Entries Tagged as 'Asian Cars'

Hype Event: Mainstream Productions x Stance Nation Nisei Showoff 2014 (Gallery)

Posted on 08.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I have been personally attending “import” AKA “tuner” car shows ever since the very first Hot Import Nights that was held right in my hometown of Long Beach.  A lot of things have changed since then.  Car shows got bigger, more publicized, and well far away from their humble beginnings.  Car shows started to become less “a show of cars” and more of an all out “entertainment event” with concerts, video game tournaments, dance crew battles, DJ battles, bikini contests, “fashion” shows, pretty much anything that was eye and ear candy was thrown into the mix to try and add value to the growing prices of admission to offset the growing venues.

At first it was cool.  Each car show was like going to a rave.  There were thumping beats, crazy lights, and increasingly elaborate displays for cars and vendor booths.  Things just got bigger, brighter, and louder.  However, like most bubbles the scene eventually popped.  Blame the economy, the over commercialization, judging controversies, or maybe a combination of several things but at some point the car show scene fell off dramatically, mostly.

Now “mostly” is an important word because despite what was happening with all other car show series, there was one that stayed consistent through the ups and downs and never really lost the respect of enthusiasts.  I am referring to Import Showoff by Mainstream Productions helmed by Ken Miyoshi.  You may not know his name if you are younger than 25 but he has been an important figure in our culture for the last 20 years.  He pretty much created the concept of the “import car show” as we know it and exposed America to drifting far before D1 came to Irwindale so many years ago.  He is a humble guy but incredibly driven and cares deeply for the car culture and putting together a quality show.  When things got big bright and loud he didn’t really buy into it even though those big shows started to take away from Import Showoff’s attendance.

He stuck to his roots and kept things all about the cars and the culture and never strayed too far beyond that.  It may have hurt his series for a while but eventually things changed.  One day we all kind of figured out that we wanted more substance than flash, more culture than commercial, more sunny days hanging out with our friends than flashing neon lights in a dark convention hall.  Then we remembered that there was a show that had been providing those things all along: Import Showoff.

These days Showoff is mostly condensed to a few shows a year: Chinatown Showoff and Nisei Week showoff and to this day many veterans of the scene will tell you that Nisei Week Showoff is the best show of the year.  Its small, and typically held during one of the hottest times of the year but the quality of cars on deck makes it all worth it.  Also with the recent team up of Mainstream Productions and StanceNation, the quality of cars has only grown exponentially.  That is why I urge you, if you have the chance to come out to the Nisei Week Showoff next year.  Make a trip out of it, trust me when I tell you that if you love import cars it will be worth it.

Anyhow, that’s enough of my lecturing about how awesome things used to be.  I went to the Nisei Showoff over the weekend and put together a pretty killer gallery of over 300 pictures!  Check out our Facebook gallery below!  Thanks again to Ken Miyoshi for inviting us to the show and for keeping it real all these years!

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Hype App: Subaru Motorsports Releases App That Allows 360 Degree HD Video Playback

Posted on 07.01.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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With hyper intelligence of smartphones, the endless integration of social media, and innovative devices like GoPro cameras, media is in a whole new era than where it used to be.  Those who stay on the bleeding edge usually reap the rewards and Subaru seems to be among those trying to stay ahead of the curve.  Today they released a new app for their Motorsports division that allows for its users to not only keep up with the Subaru Motorsports team through out all their events but it allows for 360 degree HD video playback so that fans can watch Travis Pastrana tackle a hairpin corner from literally all angles!  Its definitely a cool way to consume motorsport media but time will tell if it will catch on.  The awesome news is that the app is free and is available for both Android and iOS!  So download it now and let us know how you like it.

[Source: Subaru]

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Hype: Honda Releases Incredibly Weird 1 Minute Civic Type R Trailer With Only 3 Seconds Of Actual Civic In It (Video)

Posted on 06.25.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Remember back in the 80s and 90s when those incredibly weird and abstract perfume commercials would come on and anyone watching would have no idea what the commercial was for until the last few seconds?  Well it looks like the people behind those spots had kids and now those kids are the ad agency of record for Honda…  There are creepy mannequin ladies, evil wolves, cyborg people, an apocalyptic city and all manner of weird crap going on for almost the entire 60 second run time then right near the end we get a whole three seconds…count ‘em, THREE SECONDS of the Civic Type R concept!  What in the name of Zeus’ butthole were they (Honda’s ad agency) trying to accomplish with this spot besides freaking us all out?

