Racing Hype: Mazda Has First Public Test Of Their New Diesel TUDOR Protype Race Car

Posted on 01.06.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


There are just 17 more days until the first race of the brand new TUDOR Series (in case you’re behind the TUDOR Series is pretty much the merger of the Rolex series and American LeMans) at the ROLEX 24 hour race in Daytona.  Recently the teams held their first public test at the “Roar Before 24” event and Mazda grabbed the spotlight with the official reveal of their new SKYACTIV diesel powered prototype race car.  Mazda is actually bringing two factory-backed cars to the series with SpeedSource.  As such the same drive line up that SpeedSource fans are familiar with will be piloting the new diesel prototype cars.  Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long will drive the #70 car while Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez will drive the #07.

Mazda’s new car will definitely receive a baptism in fire as it has to go up against a full field of other prototype and GT cars alike in the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona race.  It will be tough going but a good way to see if the setup they’ve put together really works.  Speaking of set ups, Mazdaspeed has been kind enough to include a full spec sheet of the new prototype car in the press release below.  Fun fact: 51% of the SKYACTIV diesel engine in the prototype race car is the same as production SKYACTIV diesel engines in the current road car line up!  You can also see an HD resolution shot of the new race car by clicking the thumbnail below.

Mazda TUDOR Prototype-70

[Source: Mazdaspeed]

Press Release:

Mazda Ready to Roar at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Test

Mazda Announces Driver Line-up and Talks Specs 

 (DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — Mazda has long believed in promoting from within, including filling those rare ‘factory team’ driver slots.  Mazda Motorsports will field a pair of factory-backed SKYACTIV Technology-powered prototypes in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.  Behind the wheel will be the four drivers who delivered nine race wins and the 2013 Grand-Am GX Manufacturers Championship for Mazda.  Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long will share the #70 car while Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez will co-pilot the #07.  The team took their first public laps at the annual pre-season “Roar Before the 24” test at Daytona International Speedway yesterday.  The test concludes tomorrow with the season opening Rolex 24 Hour race on January 25-26.

“There is no shortage of great racing talent in America”, noted John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations.  “The decision for this year was relatively simple though as our 2013 line-up excelled both on and off the track.  Sylvain, Tom, Joel, and Tristan are all talented behind the wheel, but just as importantly, they act as a true team, supporting everyone at Mazda and SpeedSource.  Our objective is to demonstrate Mazda SKYACTIV Technology to both hardcore racing fans and the mainstream public.  With so many changes in 2014, including the new series itself, there will be a steep learning curve for everyone and we needed the best students in the sport.  We’ll announce our third drivers for the Rolex 24 at a later date, but rest assured they all fit the same mold of being team thinkers and both will have Mazda heritage in their blood.” 

As part of its challenger frame of mind, Mazda is the only car company racing in the TUDOR Championship with a diesel engine.  The SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel race engine is a true production-based engine and a carry-over from the development work done with the Mazda6 GX-class racing cars.  The engine is 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight.  Mazda chose this path as it is the most honest way to demonstrate the performance, quality, durability and reliability of Mazda powerplants.

2014 Mazda Prototype Specifications

Engine Displacement:                   2,191 cc (133.7 in3)

Bore x Stroke:                               86.0 mm x 94.3 mm (3.39 in x 3.71 in)

Engine Weight:                              143 kg (315 lbs)

Horsepower:                                 336 kW (450 bhp)

Torque:                                          786 Nm (580 lb-ft)

Max. Engine Speed:                     5,200 rpm

Engine Block:                                Production Mazda SKYACTIV (Aluminum)

Camshaft:                                     Dual Overhead

Valves:                                          Four Valves Per Cylinder

Cylinder Head:                              Production Mazda SKYACTIV (Aluminum)

Valve Train Components:             Production Mazda SKYACTIV

Pistons:                                         Mahle (Steel)

Connecting Rods:                         Carillo Forged Alloy (Steel)

Crankshaft:                                   Pankl Alloy (Steel)

ECU:                                             Bosch Motorsport MS 15.2

Intake Manifold:                            SpeedSource Race Engineering

Exhaust Manifold:                         SpeedSource Race Engineering

Turbo and Wastegate:                  Garrett Motorsports, air-to-air Intercooler, Tial wastegate

