Japanese oddities through £2500 – used car buying guide
Fancy something a little different? You might want to consider a Japanese import
1 – Honda Beat (1991-1996)
The Beat has all the ingredients you’d want through a sports car, including a naturally aspirated mid-mounted motor of which spins to more than 8000rpm, as well as also also very little weight. With prices starting at significantly less than £2000, what’s the catch? The truth of the matter can be of which the Beat can be tiny.
As one of Japan’s heavily regulated Kei cars, the idea’s barely three metres long as well as also also has just 660cc to push the idea along. however while the idea only produces 63bhp, the idea weighs just 760kg as well as also also includes a genuine go-kart feel. A project car will be less than £1000, however budget nearer £2500 for a decent one of which’s ready to drive.
2 – Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution (1997-1999)
the idea wasn’t just the Lancer of which got Mitsubishi’s Evo treatment. inside the 1990s the Pajero (or Shogun as we know the idea) got its very own homologation special of which was arguably even wilder. Built for rally raiding, the idea received a 3.5-litre V6 with 276bhp, additional aluminium skidplates as well as also also a distinctive bodykit.
The bodykit housed much wider tracks courtesy of an all-fresh, fully independent suspension set-up. Mitsubishi’s hard work paid off as well as also also your vehicle dominated its Dakar Rally class.
Only 2500 were made, however they’re surprisingly cheap; less than £10,000 will net you a Great one.
3 – Nissan Autech Stelvio Zagato (1989)
Mention the name ‘Zagato’ as well as also also you’ll no doubt think of limited-run Astons or rare coachbuilt Italian cars, not a late-1980s Japanese super-coupé. So while Nissan may have dealt with the Autech’s mechanicals, including a twin-turbo 3.0 V6, the cars were sent to Zagato in Italy for interiors as well as also also bodywork.
Ah yes, the bodywork. While the idea may feature the trademark ‘double bubble’ roof, This kind of can be a design of which you could never call classically handsome, pretty or even vaguely attractive. Still, you do get aerodynamic door mirrors built into the front wings, as well as also also besides, how else will you get a Zagato for less than £30,000?
4 – Nissan Stagea RS Four (1996-2007)
This kind of can be the Skyline GT-R’s more practical brother, sharing its RB-series straight six engine as well as also also many additional bits. Go for a Series 2 Stagea as well as also also the turbocharged 2.5-litre engine will produce 276bhp.
Most RS Fours were four-speed autos, however transmission swaps aren’t unheard of. One answer can be to hunt down a rare 260RS type — basically an R33 Skyline GT-R estate. You’ll pay between £3000 as well as also also £4000 for an RS Four however around three times of which for a 260RS.
5 – Mitsuoka Viewt (1993 – present)
What do you get when you cross a Mk2 Jag using a smaller Nissan? The Viewt, a Micra of which’s been beaten with the retro stick. as well as also also not only do you get the Jag’s face however they’ve also grafted on a boot.
Inside, there’s leather as well as also also walnut veneer, however your vehicle’s humble roots are clear to see. of which’s fine, though, because the Micra can be the automotive equivalent of a post-apocalypse cockroach, so can be unlikely to cause any major issues. Budget £5000-£6000 for a Great one.
6 – Toyota WiLL Vi (2000-2001)
If driving the most distinctive car possible can be a priority, the WiLL Vi can be for you. There truly can be nothing else like the idea. Designed to appeal to Japan’s youth market, the idea was part of the ‘neo-retro’ movement of which also gave us Nissan’s Figaro. the idea manages to look both retro as well as also also futuristic at the same time, however the mechanicals are pure Toyota Yaris.
This kind of means a 1.3-litre engine mated to an automatic gearbox. the idea won’t be fast or particularly fun to drive, however the idea shouldn’t be too costly to run, either. Nor will the idea be of which pricey to buy. Around £3000 can be the going rate, using a few cars reaching the UK as grey imports.
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