Akamatsu Motor Design Thread (赤松モーターデザインスレッド)

Akamatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (赤松自動車株式会社, Akamatsu Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha) often known simply as Akamatsu Motor or Akamatsu, is a Japanese large-scale engineering firm and automotive manufacturer based in Fukuoka, Japan, historically being a tools and weapons manufacturer, it moved to automotive manufacturing crude but reliable cars in the early 1950’s after World War II and is one of the oldest operating companies in Japan, having been founded in 1506 during the Sengoku Period. (citation needed)

Legend states that Akamatsu is derived from the name of Tsuda Katsuharu (Unknown - c. 1531), the legendary founder of Akamatsu’s wife, Akami Toriimatsu (1485 - c. 1538), although there is some logical reasoning behind this theory. There is no concrete evidence to suggest this, thus the origin of the name Akamatsu is currently unknown.

Likewise, there is very little evidence to confirm Tsuda Katsuharu ever existed, as he is viewed more as a legendary figure rather than a historical one. However, the earliest known record of a business with the name Akamatsu dates to about 1509 around what is today Fukuoka, a receipt for a large purchase of iron by one “Tsuda Katahare”, possibly suggesting it simply being a miscommunication with the metalsmith regarding Katsuharu’s name.

At the surrender of Japan in 1945, Akamatsu was barred from producing firearms and aircraft, and became a state-owned company until privatised again in 1954. After the war, Akamatsu would not continue its firearm production operations, making weapons such as good condition Type 41s extremely valuable and sought after by collectors. Manufacturing of aircraft would cease in 1989, with firearm production having stopped much earlier in 1978.

The first model to begin mass production after WWII was the Akamatsu A10, introduced in 1951, a very crude, but cheap and reliable car meant for the mass market, with the 600cc, 800cc and 1100cc engines, it proved popular with the Japanese public, it would continue production until 1969, spanning 4 generations. The 1962 Sapphire would be the first luxury offering, introducing the luxurious Grand Star marque, followed by the 1971 800GT and 1967 Pikup, the first sports car and utility offerings from Akamatsu.

Akamatsu is a partner of trade unions, such as the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions (全日本自動車産業労働組合総連合会, Jidosha Soren). The current chairman of the Akamatsu Group, Tatsuro Tagama, has been a member of the Japanese Communist Party since 1988.

In 1965, Akamatsu only exported about 3,500 cars to North America, accounting for only about a 0.2% share of the US market, most cars exported were mostly 3rd generation A10’s, sold as the Akamatsu 600 (Despite only being fitted with an 800cc engine) in North America, the 600 sold poorly compared to the large V8 offerings from Torrento because of their small size and weak engine, which raised safety concerns, imports stopped by October 1969 with the end of production of the A10, and Akamatsu pulled out of the US market. By 1976 however, the 1973 oil crisis had changed the American view on cars, Akamatsu re-entered the market in 1975, now exporting roughly 105,000 vehicles every year at a tremendous cost, in Fukuoka, the re-entry into the US market was considered a “massive gamble” that could bankrupt the manufacturer, but now accounting for a 4.8% market share by 1980, the re-entry was considered a huge success. In 2019, Akamatsu was estimated to hold a 15.9% share of all cars sold in the US that year.

In 1992, Akamatsu introduced the Protera, a lightweight sports coupe that still focused heavily on the balance between power, handling and fuel economy, instead of the Torrento approach of pure power for it’s sports cars, the Protera was primarily sold in markets such as Singapore and Thailand. The second generation, introduced in 1996, would eventually go on to be even more successful, and eventually went on to compete in WRC, winning a total of 64 rallies between 1992 and 2008(1), spanning two generations. marked by the highly limited Protera 4WR, of which only about 1,050 first generation, and 250 second generation models are known to have been produced, though many third parties offer cheap 4WR cosmetic conversion kits for normal Proteras, however, genuine 4WR engines and turbo kits are much harder to come by on the aftermarket and are therefore more expensive than their mimic-tuned counterparts.

