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What kind of car is the "K-car" unique to Japan?

20 Apr 2021

Currently, the K-car standard is that the body size is 3.4 m or less in total length / 1.48 m or less in total width / 2.0 m or less in total height, the displacement of the engine is 660 cc or less, and the maximum capacity is 4 people.

It is much more compact than a compact car with a total length of 4.7 m or less and a total width of 1.7 m or less.

In addition, it has many advantages such as low economic burden, good fuel economy, maintenance costs such as taxes, and low highway tolls.

The history of K-car in Japan began in 1949 when the K-car standards were first established.

The K-car standard at the time of its enactment was much smaller than it is now.

In 1950, the standard for three-wheeled and four-wheeled K-car was 3 m or less in length, 1.3 m or less in width, 2.0 m or less in height, and a displacement of 300 cc.

After that, in 1954, the body size remained the same, and the displacement was set to 360cc or less regardless of the engine model.

At the same time, the "National Car Concept" set up by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) supported the development of K-car.

The famous car "SUBARU 360" that debuted in 1958 was born based on this regulation.

After that, MAZDA R360, SUZUKI Fronte, MITSUBISHI Minica, etc. were released.

After that, the standard was repeatedly revised and expanded, and in 1998 it became the current K-car standard.

Today, there are various body types such as wagon, sedan, SUV, convertible, truck, and van types.

Among the wagon types, the Super Height Wagon, which has a total height of more than 1.7 m, has a large interior space and a sliding door, and is popular with the child-rearing generation.

There are HONDA N-Box, DAIHATSU Tanto, SUZUKI Spacia, etc., and some models are equipped with electric sliding doors on both sides.

Other wagon types have a total height of 1.7 m or less, but have sufficient interior space.

5-door vehicles such as SUZUKI WAGONR, HONDA N-WGN, and NISSAN DAYZ are common.

The sedan type is not tall, but the weight of the car is lighter and it can be used as a daily foot.

SUZUKI ALTO, DAIHATSU Mira, HONDA N-ONE, etc. are popular.

Open cars include DAIHATSU COPEN and HONDA S660.

COPEN is the smallest mass-market in the world and is a K-car equipped with an electric roof of a car.

For engines, there are NA type and more powerful turbo (supercharger).

In addition, as for safety equipment, the number of models equipped with advanced safety equipment of the same level as ordinary vehicles and also equipped with a false start suppression function is increasing.