Fuel Injectors and Pump:              Bosch Motorsport

Fuel Rail:                                       Bosch Motorsport

Oiling System:                              SpeedSource Race Engineering

Cooling System:                           SpeedSource Race Engineering

Transmission:                                Xtrac 6-speed sequential with paddle shifters

Chassis:                                        Carbon-fiber monocoque coupe

Weight:                                          900 kgs (1984 lbs) – Without driver or fuel

Length:                                          4,634 mm (182.4 in)

Width:                                            1,990 mm (78.3 in)

Wheelbase:                                   2,890 mm (113.8 in)

Top speed:                                    Approximately 300 kph (186 mph) — in Daytona aero trim

Brakes:                                          AP carbon drilled discs

Suspension:                                  Independent double A-arms

Tires:                                             Continental Extreme Contact

                                                      Front:  320/650/R18

                                                      Rear:  325/710/R18

Wheels:                                         Motegi EVO 14 Technomesh, Forged Aluminum

Fuel:                                              Dynamic Fuels Renewable Diesel

Fuel Capacity:                               73 liters (19.3 gallons)

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  Thousands of Mazda-powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built.  In 2006 Mazda Motorsports established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks.  In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy.  Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

Consumer information can be found at, with press information at  Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsport), Twitter (@mazdaracing), and 


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Hype: Infiniti Previews Q50 Eau Rouge Concept Car

Posted on 01.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

The Detroit Auto Show is only 10 days away, so this is typically the time that major media start breaking embargos and some OEMs even break their own embargos!  Either way we, the car nuts of the world become the benefactors.  Today’s treat comes from Infiniti.  They are set to debut the Q50 “Eau Rouge” concept which according to them is heavily inspired by their partnership with the Red Bull Racing F1 team (this could explain the red color?).

The Q50 certainly looks racy and the hood vents have some hoping for a GT-R power plant under the hood but as of yet Infiniti has been quiet about the Eau Rouge’s performance specs and they have only officially released this one picture so far.  However, Infiniti has planned on changing that last part with the help of social media.  If people post to their facebook or twitter pages with the hashtag #F1Q50 then Infiniti will reveal more and more of the Eau Rouge on the website.

In the meantime you can see a HD resolution of the first official picture by clicking the thumbnail below.  Also if you feel so inclined you can read Infiniti’s vague-ish press release below as well.

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

Press Release:

◾Q50 Eau Rouge represents design vision for high-performance products

◾Design of Q50 Eau Rouge features dramatic aerodynamic styling influenced by Infiniti’s involvement in Formula One

◾Q50 Eau Rouge features complex carbon composite bodywork

Hong Kong – Infiniti has revealed the first image of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept which will have its world premiere at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13.

The Q50 Eau Rouge, a high-performance design concept based on Infiniti’s Q50 premium sports sedan, draws inspiration for aerodynamic design from the technical collaboration between Infiniti and four-time Formula One World Champions Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

Major bodywork components have been redesigned with aerodynamics in mind and manufactured carbon fiber. Q50 Eau Rouge is lower and wider – only the roof and door profiles remain unchanged from the production Q50. This striking design is inspired by muscularity, refinement, and understated performance intent.

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge highlights include deep and detailed carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser and side sill skirts; carbon fiber roof and door mirror casings; 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels; and a dual-exit exhaust sports system below a large integrated rear spoiler.

The Infiniti design team, led by Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa, was influenced by the aerodynamic styling approach taken by their colleagues at Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

“From our shared passion for performance with Infiniti Red Bull Racing grew a collective desire to produce a vision of what a high-performance Infiniti Q50 could look like,” said Albaisa.

“The design has a number of distinctive Formula One inspired touches.  In particular, the sculpted front wing assembly and the rear aerodynamic packaging take their cues from the RB9 race car,” added Albaisa.

Infiniti is also empowering social fans to unveil the all-new Q50 Eau Rouge concept car ahead of the official launch at the Detroit Motor Show on January 13. Starting from today, online advocates can drive the reveal of Infiniti’s latest concept car. By sharing their views and comments through social media channels like Twitter (hashtag #F1Q50), Facebook and Weibo, fans will build the image of the concept in a virtual garage. Each “share” will help build individual Q50 components, and as more fans share, the quicker the car will be “built.” Progress can be viewed on

More information about the Q50 Eau Rouge will be revealed during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show at 9:20 a.m. ET on January 14.