Akamatsu is currently the biggest manufacturer based in Asia, and second in the world behind Torrento Automotive, it’s main and fierce competitor in the US market.

Non-automotive ventures

During World War II, Akamatsu produced firearms and aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Army, most famously the legendary Akamatsu A5F Narita long-range Carrier-based Fighter Aircraft and the Type 41 Bolt Action Rifle. The Type 41 and it’s derivatives, such as the Type 48 Sniper Rifle, were very popular rifles due to their build quality and finish. By 1945 however, quality of the Type 41 had severely diminished due to the turning tide of the war, the “Last Ditch” Type 41 was ridiculed as resembling a poorly made knockoff of the early war Type 41, having had most of its unnecessary metal parts removed, such as the cleaning rod or buttplate, as well as using cheaper quality wood and metals without the same level of care in the production process, as well as a complete lack of wood finish and smoothing out of tooling errors, despite this, this Type 41 was no less safe to use by soldiers, as well as saving as many materials as possible in a futile attempt to curb the United States’ progress towards the Japanese islands.

Akamatsu Engineering Co., Ltd is the large-scale engineering division of the Akamatsu Group, responsible for the design and construction of large projects such as reservoir dams and shipping ports, notable projects include the Seongguk Dam in South Korea, Kangwon Industrial Port, also in South Korea, as well as Xiaofengzhu Hydroelectric Power Plant in Southeastern China. Officially, Xiaofengzhu is known as Guangdong Provincial Hydroelectrical Power Plant No. 6631 Xiaofengzhu and was completed in 2011 in cooperation with Beijing and Guangzhou representatives.

The firm is also responsible for the construction of Taesong (Also romanised as Taeseong or Taesung) Manufacturing Plant in Daegu, South Korea, which collapsed in a sudden structural failure on the evening of May 26, 1989, just 6 years after construction was completed in the fall of 1983, attributed to poor management, unauthorised changes to the original building plans, as well as perceived widespread corruption. 294 workers were killed and over 500 were injured in the collapse, making Taesong the deadliest structural failure in South Korea until surpassed by the Sampoong Department Store collapse in 1995.

In the aftermath of the collapse, many of the plant managers would be arrested and investigated, with the Director of Taesong Kang Sae-won and Plant Managers Kim Tae-min and Lee Seong-ju, being sentenced to 7 years 5 months, 6 years 6 months, and 5 years 2 months imprisonment respectively, and Akamatsu Engineering being fined ₩36 Billion and ordered to pay ₩80 Billion towards the families of the workers killed in the collapse.

What remained of Taesong Manufacturing Plant was demolished in 1990.

Akamatsu, strangely enough, is also the owner of it’s very own luxurious and widely celebrated wine and sparkling sake business. Most famously it’s commemorative bottle of Katsuharu Niigata 1961, named for the legendary founder of Akamatsu, Tsuda Katsuharu (Unknown - c. 1531), and sold at auction for a record breaking ¥390,000,000 in 2005, with much of the proceeds given back to the local vineyard workers of Niigata as gratitude for their tireless work to produce excellent quality grapes.

  1. The Protera WRC far overstretched it’s intended lifespan as a rally car, only replaced by the third generation Protera, introduced in 2008, after nine years of competition, but the second generation proved itself enough to continue use until the beginning of the 2008 season. Dubbed the “Flaming Missile” because of it’s bright orange livery. On February 25, 2015, it was inducted into the Akamatsu Automotive Heritage Museum, Akamatsu’s 20th Anniversary of competing in WRC.
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D21 inspired?

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Little bit of D21, mostly inspired by a Pathfinder.

a Twin Turbocharged V6 as a standard? Very nice, now I want to own one of those

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Granted, a straight-six of the same size would have been even smoother and hence more befitting for its role as a premium executive car, but it’s still one of the best uses of the Chaser mod body I have ever seen.

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2001 Akamatsu Solaris SRX; Built for the track, under the hood sits a 2.8L Twin Turbo V6 found in the Andromeda, but tuned to now output 330HP, if you’re looking for a raw sports car that will most likely try to kill you, and you don’t want to buy a Torrento Sunblade, this is the car for you.

