “John Cooper Works” starting from December in Japan.

3 Models will be available:  Cooper Coupe, Cooper S Coupe and the John Cooper Works Coupe.

The very style 2 seater is also the fastest factory Mini ever.  A 1.6L four cylinder engine paired with a 6 speed manual gearbox.  A six speed automatic gearbox is also available  for the Cooper Coupe and the Cooper S Coupe.  The EU standard lists fuel consumption at 18.51 kms/liter. (You know that is not as good as the Demio!)

The 2 faster models add a twin scroll turbocharger and direct-injection to the 1.6 liter engine.  In JCW trim, the Coupe has 208 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

Speeding tickets for all three models: the Coupe breaks the speed limit (except on the Autobahn in Germany) at a max. of 140miles/hr (225kms), the S Coupe 142 MPH (228kms/hr) and the JCW 149 MPH (239 kms/hr).

Perhaps it should try stealing the Toyota Lexus LFA of its  Nurburgring title?


Nissan Serena 4 generations

Now this is a car I have had a personal relationship with, both the diesel and the petrol.  If you are a family man with one more child than the law allows you to have with a normal car (most cars are 5 seaters!)  you might have had a brush with this car/van/people mover / coach, even if you didn’t own one, you probably thought about it!
New … well a bit expensive.

Used Nissan Serena?  Value for money.  Back when it all began, there wasn’t much choice from the Japanese market for a bigger family, alas, the average Japanese family was just under 3 people (not children silly, the total family number, that is Mum Dad and nearly a whole kid!).  So to find a vehicle that would hold more than 5 people, there wasn’t much choice.

The main competitors back then were the Mistubishi Chariot: ok if you had short legs!  Some expensive 4WDs like the Toyota Prado.  But what if you had no plans of ascending a 40 degree muddy hill in low gear 4WD diff lock?  What if you just wanted to drive to the next town, in un-cramped comfort?  As far as I could remember you had the Toyota Hiace Van / Wagon or at a much cheaper price, yet no less quality, the Nissan Serena, diesel or petrol.   I had more than one of them!  Never regretted it, loved the journey!
So lets introduce the Nissan Serena generations:

Nissan Vanette Serena  (1991-1994):


First Generation

First Generation Nissan Serena(C23, 1994-1999).


Second Generation

2nd Generation Nissan Serena (C24, 1999-2005)


Nissan Serena 3rd Generation


3rd generation Nissan Serena (C25, 2005-2010)


4th Generation Nissan Serena (C26, 2010- )

Toyota Vitz G Sports to be released in October 2011


Coming in October, Toyota Vitz G Sports

Now this is something to excite the JPDM.  A new Toyota (that is enough excitement in itself).  Also a new Toyota that pushes the “E” or “ecologically friendly” extremes by making new in-roads into fuel efficiency.

Toyota’s sports conversion series has a new addition, the Vitz G Sports.  Renamed from the RS.  Evolution has brought out perhaps the best Vitz so far.  Looking at the picture Toyota has given it a jazzy aero kit.  Red stitching on the steering wheel , shift knob, and leather seats and carbon fiber interior paneling.   Toyota has used the Vitz RS base chasis chassis NCP131 and built onto it.

The engine is the 1.5L DOHC 1NZ-FE producing 80kw (109PS) at 6000rpm.  Available in 5 speed manual as well as the CVT-i manual mode.   It will be available in 7 colours.
It will be released in October, but it may take a few weeks after that to see near new ones appear in the used car auctions.  Something to look forward to!

Coming in October, Toyota Vitz G Sports