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Hype Video: N.O.B. Taniguchi Tackles Togue In HKS Supercharged S2000 Built By Arvou

Posted on 12.11.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Its been a long time since I’ve watched a good togue video.  I remember back when I used to live off those things!  If you’re like me and enjoy a good togue flick then I invite you to scroll down and watch Nobuteru “N.O.B.” Taniguchi flog the Arvou-built Honda S2000 on the Gunsai togue course.  I also highly recommend turning up the volume while watching this video because Arvou’s S2000 is equipped with HKS’ new GT Supercharger kit and it sounds amazing!

The supercharger set up makes a significant amount of power (310hp at the wheels and 212ft-lbs of torque at 10 psi) and was designed to be reliable and safe for daily driving as well as track days.  If you have an S2000 (AP1 or AP2) and want some boost in your life, this is a great way to go.  You can get the kit now for about $4,500 not counting a few extras you may need (ECU tune, compact battery, etc.).  Out the door with all additional bits (assuming you don’t have them already) the price goes up to a little over $5,700 if you have an AP2.  AP1’s should expect to pay over $6,000.  While it does sound pricy, you do get a lot and if the video below is any indication, it seems to be well worth it!

[Source: Evasive Motorsports]

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Hype Preview: Lexus Teases Next “F” Car AKA 2015 IS-F Sedan. Will Debut At Detroit

Posted on 12.09.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Today Lexus dropped a vague-ish image of what they say will be the next “F” car.  What that really means is that the 2015 IS-F is on the way.  While the released image (click on thumbnail below) doesn’t show much, a keen eye can see nods to the current and previous IS-F’s in the lines.  As you may have guessed, I am excited about this as the IS-F sedan has a special place in my heart.


So far Lexus hasn’t released any further information about this F car other than its completely new from the ground up.  Could this mean a completely new chassis? Possibly.  Personally I just want to know how much they’ve tipped the balance (if any) between its luxury side and its performance side.  It would be nice to see the new IS-F be a little less Bruce Banner and a bit more Hulk if you catch my drift.  The world will have to wait until January when it will debut at the Detroit Auto Show to know for sure though.  I wish they would have debuted it in LA! Oh well.  Stay tuned as I will bring you more details as they become available!

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Hype: GARAGETUNED x JDMEGO x Evasive Motorsports S2000 Triple Colab Skate Deck

Posted on 12.04.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


If you follow the JDMEGO blog you know that over the last few months Judson AKA “DropJay” did several artwork pieces for skateboard decks yet none of them showed up in the JDMEGO store.  Well that’s because they are over in the store!  Just make a few more clicks! Come on don’t be lazy…  Besides if you want to own this sweet Evasive Motorsports S2000 skate deck for only 50 bucks then you are going to need to move quickly.  This would look so fresh mounted on a wall!

[Source: store]

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2013 LA Auto Show: Honda Still Dreams Of Saving The World With Fuel Cell Tech

Posted on 11.29.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Honda has been making a lot of the right moves lately.  They really made the enthusiasts happy with their announcements at SEMA including news of a turbocharged Civic Si in the works.  At LA they looked to appeal to those who are looking to the future of more environmentally friendly and efficient vehicles.  There was still a few performance minded displays but the Honda booth was really all about their new FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) concept.

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The FCEV is meant to be the successor to the FCX Clarity concept which also debuted in LA a few years ago.  The new FCEV is a fuel cell vehicle that is meant to be more efficient than the FCX Clarity and offer more space.  Honda techs were able to reduce the size of the fuel cell in the FCEV so that the entire power train of the car actually fits under the hood.  That may not seem like much but when it comes to fuel cell cars that’s a big deal!  Honda also promises that the FCEV will have a range of 300 miles and be 60% more efficient than the FCX Clarity.

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While fuel efficiency and hydrogen power aren’t very common subjects on this site, its cool to see that Honda is still experimenting and trying new things.  Maybe once they have this down they will figure out a way to make a high performance fuel cell vehicle?  One can only hope!  For pics of the FCEV and a few other tidbits in the Honda booth just click the thumbnails.

