Home | Wiki | Discord | Dev Stream | YouTube | Archived Forums | Contact

Mizuiro Motor Company


#24
Mizuiro Karai '12
In the wake of the recent financial crisis, a decline in kei car sales for Mizuiro in favour of other automakers necessitated a new model by the company. Having spent a year in development, the resulting Mizuiro Karai (花蕾; flower bud) combined sportiness with practicality and value.

The Karai was instantly recognizable thanks in no small part to its swooping, rounded-off body and small, efficient LED headlights. It also differed significantly from other kei cars in that it had a kei-sized flat-4 engine as opposed to the de facto standard inline-3. Power from said engine was also transferred to the rear wheels to help harness its limited maximum output.

The Karai, as Mizuiro’s new flagship car, sported a unique badge in the shape of a flower bud. While it did not have as much cargo space as its competitors due to the unusual body shape, they were in turn somewhat over-optimized for practicality and lacked the finesse of the Karai, which served as Mizuiro’s return to form.

Karai
SPECS
Layout FR
Aspiration TB
Displacement 660 cc
Peak Power 47 kW (63 hp) @ 6300 RPM
Peak Torque 77 Nm (57 ft-lb) @ 5300 RPM
Weight 900 kg (1983 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 54/45
STARTING PRICE
¥800,000 JDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Hornet Yellow

Vivid Green

Electric Blue

Pacific Blue

Sandy Khaki

Steel Gold

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Sumi Black

#25
Mizuiro Inuwashi '13
A lightweight sportscar with an equally lightweight engine, the Inuwashi (犬鷲; golden eagle) was part of a novel approach by Mizuiro to cater to sportscar buyers. The Karai was inexpensive and sporty, but as a kei car, it had its flaws. At ¥3,175,000 ($28,966 US), the Inuwashi was created to compete among similarly-priced performance offerings, but only tipped the scales at 50-70% the weight of its competitors.

The most unique feature of the Inuwashi was its engine; sourced from the company’s Washiza (鷲座; Aquila) superbike, the punchy 1.3-litre naturally-aspirated inline-four revved quickly, propelling the sub-1,000 kg (2205 lb) car to 100 kph (62 mph) in six seconds. Connected to the engine was a six-speed sequential transmission similar to that on the Washiza, but overhauled for automotive use.

With an aluminum frame and aluminum bodywork, the Inuwashi possessed incredible agility and lacked sway bars due to its incredibly low weight. Its handling performance was impressive on its own, but the power provided by its engine made it into a true bird of prey among sportscars.

Inuwashi
SPECS
Layout MR
Aspiration NA
Displacement 1340 cc
Peak Power 118 kW (158 hp) @ 8900 RPM
Peak Torque 137 Nm (101 ft-lb) @ 7500 RPM
Weight 970 kg (2138 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 46/54
STARTING PRICE
¥3,296,000 JDM
$30,000 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Legacy Sunset Orange

Candy Burnt Orange

Hornet Yellow

Vivid Green

Kuromatsu

Electric Blue

Serene Blue Metallic

Pacific Blue

Steel Gold

Ethereal White

Steel Grey

Sumi Black

#26
Mizuiro Kaizoe '14
To go along with the performance-oriented Karai, Mizuiro needed a kei car that balanced sportiness with practicality. Therefore, the decision was made to resurrect the Kaizoe (介添え; helper) nameplate. This new Kaizoe was noticeably taller, allowing for more cargo space, but it retained many of its predecessor's features, including round taillights and a slim, low-set grille.

While the 660 cc flat-four engine used in the Karai was novel and helped lower the car’s centre of gravity, a three-cylinder of comparable displacement would ultimately be less complex, more reliable, and capable of a higher torque output. The Kaizoe’s inline-three, in particular, made 89 Nm (66 ft-lb) of torque over the 77 Nm (57 ft-lb) of the Karai’s flat-four, supplementing the maximum of 47 kW (63 hp) allotted to kei cars and allowing for a lower redline. Once again, the standard model (designated “T” for “turbocharged”) was offered alongside the S model, which lost 49 kg (108 lb) of weight and came with alloy wheels and a stiffer suspension tune.

While the more agile Karai was somewhat lacking in practicality, the Kaizoe easily solved such issues while retaining the charm of its predecessor.