Seriously watch this “R Rated” (not really) video below, then show it to people you know and then time how long it will be before they furl their eyebrows in a classic “WTF” facial expression!

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Random Hype: The 350Z May Be The Marvel Superhero You Didn’t Know About

Posted on 05.28.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Anyone close to me knows I have been a Marvel nerd ever since I saw the first Iron Man movie.  I have seen every Marvel Studios movie since then (most of them several times in the theater before buying the blu rays…yeah..I’m legit) and one of my favorite things about Marvel movies is their intro with the Marvel logo.  Its a short animation of comic pages moving flip book style and then slowly the Marvel logo fades into view.  However, despite the amount of times I have watched this intro, apparently there was something I have missed all this time.  If you look closely (and I mean VERY closely) as the pages flip you will see a very prominent image of what appears to be a Nissan 350Z.  The Z also appears to be saving a guy from what is probably a pretty hairy situation!

So, what does it all mean?  Nothing really, I just thought it was cool that despite my dive into fanboy-dom I was still able to find another connection between my passion for cars and my growing fondness for comic book heros!  Although if there is any meaning here it would probably be in the mysterious nature of this particular comic panel and its placement.  What specific comic is this from? Who is driving the car in the panel?  Was this panel purposely placed into the Marvel Studios intro secretly by some Marvel employee who happens to be a gear head or is it really all just a random coincidence?  It might also be of note that the Marvel Studios logo animation was changed to show a 3D logo rather than a 2D logo and this image can only be seen in the newer intro which I believe they began using when “Thor: The Dark World” was released.

If anyone out there in the interwebs can shed some light on this and trace the origin of this comic panel, we may just have a little reward for you!  Let us know in the comments if you have answers! You can see a larger version of the image by clicking the thumbnail below as well as a video of the Marvel Studios intro.  If you pause the video at exactly 2 seconds in, you’ll see the image in question.

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“New” Marvel Studios Intro:

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Hype: Cosworth To Start Creating “Power Packages” With FA-20 AKA GT86/BRZ/FR-S Platform Coming First

Posted on 05.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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When modding a car for performance careful consideration has to be paid to the type of parts used and how well they will work together on a particular platform.  Depending on the kind of person you are this process can be part of the fun or it can be incredibly stressful.  One way that makes things a bit easier is when tuning shops/outlets offer “packages” that combine a group of commonly related parts together.  However, sometimes these packages are designed more with a “lets get rid of old stock” mindset rather than putting something together that is best for your car.  That’s why when checking out packages its a good idea to check out the reputation of those who are putting them together.

Having said that I think its a safe bet that any package put together by Cosworth is likely a safe bet!  Cosworth have been building race cars for decades and have made a significant mark on the street car market as well and they recently announced that they will be creating “power packages” to make things a little easier for builders.  They have also announced that the first application for their new power packages will be the FA-20 AKA the engine found in the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.  This is a pretty good place to start considering the popularity of the program combined with most owners hungry for a quality performance solution to their mysterious FA20 engines.

Cosworth has not announced when these packages will be available or what they will consist of but they do promise “guaranteed levels of power and reliability.”  I would be at least a little skeptical of any other company making that kind of claim, but from Cosworth I am inclined to believe they will deliver on their promise.

[Source: Cosworth]

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Hype News: Nissan Unleashes New 2015 NISMO 370Z At “ZDAYZ”

Posted on 05.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Today is a glorious day for “Z” fans!  Just a short while ago, to kick off the annual “Z DayZ” event, Nissan debuted the new re-freshed NISMO 370Z!  The fact that Nissan would do something like this at an enthusiast gathering rather than having a big production at a major car show is bound to gain them some serious brownie points among the most dedicated of their audience.  Good job Nissan!  Now, on to the new Z;  The most obvious change is the new aerodynamics package which, combined with the color scheme is very similar to what was done with the GT-R NISMO and NISMO Sentra concept that made its debut at the LA Auto Show last year.  Nissan claims that the aero package is completely functional (which I wouldn’t doubt) and as mentioned before was heavily inspired by the GT-R NISMO.  The engine remains the same as the previous NISMO 370Z but a new 7 speed automatic transmission option will be available and yes, it will have the automatic rev-matching during downshifts.

The NISMO engineers also retuned the 4 wheel independent suspension, as well as throwing in a few other NISMO buts to help add more rigidity to the chassis.  Cosmetically, the 2015 NISMO Z gets some new wheels, a refreshed interior which includes brand new Recaro seats and a bunch of entertainment tech all controlled via fingertip on a 7 inch touch screen.

If you want this, and I am sure you do then you need to visit your dealer now and put in an order because this new NISMO car will be available as soon as July of this year and Nissan hasn’t said how many examples are being produced for the first run so hurry up!  Otherwise if you’re content with just looking at the car then click the thumbnails below for HD resolution pics.  You can also check out the official press release below as well.

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Press Release:

  • Refined 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO makes global debut today at annual gathering of Nissan, Datsun and NISMO sports car owners and performance enthusiasts

  • Refreshed 370Z NISMO features distinctive new exterior appearance, redesigned wheels and enhanced interior; 7-speed automatic transmission is also available

  • Performance enhancements include retuned suspension and Recaro® co-developed seats exclusively designed for 370Z Nismo

  • 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO goes on sale at U.S. Nissan dealers in July 2014

FONTANA DAM, North Carolina – There was a surprise “guest” today at ZDAYZ, the annual gathering of hundreds of Nissan, Datsun and NISMO owners and enthusiasts – the world debut of the new 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO. A solid progress for 2015, the new 370Z NISMO model features exterior, interior and performance refinements, along with an expanded model selection that includes both 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic transmissions and a new 370Z NISMO Tech grade.

“NISMO is the heart and soul of Nissan performance, both for the track and on the street, so it’s fitting that we are showing the dramatic new 2015 370Z NISMO for the first time at a gathering of our most loyal and enthusiast owners,” said Nissan Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President Andy Palmer. “The new 370Z NISMO joins the recently introduced Nissan GT-R NISMO and Nissan JUKE NISMO RS, giving performance fans a range of fresh, factory tuned NISMO models to enjoy.”

2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO
The most striking change for the 2015 370Z NISMO is its revised exterior design. Its GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces have been redesigned to provide an aggressive and more aerodynamic new appearance – as well as optimizing front and rear downforce. Key changes include a new, deep front fascia with LED Hyper Daytime Running Lights, black headlight bezels, NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accent on the integrated front chin spoiler. The red accent continues down the redesigned side sills, on the black-color sideview mirrors and across the lower portion of the redesigned rear fascia. The unique NISMO rear spoiler has been reshaped and downsized.

The standard 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS also have been restyled for 2015 with a twin-five spoke design and a charcoal gray machine-finish (formerly silver).

Inside, the unique NISMO-styled interior is enhanced with redesigned black-and-red Recaro® leather-appointed seats with Alcantara® accents. The new seats, co-developed with Recaro®, are exclusively designed for the 370Z NISMO to provide more uniform body pressure and better all-direction holding during spirited acceleration, braking and cornering. They also play a key role in providing driving excitement by maximizing the harmony between driver and machine. The interior also features red seat trim and stitching with NISMO logo, an Alcantara®-appointed leather-wrapped steering wheel and NISMO red tachometer.

Also new for 2015 is the 370Z NISMO Tech model, which adds a hard drive-based Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, RearView Monitor, Bose® Audio System, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver.

As in previous years, the 2015 370Z NISMO is powered by a potent 350-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The engine is matched with an exclusive, tuned H-configured exhaust system design, muffler tuning and  an optimized calibration is installed to help create 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z Coupe. Torque is rated at 276 lb-ft.

Two transmission choices are offered for the first time on the Z NISMO model. The close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission features standard SynchroRev Match®, the world’s first synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission, which allows rev-matched heel-toe-like downshifting. Newly available is a refined 7-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters.

The 370Z NISMO also features a refined 4-wheel independent suspension, NISMO-branded strut tower brace for enhanced body rigidity and a pair of performance dampers to help minimize road-input vibrations and help contribute to the NISMO 370Z’s high levels of handling and performance feel. The NISMO tuned suspension includes special springs and stabilizer bars. Large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration feel – are also standard on the 2015 370Z NISMO.

The 2015 370Z NISMO is offered in just four exterior colors – Solid Red, Magnetic Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White. It is set to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in July 2014.