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LA Auto Show 2013: Nissan Brings GT-R NISMO AKA “Mecha Godzilla” To LA. Usain Bolt Was There Too. (Video)

Posted on 11.26.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


For the last few years Nissan has been relatively quiet at the LA Auto Show.  Not to be harsh but since the American debut of the GT-R they haven’t brought to many exciting things to LA (with the exception of the awesome “food truck” NV200s!), so this year they were definitely due for something spectacular and they totally delivered.

This year Nissan pretty much let NISMO almost entirely take over their exhibit.  Sure the obligatory model line upgrades made their appearances.  The 2014 Nissan GT-R showed up as well as the leaf and others.  However, front and center were not one but three NISMO badged bad-ass vehicles.

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First up was the North American debut of the Nissan GT-R NISMO which had the curtain pulled off it by none other than track (as in running) superstar and Nissan’s “Global Director of Excitement”, Usain Bolt!  After Bolt pulled the curtain off the car and the media scrum cleared I got in close to appreciate the GT-R NISMO for myself and let me tell you: its damned awesome.  Now, I understand that its aggressive looks may not be for everyone.  There are a heck of a lot of extra fins, overhangs, and ducts than one might find on a “normal” GT-R but they are all there for a purpose: to make this thing flarking fast!

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The GT-R NISMO is definitely one of those cars that looks quick even while sitting still.  While the basic body shape remains the same if you look closely you can see small details made in the cars major body panels.  For example upon closer inspection of the rear on lookers will notice that the lines from the quarter panels and trunk “extend” past the taillights.  There is also a full treatment of carbon fiber on all sides (front splitter, side skrits, rear diffuser) including a carbon fiber rear wing that does the job but isn’t too gaudy.

While Los Angeles was lucky enough to be the site of the North American debut of the GT-R NISMO no further information beyond what was stated at the Tokyo Auto Salon was given.  That means we still don’t have a solid North American release date, MSRP, or production numbers for the newest Godzilla.  That’s a shame but Nissan made up for it by showing off an additional two NISMO cars!

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The first of which totally came out of left field and surprised everyone: a Sentra NISMO concept!  NISMO took the new Sentra, which already looks pretty good and then made it awesome with a reworked front bumper that has an integrated carbon fiber splitter, a carbon fiber roof, and rear diffuser.

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They (NISMO) then really took things a step further by turbo charging the Sentra’s 1.8 liter engine to the tune of 240hp, bolted on a NISMO suspension package, and added a limited slip differential!  The interior also got the full NISMO treatment with Recaro seats and alcantara everywhere.

Nissan insists that the Sentra NISMO is just a concept and “design” study but it would be one hell of a cruel joke if they showed this off to the world without the intention to build at least some version of this in the future.  It may be a bit of a stretch to hope for all the exterior mods to translate to production but I am sure all the Nissan fans have their fingers crossed that the turbocharged engine will make its way into production Sentra’s sometime soon.

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Nissan then decided just for fun that they would update the Juke NISMO R by debuting the new Juke NISMO RS.  The Juke NISMO RS gets a power and torque bump from the R bringing the total to 215hp and 210lb-ft of torque.  The RS also gets bigger brakes, a stiffer chassis, a new manual transmission, and a NISMO interior including Recaro seats up front.  According to Nissan the Juke NISMO RS will hit American dealerships in “early 2014”

There you have it.  Nissan really killed it this year at LA.  I would have to say of all the booths I visited I had the most excitement from Nissan since they are doing so many new things that are aimed at enthusiasts.  If they weren’t before, Nissan’s competition are definitely taking a hard look now!  For pictures just click on any of the thumbnails in this post.  If you want to watch Nissan’s LA press conference for yourself just scroll down for the video!

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Hype: The GT-R Nismo Is Revealed. Makes Lesser Sports Cars Cower In Fear (Video)

Posted on 11.19.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Just a few hours ago in Yokohama, Japan Nissan rolled out the next iteration of Godzilla AKA the GT-R Nismo.  The world knew this car was coming for a while now but despite a forewarning it still seems to come as a shock just incredible this machine is.

