While some carmakers appeal to dog lovers, Nissan is going all-in with cats, at least in Japan. The Yokohama-based company is teaming up with a chain of cat cafés across the country to promote the Nissan Dayz kei car.
If you're not familiar with cat cafés, they're essentially a coffee shop in which you sip your latte while surrounded by dozens of cats. It's supposed to deliver all the companionship and fun of cats without, you know, actually owning them. The concept began in Taiwan, blew up in Japan, and has made its way to the U.S. as well.
The Nissan's Dayz kei car is probably most famous outside of Japan for being at the center of the fuel economy testing scandal that led to Nissan taking a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. For a small kei car starting at ¥1,327,700 ($12,590 USD), though, it's brimming with state-of-the-art features.
Even base grades get lane departure warnings, forward collision braking, hill hold, and pedestrian detection braking, auto-dim high-beams, and more. Higher trim levels get Nissan's Around View bird's eye parking assist and ProPilot system that includes hands-free highway driving with adaptive cruise and lane centering.
It's so easy, even a cat could drive it (obligatory Toonces link here). Or at least that seems to be what Nissan is implying. Or maybe they just know that the internet loves cats. In any case, the marketing department has created a bunch of cat-sized Dayz cars to be placed at "Mocha" cat café locations. It encourages visitors, but the official Nissan website actually warns (via Google translate) "Please note that the cat may not drive the car depending on the mood of the cat."
Hey, at least the name of the car, "Dayz" is already in LOLcat language.