Entries Tagged as 'Asian Cars'

2014 LA Auto Show: Scion Leaks Their Own iM Concept Car Ahead Of LA Auto Show…Because That’s How They Roll

Posted on 11.12.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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It happens every year.  An OEM will tease a car or concept that is going to debut at a up coming auto show and then anywhere from a week to a month before said show, said car leaks in all its glory.  The leak is usually a result of dealer documents leaking online or ninja photographers getting shots of the car as it rolls into the auto show venue.  Really there are all kinds of ways that a car can leak ahead of schedule.  Scion knows this just as well as the rest of us.  After dropping a teaser a few weeks back for their new iM concept interest in the car as been high.  They could feel the storm brewing, a leak was coming!  What were they going to do about it?!

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Leak it themselves! If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!  Today Scion decided not to wait for the inevitable “leak” and did a digital reveal of their new iM concept car ahead of the LA Auto Show (where it is supposed to “officially” debut).  In addition to giving us the full monty we also got a little background on the concept via a press release.  It looks like the theme for the new iM is to basically merge the practicality and comfort that comes with your basic commuter with edgy and somewhat aggressive styling that is commonly found on sports cars.  I actually like the idea myself.  Why should a daily “A to B” car look like a boring box?  It shouldn’t!  How do you like the iM concept?  Would you get one?  Let us know in the comments.  For now, click the thumbnails for a larger picture and for more info check out the press release below.  Also stay tuned as I will spend some time with the iM concept at the LA Auto Show coming up!

Press Release:

Modern and Magnetic: Scion iM Concept Car to Debut at LA Auto Show

European Racing Circuit Styling and Hatchback Versatility for Scion’s Adventurous Audience

TORRANCE, Calif., (Nov. 12, 2014) – Whether it’s exploring the mountains or playing at the beach, Los Angeles offers adventures off every freeway. Young people just need a vehicle to get them, and all their gear, to their destination in style.  The new Scion iM Concept car is designed with that in mind and will debut on Wednesday, November 19 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The iM Concept is a five-door compact hatchback with sporty looks inspired by those seen on the European touring car racing circuit. The concept brings in captivating styling with edgy, geometric grille inserts, deep air intakes and fog lights. The custom-blended “Incrediblue” paint is complemented by matte silver and gunmetal accents.

To create a grounded appearance ready for the road, the iM Concept has wide aerodynamics and a lower ride height. The performance inspiration carries through into the 19-inch forged alloy wheels and sporty performance tires. Vented front rotors and 4-piston calipers work with the adjustable height racing suspension to complete the racecar-influenced design.

“The tastes of today’s younger buyers have evolved. They want a car that provides excitement and individuality, as well as the comfort, technology and reliability that Scion offers,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “The iM Concept combines sleek styling with the versatility of a modern hatchback to catch the eye of Scion customers. Stay tuned for more on how we will bring this vision to the road.”

Scion’s press conference will be held at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19 at Scion’s display in the South Hall. To follow Scion news at the LA Auto Show use the hashtag #iMDriven or visit http://www.scion.com/blog.

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SEMA 2014: 100% Authentic, Legit, Complete Mugen NSX AKA The Japanese Unicorn

Posted on 11.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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With all the Wide Liberty Bunny Rocket Body craziness going on at SEMA this year, my eyes were craving a car that was simple, clean, and classy.  I found that in spades with the car you see here.  What you are looking at is a 100% legit Mugen NSX!  Why am I so hyped about this?  Because I have never seen this before in my life ever.  Like, not even in a video game.  That is how rare this is!  While I have seen NSXs with a few Mugen parts on it here and there but I have never seen the complete set up like this.  In case you couldn’t tell I think that it is a thing of beauty.

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This car is proof that one does not need to go completely over the top to create an impressive build.  Clean and simple can still be just as eye catching as wild and wide.  I have posted a lot of awesome SEMA cars over the last few days but I would honestly take this one over quite a few of them.  Its funny how little is actually changed about this car yet all the changes equate to something that just seems levels better than a bone stock NSX.  I love everything about this car!  If you ever get to see it person then I highly suggest you take your time to admire it!

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SEMA 2014: Rocket Bunny Erry-Thang! The Rocket Bunny Lexus RC & Rocket Bunny NSX Take Center Stage

Posted on 11.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Liberty Walk wasn’t the only Japanese widebody designer that was taking over SEMA this year.  Rocket Bunny was hopping all over the place as well.  In fact, there was so much Rocket Bunny craziness going on that there was an inter-show meme about it!  That is how popular the brand has gotten since it blew up with its kit for the FR-S/BRZ about a year or so ago.  These days Rocket Bunny is trying to get their paws on any car that they think would lend itself well to their unique designs.  Two of their biggest debuts at the show this year was their take on the new Lexus RC coupe and the legendary Acura NSX.

Rocket Bunny NSX

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This is a car I had been waiting on for a while.  I first saw renderings of it almost a year ago and I was immediately interested.  There aren’t many widebody NSXs out there that really capture the essence of the car but one glimpse at the Rocket Bunny treatment and I could tell they were going into this with respect.