T
SPECS
Layout FF
Aspiration TB
Displacement 659 cc
Peak Power 47 kW (63 hp) @ 6500 RPM
Peak Torque 89 Nm (66 ft-lb) @ 3300 RPM
Weight 1098 kg (2421 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 56/44
STARTING PRICE
¥1,070,000 JDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Hornet Yellow

Vivid Green

Electric Blue

Legacy Coastal Blue

Sandy Khaki

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Legacy Snow Grey

Sumi Black
S
SPECS
Layout FF
Aspiration TB
Displacement 659 cc
Peak Power 47 kW (63 hp) @ 6500 RPM
Peak Torque 89 Nm (66 ft-lb) @ 3300 RPM
Weight 1049 kg (2313 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 56/44
STARTING PRICE
¥1,230,000 JDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Hornet Yellow

Vivid Green

Electric Blue

Legacy Coastal Blue

Sandy Khaki

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Legacy Snow Grey

Sumi Black

#27

engineering wise it’s very good, but the design lacks a lot


#28
Mizuiro Tozansha '17
The Mizuiro Tozansha (登山者; mountaineer), first introduced in 2017, was a small three-door SUV with its sights set on the subcompact off-roader market. It was the product of Mizuiro's sports-car expertise distilled into a form engineered to shrug off difficult terrain. The Tozansha's styling—particularly its simple front fascia—exuded confidence, defying trends of excessive aggression that had defined the automotive industry in the 2010s. Its L-shaped taillights extended inwards and downwards simultaneously, improving visibility while maintaining visual integrity.

Due to the car’s stature, a flat-4 engine layout and offroad undertray were used to more effectively lower the centre of gravity. With a displacement of 2.5 litres and natural aspiration, it provided decent power quickly, crucial for tackling steep grades.

Alongside the standard N model was the X model, with upgraded suspension, a bull bar, and a more powerful engine as standard features. The N lent itself well to both off-road and on-road conditions, but the X was a thoroughbred adventurer that punched above its weight when taken off the beaten path.

N
SPECS
Layout F4
Aspiration NA
Displacement 2497 cc
Peak Power 99 kW (133 hp) @ 5500 RPM
Peak Torque 215 Nm (159 ft-lb) @ 3600 RPM
Weight 1201 kg (2648 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 54/46
STARTING PRICE
¥3,450,400 JDM
$32,200 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Serene Blue Metallic

Pacific Blue

Steel Blue

Sandy Khaki

Steel Gold

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Tungsten Grey

Sumi Black
X
SPECS
Layout F4
Aspiration NA
Displacement 2497 cc
Peak Power 138 kW (184 hp) @ 6400 RPM
Peak Torque 246 Nm (181 ft-lb) @ 3600 RPM
Weight 1222 kg (2694 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 53/47
STARTING PRICE
¥5,070,150 JDM
$47,350 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Hornet Yellow

Electric Blue

Serene Blue Metallic

Pacific Blue

Steel Blue

Sandy Khaki

Steel Gold

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Tungsten Grey

Sumi Black

#29
Shimizu GP70 '68
Following a bevy of victories in the All Japan Road Race Championship, Shimizu decided to try its hand at auto racing. Using a British-made chassis and bodywork reminiscent of 1960s endurance racers, the GP70 was built for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Behind the driver’s seat sat the same 2.5-litre SOHC V8 used in the Mont Blanc, having had everything except the engine block either upgraded or replaced with race-ready components that included DCOE carburetors and a racing exhaust system. It produced 165 kW (221 hp) of power—a figure that ultimately contributed to a top speed of 294 kph (183 mph) and a 0-100 time of 5.34 seconds.

While some design elements were carried over, the somewhat dated body shape was ultimately scrapped in favour of a more angular design for Shimizu’s first road-going midship sports car: the Gran Paradiso.

GP70
SPECS
Layout MR
Aspiration NA
Displacement 2496 cc
Peak Power 165 kW (221 hp) @ 7100 RPM
Peak Torque 252 Nm (186 ft-lb) @ 5700 RPM
Weight 848 kg (1870 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 36/64
STARTING PRICE
N/A (development and production cost approx. ¥619,488/unit)
COLOURS

Yellow

#30
Mizuiro Aspect '19
The Mizuiro Aspect was created to fill a gap in Mizuiro's lineup, that being for a car with a little bit more power. Weighing in at 1233 kg (2718 lb), it was heavier than even the rugged Tozansha mini-SUV, but minimizing curb weight wasn't a priority for the Aspect. Instead, it had a longitudinally-mounted turbocharged inline-four engine producing 192 kW (258 hp) coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, allowing it to reach 100 kph from a standstill in five seconds and giving it more of an edge on straightaways. Nevertheless, it was a Mizuiro, and what it sacrificed in raw handling dynamics, it made up for in spirit.