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First of all lets start off with the most important number: 600; as in horsepower.  Yes the R35 era GT-R has finally broken the 600hp mark!  Nissan engineers were able to do this mostly due to a new turbochargers taken directly from the GT-R Nismo GT3 race car.  The ignition tuning as changed to add power as well as a new fuel pump.

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In addition to increasing the power substantially Nissan also added a whole new suspension package using Bilstein shocks, increased downforce with a new aero package (including a massive carbon fiber wing), and saved weight with a whole bunch of carbon fiber including carbon fiber shells for the seats and a carbon fiber trunk.  Weight was also saved with new six-spoke forged wheels.

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All of these modifications add up to the fastest production GT-R ever.  In fact, this thing lapped the Nurburgring in 7:08! That’s 10 seconds faster than the previous GT-R Nurburgring record!  To figure out how they did it you can watch two videos below.  The first is the record breaking lap narrated by the driver Michael Krumm himself.  The second is a near 30 minute long documentary which chronicles how an elite Nissan team brought the GT-R Nismo to life.

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Before that though you can click on any of the thumbnails for pictures and below the videos you can read the official press release for all the details.

P.S. No pricing has been announced yet but it has been announced that the GT-R Nismo will be released in Japan in February 2014 and in the U.S. and Europe later on in 2014.

Nurburgring Lap:

GT-R Nismo Documentary:

Press Release:

REVEALED: NISSAN GT-R NISMO — Nissan GT-R Nismo Joins 2014 Nissan GT-R —

  • World premiere of race-inspired version of Nissan’s legendary GT-R
  • 600hp (441kw) for blistering performance
  • Advanced aerodynamics generating additional 100kg*1 of downforce at 300km/h (186mph) for exceptional road-holding

YOKOHAMA, Japan (November 19, 2013) – Records fall and dreams come true with the debut of the Nissan GT-R Nismo. This race-oriented model delivers “factory tuned” supercar dynamics with revolutionary enhanced aerodynamics and ultra-precise handling. The Nissan GT-R is already established as one of the best performing supercars in the automotive sphere, and now Nissan has drawn on decades of racing experience gathered by Nismo, the brand’s motorsport specialists, to develop the ultimate Nissan GT-R.

Nissan GT-R Nismo

The Nissan GT-R Nismo features exclusive styling that embraces the longstanding racing philosophy of form following function. It has numerous motorsports-inspired technologies to enhance the car’s performance through optimised aerodynamics, suspension and powertrain, creating a well-balanced machine that is at home on both the road and track.

The Nissan GT-R Nismo will be available in Japan in late February 2014, U.S. and Europe later in 2014.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says this is the fastest Nissan GT-R ever. “With a 7:08.679 lap time, we can authoritatively say that the Nissan GT-R Nismo*2 holds the volume production car lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is the gold standard of high performance achievement.”

Nissan GT-R Nismo Overview – Flagship of the Nismo lineup

1. Mechanical Features Nissan GT-R Nismo employs innovation, uncompromising engineering and motorsports-inspired technologies to achieve new levels of power, speed and handling.


  • Under the hood, the 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine benefits from the know-how that Nismo has gained from participating in such events as the world-renowned Nürburgring 24 hour race. Engine power has risen and is now rated at 600PS (441kw) and 481 lb ft (652 Nm) of torque.
  • New high-flow, large capacity turbochargers, which are used for GT3 racing, improve breathing, while optimized individual ignition timing control for each cylinder and upgraded fuel pump improve combustion.


  • The springs and custom-developed Bilstein DampTronic dampers in the front and rear suspension are specially tuned to deliver exceptional grip levels and progressive handling response at the limit. Three suspension modes can be selected: Comfort, Normal and R, for circuit applications.
  • Exclusive Nismo tires – developed by Dunlop – exhibit outstanding grip and handling characteristics. Front: 255/40 ZRF20; rear 285/35 ZRF20.
  • Specially-developed links fitted to the front double wishbone suspension increase castor trail to optimize wheel position during high-G cornering and improve straight-line and cornering stability. Additionally, large high-rigidity bolts are used to increase stiffness of the wheel-hub attachment area.
  • To minimize body-roll during cornering and changes of direction, the Nissan GT-R Nismo features a 17.3 mm hollow rear anti-roll bar which raises roll stiffness while reducing weight.