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This look gives a strong GT vibe and I love that.  While some of the other Rocket Bunny kits seem to go more for a “street hot rod” feel with the rivets and such, with this kit it really looks like they were trying to go for an authentic race car aero treatment for the street.  One of my favorite things about it is that the front end is actually been converted to a clam-shell so the whole front end can be titled up to make it easy to work on the front suspension.  I love nearly everything about this car although I am on the fence about the wrap.  Sure, a chrome blue vinyl certainly pops but sometimes doing a chrome wrap can hide details which is something that this car has in spades.  The good thing about a wrap though is that it is not permanent.  So, I am sure at some point this car will be re-wrapped or painted in a color that brings out the car’s details a bit more.

 

Rocket Bunny Lexus RC 350 Coupe

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This car was pretty surprising to me.  Not just for its looks but for the sheer-spend in which it was developed.  The Lexus RC coupe has been out world wide for like 5 minutes and the Rocket Bunny team was already able to create a very elaborate package for it that looks as if it was in development for months!

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While I do like most of what Rocket Bunny did with the new RC coupe; I do wish there were less canards on it.  A few are fine but I think there is a little too much going on here.  Other than that I love the look.  The Enkei Wheels really set off the car as well as the paint.  I can see many Lexus RC owners flocking to get this kit.  In fact I would almost bet money that by the time the next Toyotafest comes around there will be at least 3 or 4 Rocket Bunny Lexus RC’s in attendance.   I am totally ok with that…

So what do you think of the two Rocket Bunnies you see here?  What make/model do you think Rocket Bunny should take on next?  Let me know in the comments!

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SEMA 2014: Greddy x Garrett Turbo x Kolab Agency 1000HP Nissan GT-R

Posted on 11.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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What happens when you take one of the best Japanese tuners, a top tier turbocharger manufacturer, and a legendary all wheel drive sports car and connect them all with the help of a forward thinking marketing agency?  This crazy red beast you see in all of these pretty pictures.  About six months ago my good friend and CEO of the Kolab Agency Ernie Manansala Jr. sold his NSX and got a Nissan GT-R.  I figured he might do a few things to it but nothing major.  Then, one day he told me his new red Godzilla was going to be a SEMA project.  I thought “ok, he will go a little farther with it than I anticipated.”  That turned out to be a major understatement!

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One Rocket Bunny widebody kit, four Advan wheels, two Garrett turbos, every Greddy GT-R part available, and 1,000HP later you have a car that is so crazily awesome that it catches the attention of Kazunori Yamauchi.  Who is Kazunori Yamauchi? The godfather of the Gran Turismo video game series.  Kazunori-san liked Ernie’s GT-R so much that it actually won for “best import” at the GT Awards ceremony during the SEMA show.  Not bad for a car built in about 3 months!  You may have also guessed that those 1,000 horses aren’t just for show either.  Ernie plans to campaign his GT-R in a few time attack competitions in the near future.  Who knows, this GT-R might be the first car to win a GT Award and break a track record!

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SEMA 2014: The Enkei Wheels x Rocket Bunny Mazda RX-7 BRAPs Its Way Into Our Hearts

Posted on 11.05.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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When I first fell into this culture the 3rd Generation Mazda RX-7 was one of my favorite cars.  It had great lines, it was incredibly rare to see one in person, and its rotary engine added a mysterious nature that just made it too damn cool for school (yes, I just wrote that).  It also didn’t hurt that it was the weapon of choice for legendary import drag racer Adam Saruwatari who was a hero of mine at the time.  Lately though, as in the last 10 years the third-gen RX-7 doesn’t get as much love in the show scene as it used to.  Especially with the rise in popularity of cars like the WRX, Evo, and 240SX.  However, when one does show up and its done right it still invokes all those feelings I had about it when I was a teenager and today it still retains those qualities.  Having said that, its truly awesome to see an RX-7 with the now incredibly popular (maybe too poplar) Rocket Bunny treatment sitting in the Enkei Wheels booth at SEMA.

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I really love what they did with it from the brandywine candy paint with gold color scheme to the classically styled custom Enkei92 wheels with the step lip.  If I were to build an RX-7 right now this is pretty close to how I would do it so needless to say its a pleasure for me to look at!  Good job Enkei!

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SEMA 2014: Super Street Is First To Instal Individual Throttle Bodies On A Scion FR-S In USA (Video)

Posted on 10.31.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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SEMA is just around the corner and all the builds that we have been looking for are starting to make their debut.  Among the first to start showing off is Scion as they always have a preview event for their SEMA line up.  This year, we actually got invited!  As promised, most of the cars that Scion will bring to SEMA this year were at the event, including the three “Tuner Challenge” cars.  All three looked pretty fresh but Super Street Magazine’s entry really stood out thanks to its bright “Release Series” yellow paint and its shaved engine bay in which sat an engine that had the first individual throttle body (ITB) set up done in America.  ITBs have been done before on a FR-S but as far as we know the only people to pull it off is Weld in Japan.  Super Street took the task on with the help of Borla and Gearheinz.  Together the developed a drive by wire system that should have pretty awesome response and a even better sound.  That modification alone is bound to get them a lot of points!  For a quick look at Super Street’s Tuner Challenge FR-S check out the video below.