A more track-oriented version was also available. Called the Aspect R, it shed 88 kg (194 lb) and boasted a power output of 239 kW (321 hp), making it Mizuiro’s most powerful mass-produced car yet and resulting in a 0-100 time of 4.2 seconds. It was also appropriately equipped, with a rear wing, rain light, magnesium wheels, and most importantly, a stiffer suspension setup for tackling corners head-on.

S
SPECS
Layout FR
Aspiration TB
Displacement 1997 cc
Peak Power 192 kW (258 hp) @ 7700 RPM
Peak Torque 260 Nm (191 ft-lb) @ 4700 RPM
Weight 1233 kg (2718 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 56/44
STARTING PRICE
¥3,740,000 JDM
$35,100 USDM
COLOURS

Blazing Red Metallic

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Legacy Sunset Orange

Candy Burnt Orange

Biwa Blue Metallic

Legacy Coastal Blue

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Pewter Grey

Sumi Black
R
SPECS
Layout FR
Aspiration TB
Displacement 1997 cc
Peak Power 239 kW (321 hp) @ 8300 RPM
Peak Torque 307 Nm (227 ft-lb) @ 6900 RPM
Weight 1145 kg (2524 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 56/44
STARTING PRICE
¥4,167,600 JDM
$39,050 USDM
COLOURS

Blazing Red Metallic

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Legacy Sunset Orange

Candy Burnt Orange

Biwa Blue Metallic

Legacy Coastal Blue

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Pewter Grey

Sumi Black

#31

Why not offer a manual on the Aspect, to satisfy the enthusiasts even more? At any rate, it’s a formidable entry into the affordable sports car market.


#32

It was indeed offered with a six-speed manual for both trim levels, in part due to the lower reliability of DCTs.


#33
Shimizu Mont Blanc '10
At the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, the surprise revival of the Shimizu luxury brand had many excited for the possibilities of a modern Shimizu lineup. At the forefront of this reveal was the seminal Mont Blanc, reborn as a luxury MPV with styling ahead of its time.

With production beginning in 2010, the new Mont Blanc became renowned for its wealth of interior space, benefiting from a high ceiling and more than plenty of legroom for its two rear seats. Cargo space was also abundant, given the two-box design carried over from the first Mont Blanc. Under the hood was a transversely-mounted 5.2-litre V12 providing smooth power to all four wheels via an electronically-controlled 7-speed automatic gearbox.

Despite having a 13-million-yen price tag and being almost a full metre longer than its predecessor, its spacious interior helped it once again set a standard—this time for Japanese luxury cars.

Mont Blanc
SPECS
Layout F4
Aspiration NA
Displacement5194 cc
Peak Power 264 kW (354 hp) @ 5900 RPM
Peak Torque 461 Nm (340 ft-lb) @ 3900 RPM
Weight 1962 kg (4325 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 57/43
STARTING PRICE
¥13,100,000 JDM
$125,000 USDM
COLOURS

Deep Red

Space Blue Metallic

Titanium Bronze

Dusk Bronze

Brilliant White

Peak Grey Metallic

Piano Black

#34
Shimizu Matterhorn '11
As part of fabled Japanese luxury marque Shimizu's return, another familiar nameplate returned to the forefront. The second-generation Shimizu Matterhorn was a svelte four-door limousine with a sumptuous, high-tech interior and its own version of Shimizu's new 5.2-litre V12 engine.

Many distinctive design features were inherited from the previous-generation car; these included the four round headlights (now housed within a sleek cluster alongside an L-shaped DRL strip and turn signal), as well as the bar across the trunk that bore the car’s name. A number of cutting-edge design elements were thrown into the mix, such as crescent-shaped LED taillights and retractable door handles. The engine, carried over from the Mont Blanc, was given a boost in power and now sat longitudinally, powering the rear wheels.

The new Matterhorn was developed with its sights set on similar European luxury offerings, and thus easily surpassed the standards set by its predecessor. While it wasn’t held in as high a regard as its competitors, Shimizu’s manufacturing mettle produced a well-built car that rewarded those who knew where to look.

Matterhorn
SPECS
Layout FR
Aspiration NA
Displacement5194 cc
Peak Power 279 kW (354 hp) @ 6400 RPM
Peak Torque 490 Nm (361 ft-lb) @ 3900 RPM
Weight 2213 kg (4879 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 55/45
STARTING PRICE
¥21,150,000 JDM
$201,000 USDM
COLOURS

Deep Red

Deep Laver Metallic

Space Blue Metallic

Titanium Bronze

Dusk Bronze

Brilliant White

Peak Grey Metallic

Piano Black

#35

I may not be a fan of the front, but omg rear end is fucking beatiful


#36

I agree. The front is more than a little odd to me, but at least the rear is much better - and as its name suggests, it represents the peak of its manufacturer’s ambitions.


