The Seragi U1 is a low-volume sports car produced by Japanese manufacturer Seragi between 1974 and 1978, to a total of 150 units accounted for.
While Seragi had previously mostly stayed out of the sports car market, the success of the earlier R80 had led to a change in philosophy. As a result, several concept cars were commissioned. These designs would leave an impression on the higher-ups at Seragi, who in 1970 gave the go-ahead for a production midship sports car.
While Seragi originally intended to mass produce the vehicle, rapidly increasing design and production costs as well as the looming fuel crisis saw a massive downscaling of the project. Due to this, the U1 would eventually be limited to just 150 units - originally being exclusive to the Japanese market.
The U1 had a base price of ¥2,800,000 in 1974, equivalent to approx. US$57,800 today. This made it one of the most expensive cars on the Japanese market, though Seragi barely broke even with each unit sold. Being made largely of fiberglass and plastic on a steel space frame, the U1's production involved many hand-crafted components not found in any other vehicle in Seragi's lineup. The rear window was especially unusual, using long, downward curved rear pillars of which the middle formed the hood hatch. The large glass pieces over the middle and rear of the car were notoriously difficult to manufacture and replace. Additionally, it featured pop-up dual headlights. For crash safety, the U1 featured black plastic springed front and rear bumpers mounted within large slots on both ends of the car. Seragi claimed this would minimize low-speed impact damage.
The 3.0L V8 was exclusive to the U1 as well, producing approx. 180 PS (177 bhp). The engine was fitted to a 5-speed manual transmission, and was the only option for the powertrain. This, combined with the car's low weight and relatively aerodynamic shape, meant it could reach a top speed upwards of 270 km/h, very high for the standards at the time.
The U1 was a milestone in Seragi's history, and is a lot of fun to throw around. Being mid-engined, it corners nicely, but be warned to not lift off too much for fear of snap oversteer. Overall, for an MR setup, it is a rather forgiving car.
I hope you will enjoy driving it. Thank you!