The Autozam AZ-1 was the mini supercar the world needed, but didn't want
There are quite a few cool cars that we in the West are never lucky enough to get.
Some of them are pretty obvious like their Toyota century for example, and others are just really weird, obscure and super cool.
This is a great example of that.
This is an AutoZone a Zed one.
This is a car so called when the cameras not looking.
I just wanna lick it.
Look at it.
I have always wanted to drive one of these.
So the first thing you will notice Is how small it is and how Krampus copper is.
I'm not particularly tall one meter 70 something in like, I'm pretty well wedged in here and that's where the target panels above my head removed that stone in the back.
The K class you might know this but it's a fantastic idea that really would translate well to Western cities because you men that cause that to be a certain size have a certain capacity.
And it's a great way of basically less space used up on the roads.
And you can only own a car if you've got a parking space for it.
So it's really clever, simple, engineering and what that normally means is it the cars can be quite dull.
K class cars are built for economy and therefore they're not a lot of fun.
Back in 1985 Suzuki started on a project called the RS one And it was essentially to meet those k class regs but to be a lot of fun now they got so far down the road with that particular design, and it eventually turned into the Suzuki cappuccino, which is kind of a competitor to this.
And the engineer thought it was so nice this AZ [INAUDIBLE].
On that it retook the design to MAZDA and said hey MAZDA build this.
So they put it onto their AutoZone brand which is one that you seldom find outside Japan.
And this car was born and I'm so glad that they made it because I think this is something special.
So like okay class cars we've got a three cylinder so 660 cc engine in the back and in this case, it is turbo charge.
Now this particular model is a very rare master speed model which means it's got a limited slip diff as well and I don't know how many horsepower it's got.
But I can tell you that it's quick enough.
nought to 60 is about 11 seconds and it will be flat out because the gearing at about nine [INAUDIBLE] Now the designer, a man his name I cannot pronounce, also worked on the MX -5 or the universe, as you might know, and that's a car that I also own.
And I absolutely love.
And there are a few little trends, PCs that geeks like me might spot out the door handles in the wide That's all standard, you're not stuck.
But the rest of it is bespoke to this model and bespoke to AutoZone which is, you know, fairly rare.
I don't know where you get some of these trim bits from if you ever had a problem.
The way it drives, though, is very, very different to anything else I've ever driven.
You've got tiny little wheels, you've got a very short wheelbase and you've got a very narrow power band.
So it really does kind of hang around like a table tennis ball.
Exactly what I mean.
[LAUGH] There are some very clever tricks using the construction of the A Zed one to keep the weight down to 720 Kilos.
So you've got these GRP plastic panels on the outside which are really cool really striking things.
But what you've also got is an aluminium honeycomb effect, which is in the bulkhead in the floor and that really keeps the weight down.
The styling is really Very small, I mean, they make three designs of this, the A, B, and the C, originally, and this is the style that eventually made it into production.
But there's no hiding the fact that it's inspired by a Ferrari Testarossa, and maybe a little bit of Ford RS200 rally car as well.
And normally, you might think that's a little bit sort of style of substance.
But actually, the engineering package underneath it This is huge fun.
So you've got kind of something that's physically 60 70% the size of a supercar.
And I'm promising you it's 60 to 70% as much fun to drive, because this doesn't actually cost a lot.
Now it's a bit of a confession one of the most striking points of this car and the reason every time we stop people Boom, pop out and grab that close and take photos of these gull-wing doors now I might be committing motoring journalist suicide by saying.
This but with the exception of the original Mercedes 300 SL, which had them for a reason I hate going doors.
It's like you've taken a perfectly good functioning component and redesigned it to be heavier and more complex, just so as it can be showing anything that serves any purpose.
So I don't really like it.
But I can just about forgive it in this because this is a car that doesn't take itself.
And I'm guessing that if you're one of the 5,000 people that own one of these worldwide, then you probably don't take yourself too seriously either.
I think that's a good thing.
This is nice.
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