#37
Rinkai Magari '96
Created as an inexpensive, utilitarian car for sale in various global markets, the Tsuji (辻; junction) was Rinkai's response to the Japanese recession in the 1990s. Despite its two-liter engine designed with versatility in mind, the engine displacement tax bracket in which it sat made it less accessible to Japanese customers. To remedy this problem, the Tsuji was offered with a 660 cc kei-spec engine for the 1994 model year. However, there was still a market for sporty cars, and Rinkai decided to cater to this market with a kei sports car, making it an economically-minded option as Japan prepared to recover from the so-called "Lost Decade".

The Rinkai Magari (曲がり; curve) was a traditional front-engine, rear-drive roadster with a manually operated canvas top and few creature comforts besides the standard air conditioning, radio, and cassette player, with a CD player offered as optional equipment. Under the hood, the Magari used the same engine as the kei Tsuji: a turbocharged 660 cc inline-3 with a 4-valve SOHC valvetrain and variable valve timing. Weighing in at 69 kg (152 lb), the diminutive engine was one of multiple factors that kept the Magari’s weight at just 999 kg (2202 lb). With such a low weight and decent weight distribution to boot, it’s no wonder the two-seater was able to coast through corners with ease.

Magari
SPECS
Layout FR
Aspiration TB
Displacement 660 cc
Peak Power 47 kW (63 hp) @ 6400 RPM
Peak Torque 80 Nm (59 ft-lb) @ 4800 RPM
Weight 999 kg (2202 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 53/47
STARTING PRICE
¥470,000 JDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tamago Yellow

Marsh Green

Sky Blue

Coastal Blue

Ash White

Snow Grey

Pewter Grey

Sumi Black

#38

This is definitely one of the better-looking kei sports cars I’ve seen on these forums. True to its name, despite its meager power output, it relishes spirited driving through twisty roads, thanks to its tiny footprint and low kerb weight.


#39

I agree, full of 90s cuteness but yet always ready for some spirited driving. It ticks all the boxes.


#40
Mizuiro Hanabi '01
With a name that translates to "firework", the first-generation Mizuiro Hanabi (花火) served as the sedan counterpart to the Hikyaku wagon, with some trim levels offering explosive performance that lived up to the car's namesake. Adhering to its credo of balancing practicality and fun, Mizuiro sold the Hanabi in three trim levels: the budget E (for "economy"), the all-rounder P (for "premium"), and the special R (for "rally").

The E and P models had Mizuiro’s trademark two-litre SOHC inline-four under the hood, while the R used a 242 kW (325 hp) two-litre DOHC flat-four engine coupled to an all-wheel drive system to keep it planted on or off road. The car also used aluminum body panels and a performance-oriented six-speed manual gearbox, distinguishing it from its front-wheel drive counterparts, while visual elements such as a large wing and hood vent for the top-mounted intercooler solidified it as the car upon which Mizuiro’s works entry into the World Rally Series was based.

While, on average, one million E and P models were sold every year during the Hanabi’s production run, only 2,800 R models were produced for the 2001 model year. As such, despite not quite having entered collectible territory, the Mizuiro Hanabi R is rare in its own right.

E
SPECS
Layout FF
Aspiration NA
Displacement 1999 cc
Peak Power 86 kw (116 hp) @ 6200 RPM
Peak Torque 170 Nm (125 ft-lb) @ 3200 RPM
Weight 1305 kg (2877 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 58/42
STARTING PRICE
¥1,270,000 JDM
$11,950 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Pacific Blue

Steel Blue

Sandy Khaki

Steel Grey

Pewter Grey

Sumi Black
P
SPECS
Layout FF
Aspiration TB
Displacement 1999 cc
Peak Power 143 kw (191 hp) @ 6700 RPM
Peak Torque 238 Nm (176 ft-lb) @ 3600 RPM
Weight 1418 kg (3126 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 59/41
STARTING PRICE
¥1,720,000 JDM
$16,200 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Pacific Blue

Steel Blue

Sandy Khaki

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Pewter Grey

Sumi Black
R
SPECS
Layout F4
Aspiration TB
Displacement 1997 cc
Peak Power 242 kw (325 hp) @ 7100 RPM
Peak Torque 343 Nm (253 ft-lb) @ 6200 RPM
Weight 1370 kg (3020 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 55/45
STARTING PRICE
¥2,330,000 JDM
$22,000 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Pacific Blue

Steel Blue

Sandy Khaki

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Pewter Grey

Sumi Black

#41
Mizuiro Hanabi WR '01
Serving as Mizuiro's debut in the World Rally Series, the 2001 Mizuiro Hanabi WR was adapted from the company's Hanabi (花火; firework) sedan. Due to regulations stipulating that rally cars be based on production cars to a certain degree, the standard Hanabi was turned into a bona fide sports sedan, with its transversely-mounted inline-four engine swapped for a longitudinal flat-four, and the resulting car was sold as the Hanabi R.

