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T H E   E R A’s   (1 9 4 9 ~ )

  cc76 ‘cc

The 360cc Era (1949 – 1975)

Since World War 2, engine sizes have changed 3 times.  With the 1955 change to 360cc as the upper limit for 2-strokes, as well as 4-strokes, the kei class really began to take off, with cars from Suzuki (Suzulight) and then the Subaru 360, the first mass produced kei-car, finally able to fill the people’s need for basic transportation without being too severely compromised.

kc50   YANASE   YANMAR

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cc75 ‘cc

The 550cc Era (1976 – 1990)

Throughout the 1970’s, the government kept whittling away at the benefits offered to kei-cars, which combined with ever stricter emissions standards made for drastically lower sales figures through the first half of the decade.  Honda and Mazda withdrew from the contracting passenger kei-car market, in 1974 & 1976, respectively, although they both maintained a limited offering of commercial vehicles.

njjj m1 Related imageImage result for mazda badge  my48 ad22 Komatsu

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660  mod1  ‘cc

The 660cc Era (1990 ~)

Because regulations only restrict physical size and engine displacement (and latterly outright power), manufacturers are now able to introduce many advanced technologies.  As a result, kei-cars are now often available with forced-induction enginesautomatic & CV transmissionsfrontrear, & 4WDair conditioning, GPS, and many other innovative features.

m6      kc176      six91

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