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Peter Lyon

For Peter Lyon's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

What's behind all the funny car names?

Travel | ON THE ROAD Dec 7, 2008

What's behind all the funny car names?

Over the years, Japanese car names have been a source of unending comedy, frivolity and perplexity in international motoring circles. Let's face it, many of the names that surface only in Japan are simply hilarious. Note That's Century Life Zest Move Latte. Fit Cima Every ...

EVs lead the charge on Paris stage

Travel | ON THE ROAD Nov 2, 2008

EVs lead the charge on Paris stage

Gather a bunch of Japanese car journalists or engineers together for a chat on the current state of the industry and you will hear heated debate about design, downsizing, performance, safety and maybe even fuel economy. But for some strange reason, few seem to ...

Maserati: The ultimate in automotive artwork

Travel | ON THE ROAD Aug 3, 2008

Maserati: The ultimate in automotive artwork

Ask any concert pianist whether they would rather play a Steinway & Sons piano or a Yamaha, and I'll bet you a season ticket to the Opera House in London's Covent Garden that they would nod for the former. When I chatted with just ...

Women vie for the lead in motor racing

Travel | ON THE ROAD Jun 15, 2008

Women vie for the lead in motor racing

Hollywood's finest scriptwriters couldn't have come up with a better story line. A 92-year-old American car race where the winners celebrate with milk rather than champagne; where female drivers are more popular than their male counterparts; and where all V8 engines, supplied by Honda, ...

Time that Japan's numbers came up

Travel | ON THE ROAD Apr 27, 2008

Time that Japan's numbers came up

Given that much less than 1 percent of Japan's population are native English speakers, you can understand my surprise when the word "POLICE" suddenly appeared in bold reflective lettering on the nation's patrol cars last year. Put there, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, to ...

Why Japan finally got its foot off the brake

Travel | ON THE ROAD Apr 13, 2008

Why Japan finally got its foot off the brake

No other phrase more eloquently captures the essence of Japan's car industry than jishu-kisei, or "mutual self-restraint." In fact, whether in terms of maximum engine-power output, maximum speedometer readings or speed limiters, Japan is the world leader in automotive moderation. It all started back in ...

General Motors banks on an Aussie invasion

Travel | ON THE ROAD Mar 30, 2008

General Motors banks on an Aussie invasion

If you were fortunate enough to score an invite to a Hollywood party these days, you'd be hard-pressed to avoid rubbing shoulders with an Australian actor. Tinseltown is awash with them. Academy Award winners Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey ...