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1989-1993 Jiotto Caspita by Dome

Jotto Caspita, even if largely unknown, is probably the most famous Japanese supercar. It was conceived by Jiotto Design inc. of Japan, a new design studio, and was developed by Dome, one of Japan's most experienced engineering and motorsport companies. The Caspita would compete with the other supercars of that era in a market that was peaked and ready to collapse.

The Caspita was designed by Kunihisa Ito, an experienced automotive and industrial designer who has worked for many big companies like GM, Ford, Mazda, and Nissan. Ito founded Jiotto Design in 1989, and the agency's clients include many big Japanese companies like Honda, Subaru, Yamaha, Sony, and Canon.

The Caspita was a two-seat mid-engine supercar similar in concept and layout to the endurance and Group C racecars. Dome developed the car with years of experience in motorsport and composite materials construction. Dome has already built race prototypes, including the Toyota prototypes that compete in LeMans during that period.

The actual car was low and wide but not excessively big (length: 4534mm / width: 1996mm / height: 1135mm / wheelbase:2700mm). It was also very light, weighing about 1100-1200 kg. Aerodynamically the car was very advanced. There was a movable rear airfoil, and the car's underside was flat with big diffuser channels in the rear. The suspension with double wishbones and rocker arms controlled the wheel movements while shielding all bulky components from the airflow.

Dome was established using indigenous technology, and the Jiotto Caspita was an almost all-Japanese project. Subaru provided the engine of the car, and it was a flat-12 derivative of the unsuccessful Subaru Formula 1 effort. In 1990 Fuji HI acquired the team of Enzo Coloni to participate in F1. A new flat-12 engine similar in concept to all Subaru flat-4 engines was developed in partnership with the also Italian Motori Moderni. The Japanese-Italian flat-12 found its way into Caspita similarly to the Ferrari 512BB and Testarossa. The Subaru/MM engine produced 456ps, and in the Caspita, it was mated to a custom 6-speed transaxle made by Weismann.

This engine powered the first prototype, but later it was replaced by a Judd V10 engine, which originated from Formula 1. The Judd engine was more potent with 585ps and gave the car a maximum velocity of 345kmh (up from 320) and a 0-100 time of 3,4" (from 4,7").

The car's design was simple and effective and looks stunning and modern even today, 20 years later. The Jiotto Caspita never made it into production, and the market for supercars was in decline by the time it was ready. Dome continues to operate successfully, and Jiotto Design closed in 1999. The closest thing to a multicylinder complete supercar from Japan is the new Lexus LF-A, but it is more of a GT than a Group C car for the road, like the Caspita.

The yellow car is the first prototype; the grey car is the pre-production model.

Manufacturer: Dome Co. Ltd.

Production: 1989–1990

Model years: 1989–1993

Source:; 10 supercars that time forgot

Images: Dome;;

1989 Jiotto Caspita Racing Concept
1989 Jiotto Caspita Racing Concept

1989 Jiotto Caspita Preliminary Models
1989 Jiotto Caspita Preliminary Models