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The Toyota Sera Was One Of The Most Perplexing Small Cars Ever Made

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Know This Car: Toyota Sera

In a parallel universe, there exists a version of you that owns a Toyota Sera. This version of you is living in complete happiness and luxury. This you is able to speed down the streets in a sporty front-wheel drive baby coupe with butterfly doors.


Welcome back to Know This Car, a new Jalopnik series where we go through automotive history and challenge some of your preconceived notions about how the world works.

This you would also know that you were able to purchase one of 16,000 Seras, built between 1990 and 1995. All of which came with a 1.5-liter engine, complete with 110 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque, weighing in at only around 2,000 pounds.


The joy the gull-winged Sera would bring is untold. However, you are not living in a parallel universe. Instead you are here, reading this article.

Unless you live in Japan, where the Sera was sold. It never came to America.

Perhaps this is for the best. The Sera is one of the best examples of cars from Japan’s Bubble Era, when everyone was flush with cash and automakers freely filled every conceivable niche with reckless abandon, as if actually making a business case for their products was irrelevant.

It didn’t work out. A recession happened. Now Toyota is back to mostly making Corollas and weird crossovers and the occasional sporty car. Sad!

But fear not, we have captured the majesty of the great “Flying Sera” in this edition of Know This Car. As our own Raphael Orlove says: “Let your thoughts ride Sera wings, into reality and existence.”


You should buy one immediately.