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SEMA 2014: Toyota Previews Their SEMA 2014 Line Up With A Fleet Of TRD Trucks And DUB Partnership

Posted on 10.28.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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SEMA is fast approaching and the internet is starting to get sneak peeks of what we can expect to see unveiled at the biggest car convention in the world.  Toyota, decided to just show off a good portion of their line up in a special preview event in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

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As you may have guessed, Toyota is all about the trucks as a fleet of TRD lifted trucks were lined up outside the venue and all of them were shod in a special livery designed by automotive artist Jon Sibal.  Although the trucks got top billing there were a few other non-truck SEMA projects on display.

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For example a sliver FT-1 was hard parked front and center greeting all the guests who walked into the venue and further inside were two decked out Sienna vans.  One of the vans was completely transformed by West Coast Customs into a DJ’s dream as it converts into a concert level speaker system all wired to a set of turn tables.  The second van was the first of three vehicles that Toyota enlisted DUB to build.  The “DUB Edition” Sienna had flared fenders, huge wheels, and a luxurious interior complete with the obligatory screens and over the top in car entertainment.

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The second DUB Editon car was a super wide Toyota Yaris that is meant to be in concept a smaller version of what DUB did with the Sienna as the Yaris all about sound and looks rather than performance.  Its super wide fender arches were a collaboration between DUB and 3D Conceptz.  The fenders are filled with 20 inch DUB dropstars wheels at each corner which look even more massive on such a small car.  The interior has a full suite of DUB edition equipment with three DUB amplifiers, two DUB 10 inch subwoofers and four more DUB speakers.  There is also a custom iPad set up and fiberglass enclosures for all the audio components.

The third DUB vehicle was announced at the event but not actually shown as they are saving it for SEMA but I would venture to guess that it will be a DUB Edition Toyota Camry.  As far as what they did with it I would further predict that we can expect to see a crazy audio set up, giant wheels, and a completely reworked interior.  For now you can check out some of the vehicles that were at the preview by clicking on the thumbnails and stay tuned for more SEMA previews!

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2014 Was Vintage Fun Minus The Annoying Hipsters (Gallery)

Posted on 09.29.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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There are car shows and then there are events.  The Japanese Classic Car Show (despite its name) is a major event.  So much so that by the time I got there the parking lot was completely full so I had to park down town and take a bus back to the location, along with several hundred others.  Of all the car shows which occur at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach this is the only event in which I’ve seen the lot completely full.  That is how much the vintage Japanese car scene is expanding right now.  The park was jam packed with cars and significant OEM involvement from the likes of Toyota and Mazda.  In fact, Mazda even brought out the new 2016 Mazda MX-5!  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see that car until the LA Auto Show, but there it was in all its glory!

Anyone who is a vintage wheel freak found themselves in hog heaven as super rare and mint condition vintage wheels were all over the place.  Like fender flares?  They were everywhere!  Resto-mod?  Sure, lets throw a RB26DETT into a 240Z! What about a Honda F20 (S2000 engine) into a classic Toyota Celica complete with digital dash?  Seriously it was all there.  The bad news is there was so much there and it was so crowded that I personally couldn’t shoot everything.  However, I did shoot some of the best stuff there including some incredibly rare cars.  Check it out in the gallery below.  Oh, and if you have never been to the Japanese Classic Car Show before I highly recommend going next year.  I also highly recommend showing up early!

For now, check out our Facebook gallery below.

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Event Hype: This Are Our Favorite Cars From 86 Fest (Gallery)

Posted on 09.22.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Over the weekend I took a short drive from Long Beach up to Irwindale Speedway (AKA “The House of Drift”) to visit the third annual 86Fest.  To be honest, despite it being the third annual event this was my first time attending 86 Fest.  I have to say I was very impressed!  The 86 community is definitely rolling deep!  The line for official 86 Fest gear was long all day and everyone was repping with shirts, decals, whatever to show their love for Toyota’s iconic FR coupe.  There was also enough vendors and partner booths to rival any other major car show.  Granted the weather was pretty “warm” to say the least, it was definitely worth it.  If you haven’t been to 86 Fest yet I would highly recommend coming out next year.  You won’t be disappointed!  For now check out my short gallery below of my favorite cars of 86 Fest!  Thanks to Antonio and the guys at MotorMavens.com for the invite!

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Hype Video: HKS Chronicles Their Quest For World Time Attack Domination With 1300HP Nissan GT-R

Posted on 09.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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If there is one thing that HKS loves to do is set lap times.  For more than a decade HKS has been chasing lap records all over the world and the only thing that has changed from then until now is their chosen weapon.  This year HKS is aiming to take top honors at the WTAC (World Time Attack Challenge) in Sydney, Australia next month in their new 1300HP Nissan GT-R.  HKS’ current GT-R is not only up 100HP over last year’s car but it also features a few trick one-off parts in the engine to help them efficiently use all of those extra horses.

HKS decided to document their journey in developing this car all the way up until its final battle at WATC Australia via video chapters.  Check out chapter one below and keep an eye out for a very familiar face!

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