Too Cute For Words: 1992 Mazda Autozam AZ-1
Published: August 23 2015 By @elanmcafee
If you thought the category of Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) cars wasn't restrictive enough, it gets even narrower. When you want to dodge certain taxes and insurance regulations, the Japanese turn to a very specific type of cars known as Kei cars. These automobiles are intended to be commuter cars for the more financially challenged, but some manufacturers gave their creations a sporty spin, so even relatively poor folks could look good on the road. The 1992 Mazda Autozam AZ-1 is one of these eye-catching Kei cars.
It looks a bit like a boxier version of the Fiat with gullwing doors and bold, round headlights, but it's really a smaller incarnation of Mazda's pricey NSX. For its small size of 129.7 inches long and 1587 lbs, the Autozam AZ-1 has some get up and go. Its Suzuki-sourced 657-cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine positioned mid-ship behind the driver's seat is capable of producing 63 hp and 63 lb-ft of torque. While that speed won't win any Formula 1 races, the AZ-1 and its five-speed manual transmission have more than enough oomph to go to and from work in one of its two available colors of Siberia Blue or Classic Red.