American Pride, Japanese heart.

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The Sunblade its bet- jk man, looks awesome

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The Solaris SXR looks like a proper rival to my 2nd gen Madison Ballista (specifically, the base model 500 GT - the more powerful 540 GTS may well be in a different league entirely), at least on paper. Anyway, how fast is it (both to 60 mph and the top end), how much does it cost, and how much does it weigh? Also, is it AWD or RWD? In any case, it looks like a 90s/00s JDM tuner car should, both inside and out.

The Solaris SRX is RWD, and at last check it did 0-100 in ~6 seconds.

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I think you meant 0-100 km/h (which is roughly equivalent to 0-60 mph). Good enough for 2001, then, although it could be faster.

As for an explanation for that acceleration time: It may be that the Solaris SXR is quite heavy, which would blunt its acceleration somewhat - or it could be using the wrong tire type (medium instead of sports), or the trim shown has an automatic transmission instead of a manual, or some combination of all three.

Yeah I meant 0-100 Km/h, and I checked again, turns out I was wrong about it’s time, it actually does 0-100Km/h in 4.9 seconds.

The car weighs ~1200kg and the trim shown has a 5 speed manual with viscous LSD.

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That would make it a formidable competitor to any 2nd-gen Ballista, then. It would be even faster and better to drive, though, with a 6-speed manual transmission with a geared LSD. Even so, the Solaris SXR deserves a place on every contemporary sports car buyer’s shopping list.

1995-1999 Akamatsu Kobalt 1.8LX; This is about as generic as it gets, with a 1.8L i4 making 108hp and a 0-60 time of about 11 seconds, it isn’t fast in the slightest, but at least you can take comfort in the fact that you, the groceries and your bratty children are safe and sound in this tangerine orange flavoured shitbox.

…and for the carefree parent, (or person, I don’t really care.) the Kobalt 2.0ZX and 2.0ZX Coupe, now with 130HP, you might actually get the kids to school on time for once, and it’s 0-60 time is a whole second faster!

In the coupe, you don’t have children, you just wanna have some fun on a shoestring budget, that’s alright, because nobody likes whiny kids anyways. Without the kids, you can actually enjoy your car.

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I really like this brand I must say. The Kobalt looks right for what it is, a 90s econo box, yet it has kind of a personality on its own, nice. Maybe the door handles feels a bit oversized though but other than that I actually like it.

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Might I suggest some lower trim (LX, SX, ZX?) versions, aswell as an AWD facelift model that ditches the pop-ups?

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2002 Akamatsu Solaris FRX-R5; Barely legal, but who cares when you got a 7 litre twin turbocharged V8 makin’ 900HP and almost 1000Nm of Torque under the hood. It’s still RWD, but now it’s wider and angrier than ever!

Fatter tires, new bumpers, shiny new rims and a wing you could hold a funeral on are really what makes this beast special, and that funeral? Prepare to be the one in the casket as this girl will try to kill you even more, maybe then you’ll remember to not trust that innocent smile so much.

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That seems… Dangerous. The turbolag has got to be insane, right?

Just mental. No wonder it would make a great drift or drag car - but only for those who can control it!

Very nice, I like the Style of the car, looks like a race car for the streets. Quirky, but nonetheless, awesome

2014 Akamatsu Accolade VI (40th Annivesary Edition) The newest generation of a long line of coupes and sedans with nothing but prowess and engineered turbo lag which will punch you straight in the gut as soon as you press your foot on the pedal. It won’t kill you, but it is fast, so watch out.

…and used here by the Salt Lake City P.D, the Accolade Hybrid, the first generation to use batteries, and the first to use batteries to catch criminals, good luck outrunning the feds now, because you won’t, the turbo lag is gone, but is instead replaced by a naturally aspirated V8 with 290HP, or the whisper quiet batteries with a 590km range for when the cops have to sneak up on you.

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