ASAKURA Heavy Industries Design Thread

This is just going to be a thread detailing a list of cars designed and built by ASAKURA Heavy Industries. AHI was founded in 1951 by a twenty-two year old Shinichiro Asakura in his hometown of Ichinoseki, Iwate. In his mind were two things, a dream to make beautiful cars and a dream to make some hard cash alongside that as well…

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1970 ASAKURA Sparrow GT-S Turbo (ASA-80)

Known around Northern Japan as the Hachi-Rei

Developed as a competitor to the up-and-coming threat of the '68 Akamatsu Accolade 190, the Sparrow (otherwise known as the Hachi - Rei from its model number) was born. Built around a hodge-podge 1L I4 engine made from welding four 250CC AHI motorcycle engines together, the car was immediately going to suffer with a smaller engine than its competitor. This was until AHI ‘observers’ in the design halls of American giants noticed a strange little device called a ‘Turbo-Charger’. It seemed that when it was attached to the exhaust manifold of an engine, it would dramatically increase the top-end power output of the engine, although some compression would have to be lost to maintain the engine’s reliability.

They didn’t hesitate when it came to other fancy technologies either - the car came with all around vented disc brakes (they just had holes drilled in them) and a clutched LSD. The car itself weighed just over 650KGs due to its use of aluminium bodywork, and sported a 0-100KpH time of only 6.7 seconds thanks to the 115 horsepower the engine pushed.

Stats for Nerds:

Construction - Aluminium on Steel Monocoque
Suspension - Double Wishbones front and rear
Drivetrain - FMR - Front Mid Engine <===> RWD
Seating Capacity - 2
Doors - 2
Approx. Cost - 12,500 AMU

Fuel economy - 26MPG UK
Top Speed - 216 KMH as indicated
Weight - 665KGs
Acceleration (0-100) - 6.7 seconds

Engine weight - 123KGs
Engine Power Output - 115HP @ 6500RPM
Engine Reliability - save me the suffering it’s obviously balls

Note from Mourmin:

My god, if this car were to have come out IRL, it would honestly have been one of the least reliable things on the road. I mean a turbocharger in 1970? It honestly handles fine, even if you only really get any power after 3500 RPM, after all I was able to pull a clean and quick lap on Hakone without any issues, no manic oversteer, no nothing.

Oh and Akamatsu, if you’re reading this, I’m planning for our two companies to be in the same ‘timeline’, kinda battling it out…


1985 ASAKURA Orion 24GSX

Now with more… 80s. bass drops

The late 70s weren’t a good time for ASAKURA Heavy Industries in the slightest, and they were still feeling the blows in the early 80s. Their brand image was well and truly destroyed, not having released a remotely noteworthy car in years, and they knew the only option would be to pour funds into another sports car. Shinichiro Asakura, now very much getting on a bit at the age of 55, knew that this was the home-stretch. He knew that it wouldn’t be honourable to betray his forebears and their support back in the 50s by letting his company fall into ruins, so for weeks at a time, he would work with no sleep whatsoever until he was satisfied.

Armed with another turbo-charged idea and a 2.4L SOHC I6 out of a taxi, they set about engineering an AWD monster for the road. It would use an AWD system, disc brakes throughout, and a tiny price tag to really get the customers rolling in.

That was how the Orion 24GSX was born, a relatively fast, sharp cornering lump of pure Japanese bubble economy that helped AHI get back on its feet ready to get knocked down again in the late 1990s.

Stats for Nerds

Construction - Aluminium on Steel Monocoque
Suspension - Double Wishbone front, Semi Trailing Arm rear
Drivetrain - FMA - Front Mid Engine <===> AWD
Seating Capacity - 2+2
Doors - 2
Approx. Cost - 18,000 AMU

Fuel Economy - 31MPG UK (Lord knows how…)
Top Speed - 310KPH as indicated
Weight -1260KGs
Acceleration (0-100) - 5.8 aeconds

Engine Weight - 220KGs
Engine Power Output - 276HP @ 5000RPM
Engine Reliability - She’s old, she’s turbo-ed, but god this thing will never die (Barra?)

Note from Mourmin:

This thing is actually decent somehow, it turns okay if not with a bit of oversteer, it bodyrolls slightly because it’s heavy as all hell, but all in all, it may as well be a ripoff GT-R.

Something tells me that this car will be driven mostly by high school students and 20-somethings on the touge with too much time and not enough sense, so even if they sell well, they’ll still be rare as hell right now as they’ll all have been wrapped around trees or attached to guardrails.

Have fun, I guess…


AWD and dual-wishbone front suspension with a live rear axle? That may explain its low price, but I can smell the minmax cheese from a distance.

