Japanese automakers are planning for a variety of new products to help stimulate the market. Nissan wants to spin-off two new body types from the GT-R, Toyota plans an all-new Supra, while Honda works at releasing a new S2000 roadster by 2012.
In Japan the automotive industry has had it fair share of turmoil recently just like everybody else. But there is hope in the mid-term as exciting new products paticularly for enthusiasts lie on the horizon.
Firstly Nissan is said to be planning two new body types based on the highly successful GT-R high performance sports car. By the year 2011 a four-door Infiniti-badged ‘GT-R' will be on the market. So will an SUV, also based on the GT-R platform.
Secondly, a new Honda Beat is apparently being planned for release. Designed by Pininfarina the Beat was a mid-engined two-seat roadster produced between 1991 and 1996. The new car will use an upgraded 800cc engine. Next in line for Honda is the all-new S2000 roadster which goes on sale either in late 2011 or early 2012.
Thirdly, Japan's biggest automaker Toyota is still on track for its luxury brand's first supercar. The Lexus LF-A will be powered by a V10 engine but timing has been pushed back at least 12 months, more likely 18 months. Pricing for the LF-A should be around US$340,000. As for the mother brand itself, Toyota's plans of competing with the Nissan 350Z (now 370Z) have not been cancelled. A new V6 Supra is under development for a 2011 world debut.
Lastly, there's news that Nissan wants to install a supercharged 1.0-litre engine in its Micra for a July 2009 debut, Mitsubishi's i-MIEV electric car will be inside showroom floors also by this July and Subaru will start selling the new Legacy as early as May 2009. The Legacy concept was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show a week ago.