japanese motoring issue

Innovation in an automotive paradigm shift

Japan and the Future of Personal Transportation

We've been witness over the past few years of the rise of city bikes, hybrids, electric, and clean burning diesel cars; we've also seen prototypes of urban personal mobility vehicles, whose use will likely rise dramatically in the coming decades due to increased urbanization. And it's our far east friends in Japan who at the forefront of the development of such vehicles, from robotically-assisted exoskeletons to enclosed electric scooters to portable motorized chairs.

Godzilla Invades America

25 Years Later, Bringing the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R Stateside

While the majority of Americans look for their next vehicle at their local car dealership or online, there are some who spend countless hours to hunt down and import foreign cars that were never sold here in the states, at least legally. One of those grails just might finally be legally accessible to enthusiasts and collectors here in the U.S. for the first time in, well, ever. It's the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, the car that birthed the current Nissan GT-R supercar.

IS is it

Deutsche Dethroned: When Lexus Beat BMW

BMW has spent the past several years making its cars more luxurious and better appointed for its upmarket customers. While BMW was upping the luxury, Lexus was moving in the opposite direction, not by making their cars any less luxurious, but instead placing a stronger emphasis -- maybe even a bull's-eye target -- on sportiness. The result? For now, the BMW 3 has to get off the gilded chair and let the new kid have the scepter of power.

A beast in plainer clothes

Behind the Wheel: 2015 Subaru WRX

The Subaru Impreza WRX (nicknamed "Rex" by loyalists) has a cult following to almost rival the Beatles (smaller and younger, but just as fanatic). New iterations or improvements often make fan clubs and enthusiasts both skeptical and nervous; you can't mess with perfection, and the Subaru Impreza WRX is pretty close. In November of last year Subaru debuted the fifth generation 2015 WRX ($26,295) at the LA auto show, and we were quick to and hop in line to see if they'd truly made it better or simply messed up a great thing.

Go, Speed, Go!

The Spell of Speed Racer

One of the most iconic cars the world has ever seen doesn't even exist. It's sleek, has a three-pointed front end, a huge red M emblazoned on the hood, myriad gadgets like saw blades and a periscope and sometimes has a little kid and a crazy chimpanzee in the trunk. It's Speed Racer's Mach 5, and both the car and its super-skinny driver made an indelible impression on me as a boy. More than candy and snow days, I longed for the next episode of Speed Racer with its high drama, fast cars and peril on and off the track.

Rising Suns of Anarchy

The Best Japanese Bikes of 2014 Add Passion to Reliability

2014 promises to offer up a ton of great bikes by which to dispel your winter blues, a handful of those out of the Far East. Japanese motorcycles are well built, reliable and typically more affordable than their counterparts from Italy and America, and they also have a strong history of great performance. From cruisers to sport-tourers to sport bikes, here are our five favorite new Japanese bikes of the year.

High-Speed Thrills at the Legendary Raceway

Twin Peaks: Racing with Lexus F at Fuji International Speedway

Lexus, when it was created in 1989, was itself a halo brand. Today Lexus is pushing its own groundbreaking products -- that is, incredible vehicles -- to reach new automotive heights. We were recently invited to experience those new halos, several of the company's latest F models, this time at the very same proving grounds on which they were first developed: Fuji International Speedway. The opportunity provided a unique chance to study Lexus's approach to the wide spectrum of automotive performance. It also gave us the chance to routinely push 150 mph right under the nose of Mount Fuji.

Steering in the Right Direction

Quick Spin: 2014 Infiniti Q50S

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 (essentially the next generation G37 with a new name) brings ground-breaking tech, a strong engine and grown-up styling to the table and could be a major pivot point for the brand as they leave the shadow of parent company Nissan. We took a quick spin in the upgraded Q50S ($43,550), which is loaded with even more tech and an interesting new Direct Adaptive Steering system.

Rising Stars from the Rising Sun

Aces of Asia: 10 Best Japanese Cars

Japanese cars have long been the epitome of reliability and trustworthiness, but they haven't always been beautiful to look at. Things have changed with the current generation of Japanese cars, which boast great design and more personality than ever, along with driving dynamics that can rival (and even best) the Germans in some cases. Their bombproof reliability hasn't been altered through the generations, either. Here are the ten best rising cars from the land of the rising sun.

A Skyline in the city

Behind the Wheel: 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition

With one of the highest thrill-to-dollar ratios of any production car on the planet, the only way to make the Nissan GT-R more monstrous (hello, 0-60 in less than three seconds) is a limited Track Edition. Luckily, we didn't have to call in any favors or cash in our Bitcoins to get our hands on the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition ($117,000), which serves dual duties as a sports car and a missile.

Racing ferocity wrapped in quiet elegance

Track Day: Lexus F Sport Full Line

Lexus is no longer in the business of selling warmed-over Toyotas with nice interiors, and they haven’t been for some time. Indeed, the Lexus image has been completely revamped from its early days, and they’ve poised themselves in recent years as a formidable opponent to world-class luxury vehicles. Now, with their fully integrated F Sport lineup, the company has taken a solid shot across the reigning sport sedan titans’ respective bows; heralded by their flagship supercar, the LFA, Lexus is undeniably in the sport sedan business.

When Godzilla gets Juke'd

Quick Spin: Nissan Juke-R

Have you ever seen "that couple" -- the short, rotund Geek Squad individual and the Olympic beach volleyball player walking hand in hand? A similarly weird aura surrounds the incredibly unnecessary yet blissfully real 545 horsepower Nissan Juke-R ($665,000). We got some seat time in this, one of the rarest production automobiles in the world.

It's all in the hands

Nissan GT-R – Takumi: The Master Craftsmen Behind Nissan

Though the supremely capable Nissan GT-R is a feat of automotive technology, the craftsmanship behind the monstrous VR38 twin-turbo V8 engines by the "Takumi" is nothing short of impressive. Only four men can boast this level of skill for Nissan and each one prides himself on handbuilding each heavy-breathing beast beneath the hood of the current Japanese supercar. There's no shortage of skill or humility in these four "samurai of the streets", and our latest Viewfinder shows you their handcraft in an age of burgeoning technology.

From isn't to IS

Track Day: 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

The suburbs of Austin, Texas are hilly, colorful and vast, and look especially pretty when seen out the windshield of the latest, all-new sports sedan. They're even better looking when reduced to a racetrack blur. The 2014 Lexus IS F Sport has been redesigned to look sexier, feel more solid and drive harder, and recently gave us the distinct pleasure of melting scenery around the track at Driveway Austin while testing out its sporting mettle.

Cars and caffeine, an ideal pairing

West Coast Blitz: 1,100 Horsepower, 800 Miles and Blue Bottle Coffee

Recently we found ourselves presented with a couple of problems. First. We were handed the keys to a deep blue pearl 2012 Nissan GT-R and 2012 diamond black edition Cadillac CTS-V at roughly the same time. Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound like so much of a problem but bear with us. In reality neither cars...

Bad weather, expert-driving and a supercar

Photo Essay | Snow Day: Lapping the Lexus LFA, In Snow

Things don’t always come together but you try to make the most of it and sometimes, if you’re lucky, it works out for the better. Case in point. Not too long ago, we moseyed ourselves up to New York’s Monticello Motor Club for some lap time in the rip-roaring Lexus LFA. Unfortunately, Mother Nature and...