Tommykaira started off as an import car sales company in the 60’s. In the 80’s, a new business was started by developing tuning parts and by 1987, the sale started of the first complete tuned by Tommykaira based on the Nissan Skyline R31. The years following that more and more Tommykaira complete car models followed based on car models from various car makers. In 1995, Tommykaira announced that they were working on their own developed vehicle, was started selling in 1997.
It was called the Tommykaira ZZ. The concept was a super light, mid engine 2-seater sportscar for the road. The base of the vehicle was an aluminium monocoque structure with FRP body panels. Combining this with the compact body dimensions (LxWxH is 3,63×1,74×1,11) resulted in a very low weight of only 690 kilograms.
The engine is the SR20DE from Nissan. Normally this engine used an electronically controlled fuel injection system but this was removed in favor a Keihin carburetor system. With this setup, the engine made around 180 horsepower at 6,900 rpm. The transmission was 5-speed manual transmission. On the suspension side, a double wishbone construction was used.
Keeping the lightweight mindset, there were no windows, no air conditioning and the roof was detachable. This also supported in giving the car an super low center of gravity for superb handling. Though, at a later timing in the cars lifecycle a hardtop version with windows was released for improved daily usability. Another grade released later was the ZZ-S grade, which had further performance enhancements of which one was stronger SR20DE engine with around 20 more horsepower.
A fun fact is that the Tommykaira ZZ was not produced in Japan, but in the UK. This meant it was seen as an imported car to Japan, and as the regulations for imported cars became much more strict as of a new legislation released in 1999, the ZZ had to cease sales soon after that because it could not comply with these regulations. Around 400 orders were still in place that unfortunately could not be produced. It resulted in a low total sales volume of only 206 units.
In 2014, the ZZ was revived but this time it was lightweight electric sportscar. Its base concept is the same with an aluminium tub and double wishbone suspension. The body of the car was redesigned for a more modern look. Performance is on a similar level as well, with the motor providing around 300 horsepower resulting in an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less 4 seconds. The production would be limited to 99 units only.