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Oops i didn’t mean a live axle i meant semi-trailing arms

How did i mix up independent suspension and a live axle…

1989 ASAKURA Sparrow GT-S Turbo “Aka no Hachi-Rei”

Tuned by an Asakura offshoot, the Iwate Tuning House

The Sparrow GT-S was a relatively successful car in its day, but god did people rat on it for its massive lack of anything resembling power. As such, as soon as more powerful cars entered the scene (115 hp not being a very high bar to be honest) the car was pretty much obsolete. Even if the thing did only weigh 660kgs, it didn’t matter if the thing still looked like a dog treading water with full accelerator.

Taking this as a sort of ironic joke, the drug-crazed weirdos over at Iwate Tuning House decided to put the most stupid engine that they could find in it. In went a ridiculous 450hp Twin Turbo ‘mystery engine’ that could propel the now 880kg car to 100KpH in only 4.2 seconds, and could reach speeds over 350KpH.

Stats for Nerds:

Construction - Same as original
Suspension - Same as original (but beefier)
Drivetrain - Same as original (ok you get the picture)

Approx. Cost - 24,000 AMU
Fuel Economy - 22MPG UK
Top Speed - 355KPH
Weight - 885KGs
Acceleration (0-100) - 4.2 seconds

Engine weight - 220KGs
Engine Power Output - 450HP @ Somewhere
Engine Reliability - somehow even worse than the original, if that was even possible

Note from Mourmin:

For a deathtrap Wangan racer, this thing is definitely not that much of a pain in the arse to control, save for the turbo lag. But thats the fun of it, right? You don’t get a 1/2 horsepower to weight ratio in a 1970 model year car and expect it to behave, right?

Oh and god, still questioning whether this was a good, safe idea or not considering that this thing will probably become Japan’s Dodge Viper…


Don’t you seems weird that this thing is able accelerate up to 355 km/h?

It’s a modified version of the original car that is akin to street tuning.

1981 ASAKURA Sakai OFR-4 MultiDrive

One of the Japanese light utes of all time.

The '85 Orion hadn’t come about yet, and if you read its blurb, you’d know that these weren’t the best years for Asakura in its attempts to make decent cars. This truck was certainly a product of those times.

Asakura faced a problem in the late 70s. After the mild success that the Sakai OFR-3 had brought in the mid 70s, the company needed to continue milking the cash cow that was the Japanese light truck market. With all the ingenuity of a stoner on a friday night, the designers at Asakura came up with the incredible idea to… facelift the 1974 car. Great work, numbskulls.

Well, it seemed to pay off, as the car was ready to recieve its new engine, a 12V 2L SOHC Flat 4 making around 100HP and 140Nm, which ramped up the car’s lethargic power output from the previous 1.5L unit. Alongside this they added possibly the car’s only redeeming feature - its toggleable RWD/4WD system that they called ‘MultiDrive’.

It certainly didn’t cost much to develop, and a year after its 1981 launch, the designers were glad that they’d just facelifted it - the car seemed to be a hit even if it was the ugliest dog on the block.

Stats for Nerds

Construction - Steel on Galvanised Steel Monocoque
Suspension - MacPherson Strut front, Solid Axle Leaf (Live Axle) rear.
Drivetrain - F - Front Engine <===> 4WD/RWD ‘MultiDrive’
Seating Capacity -2
Doors - 2
Approx. Cost - 8,180 AMU

Fuel Economy - 23MPG UK
Top Speed - 176KPH as indicated
Weight - 996KGs
Acceleration (0-100) - 10.3 seconds

Engine Weight - (2L full pig iron flat four, take a guess…)
Engine Power Output - 104HP @6000RPM , 140Nm @4800RPM
Engine Reliability - 70 (Simplest engine in their lineup at the time - not exactly a lot of stuff to go wrong)

Note from Mourmin:

It may be butt ugly, but somehow it doesn’t handle like that much of a dog, which surprises me to no end. Doesn’t really oversteer, only drifts when you brake hard, corners decent, has really surprisingly good power delivery.

As for whether it was successful in pulling Asakura out of recession? Fat no. This thing probably would have sold decently, but not well enough to warrant any continuations.

More Photos:


1981 ASAKURA Sakai PFR-4 MultiDrive

Just the family coupe version of the Sakai OFR-4.

The family-sized coupe version of the Sakai OFR-4, keeping in line with the fact that the Sakai line of cars is mostly family sedans and coupes.

The only changes are to do with the suspension, making it a little more comfortable whilst still maintaining the ride height for offoroad and utility, and the gaering to make it more efficient. It also weighs 1100KGs as opposed to just under 1000, and has an 11.3 second 0-100.

Note from Mourmin:

Handles a lot worse than the OFR-4, but it can seat four people comfortably and get similar mileage figures to the OFR-4. Just seems like a pretty ordinary 80s family coupe, just a little more spacious.

More Photos:


ok, oh btw you’ll have to square up with the Sakura GT now, the 190R is deprecated (because its ancient)


ooh, don’t worry, I’ve got a car to go head to head with that in my Hikaru brand. You seen my Hikaru brand yet?