You may wonder what image DALL-E 3 would generate if you described the following picture of the Tommy Kaira M13: big wide gaping mouth and above it the tagline Baby Gang in big bold letters. Personally, I think not much good: either it would just get confused by that mismatch of information or it simply refuses to create something NSFW!

Tommy Kaira M13 brochure: Baby Gang with a Micra K11
Tommy Kaira M13 brochure: Baby Gang with a Micra K11

This picture brings up even more questions. Why Baby Gang? Why the Italian Flag? Why is such a big gaping hole necessary? I’ll try to make some sense out of this…

The Tommy Kaira M13

The first thing you probably notice is that the Tommy Kaira M13 actually is based on a Nissan March K11. The Nissan March K11 was released in 1992 and Tommy Kaira offered the M13 for the first year in 1993. Remember that the Japanese bubble economy burst in early 1992. The more expensive Tommy Kaira cars must have fallen out of grace quickly and this smaller M13 was an excellent choice!


As stated earlier, the Tommy Kaira M13 was based on the Nissan Micra K11. After the first M13, it existed for another generation with the Micra K12.

Second page of the Tommy Kaira M13 Micra K11 brochure
Second page of the Tommy Kaira M13 Micra K11 brochure

Tommy Kaira souped up the Micra and called it the M13. It could be ordered as a Stage I where only the exterior would be modified or Stage II where the engine would be included in the modifications.

Tommy Kaira M13 blister version
Tommy Kaira M13 blister version

In addition to these two, a Blister version could be ordered that would feature over fenders, five-spoke alloy wheels and an additional aero spoiler on the tailgate.

Speaking of alloy wheels, the base version appears to be sitting on a set of steelies. If you think that’s true, you are actually fooled: these wheels are actually a set of 14-inch Super Rap alloy wheels that are supposed to look like steel rims!


The engines are either the 1 litre GC10DE or  1.3 litre CG13DE naturally aspirated engines. The GC13DE outputs from factory 79 PS (77hp). Tommy Kaira balanced the engine and bumped the redline to 8000 rpm. In effect, it bumps the output with 17hp to a staggering 96 PS.

Facelifted Baby Gang

When the Nissan Micra received its facelift, the Tommy Kaira M13 got a facelift as well:

Facelifted Tommy Kaira M13 brochure: kouki Baby Gang
Facelifted Tommy Kaira M13 brochure: kouki Baby Gang

The big gaping mouth moved lower and now is just a hole in the bumper. The front car is the blister fender version. It makes the M13 look less classic, yet still a bit more cute compared to the previous version. Also new on this version is the Tommy Kaira turtle emblem on the bonnet.

The Italian job

At first, I didn’t understand what’s the deal with the Italian flag on the early brochure. It would suggest the M13 has some Italian heritage, but it doesn’t: it’s an all-Japanese Nissan March K11 modified by a Japanese tuning company. Then it hit me: it tried to capture the idea of the smaller Italian cars from the 1960s and 1970s! Around 1990 the Nissan Pikes models were highly popular. These Pikes cars were all based on the Nissan Micra K10. So why not copy that concept and create an Italian-inspired car on top of the Micra K11?

What I think it tried to copy was the Italian Abarth’s 595 and 695:

Abarth Fiat 695 SS: based on the Fiat 500. Photo by Matti Blume
Abarth Fiat 695 SS: based on the Fiat 500. Photo by Matti Blume

The Abarth Fiat 595 and 695 look very similar to the facelifted M13 with blister fenders. The horizontal bumper also looks similar to the pre-facelifted M13 bumper and now those alloy wheels that look like steel wheels all of a sudden make sense!

Gran Turismo

Being a Japanese game, Gran Turismo 2 featured many cars from the Tommy Kaira inventory including the M13. The M13 was only available in this game and never appeared again in the Gran Turismo series. If you are curious what it looks like and what performance you could get from such a pocket rocket, this video will show it all to you:

The original Abarth Fiat 595 actually made it to Gran Turismo 7, but the Tommy Kaira M13 didn’t:


I don’t really know what to think of the M13. I don’t really fancy the big gaping mouth of the M13, not even the one on the facelift. Yet still, I love the fact Tommy Kaira took such an ordinary daily commuter and did this to it!

Let me know what you think about this red Pac Man: love or hate it?

Some scans were obtained through Hiroshima Cruisers, Abarth Fiat 695 SS photo by Matti Blume