Body construction

  • Increased rigidity in the bodyshell is achieved using adhesive bonding in addition to spot welding leading to precise suspension response under extreme load, the Nismo “factory tuned” enhancement.

2. Exterior design – Exclusive styling with improved aerodynamics

  • Using the latest Computational Fluid Dynamic simulation techniques to analyze airflow, Nismo has developed an aero package that improves road-holding, minimizes the negative impact of drag, while giving the car a menacing and muscular appearance.
  • Together, the front bumper, engine undercover strake and carbon rear spoiler increase downforce, lowering the center of gravity and generating an additional 100kg*1 (at 300km/h) compared to the freshly updated 2014 Nissan GT-R model. The car’s aerodynamic characteristics are tuned to ensure the downforce is equally spread front to rear at all speeds for progressive handling characteristics. A widened front bumper configuration and elongated yet tapered rear bumper design keep the drag to Cd 0.26, same with that of 2014 Nissan GT-R.
  • The Nissan GT-R Nismo will be available in five body colors: Brilliant White Pearl, Meteor Flake Pearl Black, Ultimate Metallic Silver and Vibrant Red. And unique to the GT-R Nismo model, a Dark Matte Grey*3 accentuates the car’s imposing exterior muscularity.
  • The GT-R Nismo’s black 6-spoke wheels are inspired by Nissan’s GT-R race car which races in the GT500 class in SUPER GT.

3. Interior

  • The Nissan GT-R Nismo cockpit inspires driver confidence through both its craftsmanship and optimized driving position.
  • Ergonomically sculpted carbon-fiber-backed reclining RECARO seats (Europe/Japan) comfortably, yet firmly, support the driver and front-seat passenger.
  • Nismo racers influenced the design of the steering wheel which is dressed in Alcantara®, with three spokes, red center mark and red stitching to give the best combination of grip, feedback and comfort.
  • The combi meter has carbon-like finish, and tachometer features a red design. The meter hood is also dressed with Alcantara®.
  • Interior trim features include discreet red stitching on the seats, center console, door trim and steering wheel.
  1. *1: Compared to 2014 Nissan GT-R
  2. *2: Nissan GT-R Nismo with track options
  3. *3: Dark Matte Grey will be available starting from summer in 2014.

About Nismo

  • Nismo, a short form of “Nissan Motorsports,” is the performance brand for Nissan, and is one of the company’s purveyors of “innovation that excites.”
  • Nismo offers products featuring innovative technology and high performance to a wide range of customers for street use. Nismo cars provide an exciting driving experience with motorsports-inspired aerodynamics and styling, enhanced handling characteristics and unmatched agility.
  • In the motorsports world, Nismo competes in the highest forms of GT and sports-car racing, such as Japan’s Super GT Series and the World Endurance Championships (WEC), as well as providing engines to teams that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The Nissan GT-R captured the Super GT championship in 2011 and 2012.

About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 267,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.


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SEMA 2013: Hyundai’s Booth Was All About The Widebodies

Posted on 11.14.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Sorry for the lack of posts on hump-day but I had a lot of catching up to do…which starts now!  Ok so while I was at SEMA for that blurry 24 hours I made it a point to visit the Hyundai booth.  Leading up to SEMA they teased more than a few pretty interesting builds from some folks I knew and some I didn’t.  While each build had a different theme and philosophy the one thing they all had in common was a widebody or at least wide stance and that’s always appealing to me.

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The build I really wanted to check out up close was the “JP Edition” Hyundai Genesis coupe built by my buddy John Pangilinan.  His last few builds for Hyundai (including his Veloster) really put him on the map and has kind of made him the “go to” guy for Hyundai when it comes to custom builds.  Just like his Veloster, his new Genesis did not disappoint.  One of my favorite things about John’s builds is that when he goes widebody he does it with metal.  No fiberglass or composite for John! Metal gets put to fire and is painstakingly shaped onto the body.  By the way those flares were designed by the one and only Jon Sibal.  After the flares were all fab’d up and applied John had the Genesis sprayed with BASF “Atlantis Blue” paint which reminds me of a metallic teal of sorts.  Side and rear carbon fiber splitters from Seibon were bolted on to finish the look.  Everything really comes together and suits the bodylines nicely.  John also threw in a full car audio suite from Alpine with just about every component someone could want.  To further set off the interior John threw in two Recaro Cross sportster front seats but not before having them re-apholstered with leather from Katzskin.  Throw in some wide forged wheels from MORR and you have a coupe that will be coveted by the Hyundai forums for the lion’s share of 2014.