Using the Hanabi R as a foundation, engineers from the Mizuiro-Dunlap Rally Team (MDRT) team began the final stage of the Hanabi’s transformation into a true rally car. The interior was stripped and a roll cage and two bucket seats were installed in its place, while the six-speed manual gearbox was swapped for a six-speed sequential. Skidplates at both the front and rear were installed to improve aerodynamics and protect against underbody damage, and the turbocharged engine’s output was increased to 260 kw (349 hp).

While the Hanabi WR did not achieve any victories throughout the 2001 season, consistency on the part of its drivers earned it fourth place in the manufacturers’ championship. With improvement after improvement every season, it would eventually net the Mizuiro-Dunlap Rally Team first place overall in 2007 before the team withdrew from competition.

WR
SPECS
Layout F4
Aspiration TB
Displacement 1997 cc
Peak Power 260 kw (349 hp) @ 7600 RPM
Peak Torque 376 Nm (278 ft-lb) @ 6300 RPM
Weight 1231 kg (2714 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 54/46
STARTING PRICE
N/A (development and production cost approx. ¥2,206,544/unit)
COLOURS

#7 Ethereal White/Tangerine

#42

The Hanabi P would have been a formidable choice among front-drive cars in Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec - but I must admit that the all-wheel-drive, WRC-inspired R made it seem tame in comparison, especially with 325 bhp pushing around just 1370 kg. In fact, it seems as if there’s a Hanabi for every event in that game, from the Sunday Cup (for which a lightly tuned E could suffice) to the Dream Car Championship (in which a WR could be highly competitive).


#44
Mizuiro Hizoku '16
The 2006 Mizuiro Hizoku (匪賊; bandit) roadster was renowned for its midship layout, compact size, and low price, but was rapidly showing its age by the 2010s in no small part due to its decades-old engine design. Furthermore, its size brought it near the realm of kei cars, something Mizuiro sought to capitalize on with the release of the second-generation Hizoku.

With an all-new partial-aluminum design and a slightly tweaked version of the Kaizoe’s (介添え; helper) 660 cc inline-three engine coupled to a five-speed manual transmission, the Hizoku K combined the affordability of the previous generation with the lower road taxes offered by kei cars. The K’s eager handling and weight of 836 kg (1844 lb) made its peak output of 47 kW (63 hp) a non-issue. To reduce complexity, the Hizoku’s roof was now a removable single-piece unit that could be stored under the hood when not in use, and owing to the car’s lower speeds, it lacked a spoiler. McPherson struts were also used in the front and rear, just like with the first-generation Hizoku.

A higher-tier model, the Hizoku S, was equipped with a 1.3-litre inline-four, a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission with paddle shifters, wider wheels, and an active rear spoiler. As the K was only sold in Japan, the S also served as an export model that attracted overseas customers with its 118 kW (158 hp) output and increased safety measures, serving as the true successor to the 2006 car.

K
SPECS
Layout MR
Aspiration TB
Displacement659 cc
Peak Power 47 kW (63 hp) @ 6500 RPM
Peak Torque 88 Nm (65 ft-lb) @ 3300 RPM
Weight 836 kg (1844 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 45/55
STARTING PRICE
¥1,465,000 JDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Candy Burnt Orange

Hornet Yellow

Vivid Green

Electric Blue

Serene Blue Metallic

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Sumi Black
S
SPECS
Layout MR
Aspiration TB
Displacement1300 cc
Peak Power 118 kW (158 hp) @ 7100 RPM
Peak Torque 184 Nm (136 ft-lb) @ 4400 RPM
Weight 920 kg (1844 lb)
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 43/57
STARTING PRICE
¥2,700,000 JDM
$25,800 USDM
COLOURS

Ardour Red

Tangerine

Candy Burnt Orange

Hornet Yellow

Vivid Green

Electric Blue

Serene Blue Metallic

Katsuobushi

Ethereal White

Cloud Grey Metallic

Sumi Black