Monday, April 7, 2008

Mitsuoka K-4: 50cc limited-production speedster

In November, 2006, Japanese carmaker Mitsuoka began taking orders for its K-4, a new 50cc engine microcar with a limited production of just 220 vehicles. Weighing less than 400lbs, the $9,100 K-4 measures eight feet long and four feet wide and has a top speed of just under 30 mph. While the limited production quickly sold out, Mitsuoka has stated that they have no plans to make more. (Low profit margins and tighter emissions regulations have made sales of the 50cc car more challenging.)

While Mitsuoka has been associated with a number of larger and higher-performance cars, the K-4 represents a return to the automaker's roots. (Susumu Mitsuoka founded the company in the 1960s in Toyama, 250 miles west of Tokyo, as a car repair center. In 1982, it started making its first cars -- 50cc microcars. )

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