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Sunday, October 8, 2023

The Rise and Fall of Jiotto Caspita: A Supercar Saga

Forgotten ONES - In the 1980s can be regarded as an era where the Japanese-made sports cars began to squirm and show its potential to the whole world. One of them who tried to give birth to a Japanese super car is Jiotto Caspita, where the original design of the car was done by Kunihisa Ito, who was the vice-president and chief designer of Jiotto Design Inc. and manufactured by Dome Co. Ltd.
1989 Jiotto Caspita Mk1 is powered by Motori Moderni flat-12 450 hp engine coupled with the Weissmann's 6-speed gearbox. (Picture from: TopCarRating)
And the name of Dome Co., Ltd. itself is popular as a racecar constructor, which in the 1980s was responsible for Toyota's Le Mans racing activities. While on this day Dome more busy handling racing car from Honda. And Jiotto Caspita itself was introduced at the Tokyo Auto Show 1989, with the road-legal concept of Group-C class racing cars.
Jiotto Caspita MK1 is the first prototype mid-engine sports car designed and manufactured by Dome in 1989. (Picture from: Wikies)
The car had a bonded aluminium and carbon fibre monocoque chassis made by Mitsubishi Rayon Co. The construction technique involved sandwiching aluminium between layers of carbon fibre and then baking them to create a rigid structure.

When first present to the world, Jiotto Caspita should be able to generate power of about 450 hp which is sourced from a Motori Moderni flat-12 engine. But unfortunately, the machine is apparently known to have a fatal weakness, so the team decided to leave the Jiotto Caspita project, along with sluggish demand for a supercar at the time. However, it seems that the company is not yet ready to completely abandon their supercar project, so the name of Jiotto Caspita rose again in 1993.
1993 Jiotto Caspita Mk2 is powered by a 3.5-liter V10 Judd's engine coupled with the Weissmann's 6-speed gearbox. (Picture from: WheelAge)
In 1993, Jiotto Caspita has had a different look, as well as a more convincing factor could be seen on its engine, this car using a 3.5-liter V10 engine from Judd GV, an F1 machine supplier from the UK. Then both engines were
longitudinally mounted, and coupled with a 6-speed gearbox built by Wiesmann.

And thanks to the Judd's engine, the new Jiotto Caspita with an overall curb weight of 1,260 kg (2,734 lbs) capable to generate power of 585 hp and gives the Caspita a 0-60 mph acceleration time of approximately 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 199 miles per hour (320 kph)
Initially the public response was positive, so the automaker planned to produce the car in a limited number of only 30 units. However, due to a deteriorating deal with Subaru and the global recession which means a lack of demand for sports cars, the production plan never came to fruition. It's so sad, this Japanese-made super car never see the sun again and then forgotten to this day.😭

Currently the Jiotto Caspita Mk1 is on display at the Motorcar Museum of Japan, while the Jiotto Caspita Mk2 is still in Dome ownership and sits on display in their museum under the wind tunnel at their headquarters. *** [EKA [06072017] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | GTPLANET | DOME]
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