A fairly plain two-door, mid-sized fastback that looks like it be the brother of a Japanese sports car from round the mid 70’s. At first sight the Kanji is nothing special, and a look at the mechanical components, will make this even more valid. Paying $28660 is a lot for this car that seemingly has nothing to offer. On paper, this car is not very special.
A tiny LX4 2.0L (1998cc) straight (inline) 4 engine can only cough out 132Hp and 198Nm of torque. This little engine is enough to move a total weight of 1047kg around without any trouble another upside to this car is that it is light on fuel.
The 5 speed gearbox with 2.91 first gear ratio seems like a gear too much for the car and has a shifting time of 0.5 seconds. The locked differential has a ratio of 3.55 and powers the rear wheels.
The light front sway bar is 18mm in diameter and the rear is 14mm. Front braking force is 1500 and rear is 560 with 290mm disk brakes all around. 210x18 alloy rims hold the 210x50R18 street tires to the car.
The driven test proves that, even with only a 2.0L engine, the car performs really well for its small engine and can reach around 210km/h, which was a surprise.
Fun has gotten more exciting, with this special edition. Few drivetrain changes have been made, but other changes such as suspension and aerodynamics are more evident with this model.
The I4 engine has been replaced with a LX6 2.6L (2597cc) straight (inline) 6 engine that delivers 164Hp and 248Nm of torque. Even weighing more at 1123.4kg, the engine performs worse than expected on straights and only reaches a speed of 225km/h, 15km/h more than the base model. The gearbox has been left unchanged but the differential, still locked, powers the rear wheels and now has a ratio of 3.90.
Sway bars, brakes and suspensions have all been left alone. Changes were however made to the wheels which now have 225x19 steel rims, which even gives the car a better look and 225x40R19 street tires. The track was made wider for better weight distribution and to keep the car levelled out in corners. Cosmetic and aerodynamic changes were made to the body of the car. The front bumper now has a sporty front lip, raised fins on the bonnet, wheel fender flares were arched and also an added rear wing on the boot lid, which increases downforce.
The sport edition with its aggressive stance corners smoother and tighter than most cars and rather than favouring top speed, the Kanji SE favours better cornering and stability.