“There’s much more to love about the 370Z NISMO than ever before – the new appearance inside and out, enhanced handling, new wheels, more technology and a choice of transmissions,” added Palmer. “Our fans here at ZDAYZ want only the best and that’s what this new 370Z NISMO delivers.”

 

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Hype Event: Eibach Honda Meet 2014 AKA Mecca For Honda Heads (Gallery)

Posted on 05.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Once a year droves upon droves of loyal subjects of the “Honda-head” kingdom go on a great pilgrimage to a mythical land known as the “Inland Empire”.  Once they reach this place they gather together to enjoy each others company, buy and trade their wares, and tell tales of triumph over unsuspecting V8′s at traffic lights….  Seriously though the annual “Eibach” meet is one of the biggest gatherings of Hondas in the country and every year it seems to gain momentum.  In fact this year marked the event’s 10th anniversary.  The legend says that at the first meet or what I like to call “Eibach prime” there was only 50 cars.  This year there was easily a few hundred cars!  In fact, in recent years the meet has gotten so large in size that it can no longer be held at Eibach’s massive HQ because they just don’t have the space.  Eibach has instead chosen a spot in Lake Elsinore (at the home of their local minor league baseball team) to hold their epic gathering.  Despite being even further away from major cities than Eibach’s HQ, even more Honda fans showed up than before!  I too made the epic trek to the Lake of Elsinore to behold all of the Hondas for myself as well as snap plenty of pictures for your enjoyment.  Even though it was hotter than a volcano’s butt hole and dusty as all get out, once I saw the rows and rows of clean, excellently executed Hondas it was all worth it.  If you want to see what I saw then check out the gallery below!  Also stay tuned for our coverage from Toyotafest 2014 as well!

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Event Hype: Mother’s Car Polish Exotic Car Show (Gallery)

Posted on 04.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Here we are with another gallery from the epic Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  As you may or may not know, the TUDOR series has their race on Saturday, so come Saturday night their paddock clears out as they head off to the next race.  In its place on Sunday morning is a cavalcade of luxury and exotic cars filling the lot completely and its all furnished by Mother’s Car Polish.  First thing Sunday morning I headed out to the newly filled lot and started shooting away.  Granted, not every car there was photo worthy but I snapped the best stuff and now I am presenting it all to you in a new gallery.  Just scroll down to check it out.

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Event Hype: Offset Kings Showocase Long Beach (Gallery)

Posted on 04.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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There was a lot happening on the streets of Long Beach last weekend and we have pictures of it all!  We are kicking off our coverage with a gallery of the Offset Kings showcase brought to you from the team at illest/hellaflush/fatlace.  The showcase brought out some of the best cars in the so cal area and beyond.  Granted there were a few cars that probably shouldn’t have been there but I didn’t take pictures of those so it works out.  All you need to know is that I shot pictures of the best cars there (which is a lot) all for your viewing pleasure.  Below is the embedded facebook gallery of all the pretty automobiles so scroll down and enjoy!

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Hype: Kraftwerks Releases New Supercharger Kit For NC Mazda MX-5

Posted on 03.25.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Mazda MX-5′s easily rank among the most fun cars to drive.  Their short wheelbase, suspension set up, and modest power all make up a perfect storm of driving pleasure.  Granted not everyone is won over by its cutesy looks but few can deny the mighty Miata is a formidable road car.  So, naturally people like us want to screw with that and make it faster and crazy.  This is where power adders come in.  Before it was popular to turbocharge Miatas, this was mostly because turbo kits were pretty damn cheap.  The only problem is that the kits were typically meant for the older model MX-5s.  Fortunately, Kraftwerks (a division of Skunk2) has released a new supercharger kit for the ’06-’13 MX-5 (“NC” chassis code).

The Kraftwerks supercharger kit will set you back about $5k but for good reason.  This kit provides more power than the old turbo kits did (will add 110hp to the wheels on 91 octane) and is safer for the engine than going the turbocharged route.  The engineers at Kraftwerks also took care to make sure that the kit bolts on as efficiently as possible.  Which means they made sure to take advantage of existing space so that there are no clearance issues and that the kit will not get in the way of any vital systems.  It also comes with everything you need to make it work at its best: fuel pump, bigger injectors, optional ECU tuning, and an intercooler with all the necessary piping.

There were 30 pre-orders available but it looks like those have sold out so if you want one of these kits you will probably have to wait a while but I think it would be well worth it!

[Source: Kraftwerks ]

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