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Next up was the Genesis Coupe “Legato” by ARK Performance.  “Legato” is a musical term meaning a seamless integration between notes which was essentially the theme of ARK’s build.  They wanted to integrate all of their tech into their car in a way that was unobtrusive to drivability.  I would have to say they pulled it off.  Despite its wild outward appearance (thanks to a one-off ARK widebody kit) the way that the details tie into each other is quite subtle and somewhat understated.  One look at the interior shows a rush bright lights and screens from all of their branded tech but keep looking and it appears as if everything they installed after the fact, was actually meant to be there from the beginning.  For performance ARK stroked out the 3.8 liter V6 engine to 4.0 liters thanks to a Brian Crower kit.  The rest of the performance increases comes from a full list of ARK products from the intake to the headers.  It all added up to 400hp and 425ft-lbs of torque.  Although despite all the performance, custom body work, and custom tech, I have to say my favorite thing about the ARK Legato Genesis coupe is the crazy “neo-chro” finish on the RAYS Engineering G25 wheels!

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The last of the marquee Genesis builds came from Bisimoto Engineering owned by the legendary Bisi Ezerioha.  There isn’t too much to say here which is really a good thing.  Bisi did what anyone with his skill and talent would do: started with a crate engine, boosted the heck out of it with custom fabricated parts, shoehorned the engine back into a gutted car with roll cage, and then cut a giant hole in the front bumper to accommodate the massive air-to-air intercooler.  When all was said and done Bisi’s car made over 1,000 reliable, streetable horsepower.  Bisi plans to race the car and even drive it in city to city road rally events.

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Finally we have the “Hylighter” Veloster build from the EGR Group.  Of the four main builds this is the only non-Genesis car as well as the only motorsport-only purpose built car.  The endgame of EGR’s Veloster is to be a competitive time-attack car that will be visible no matter how dark it might get on the track.  Hence the “yellow-cake uranium” inspired paint job and plethora of exterior lights.  The Veloster’s stance was augmented with wide fender flares produced by EGR themselves and filled with DPE 3 piece wheels.  Bisimoto helped EGR tune the motor after some breathing upgrades from AEM and Magnaflow were bolted on.  I like the way the whole package came together but it is a little too…radioactive for my tastes

There you have it! The best that Hyundai had to offer at the SEMA show.  I have a strong feeling that we are going to continue to see at least a few of these cars popping up at shows frequently in 2014 so if you couldn’t make it out to SEMA this year there is still a very good chance you will be able to see some of these cars up close next year.

Stay tuned for more SEMA coverage!

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Gaming x Drifting Hype: Design Dai Yoshihara’s Falken Tire BRZ Drift Car Livery With Forza Motorsport 5

Posted on 11.11.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


If you didn’t hear the news yet, Dai Yoshihara will be moving from his V8 powered Nissan S13 to a Subaru BRZ for the 2014 Formula Drift season.  At SEMA he debuted his new car complete with a special version of the recently released Rocket Bunny Ver. 2 widebody kit.  Although when it was mentioned that the car would be a blank canvas it was meant quite literally as the car was totally white! Blanco!

The reason for this is that Falken Tire is turning to future owners of Forza Motorsport 5 to design Dai’s new livery.  Players are to create a livery design in Forza Motorsport 5, take a screen shot of their design then submit that shot to Falken Tire’s Facebook page and from there a winner will be chosen.  The contest will start during the last week of November (just after the Xbox One launch and Forza Motorsport 5’s release) and run until January 31st.

It is not said if there will be a prize awarded to the person who creates the winning design, but hey bragging rights for something as big as this may just be prize enough for many.

Good luck designers!

Press Release:

Falken Tire Invites FORZA Motorsport 5 Players to Design Livery on Team Falken’s Formula Drift Subaru BRZ

Rancho Cucamonga, CA. (Nov. 8).  – Falken Tire, a manufacturer of high performance on- and off-road tires, will continue its strong relationship with Microsoft in anticipation of the launch of Forza Motorsport 5 by conducting a special design contest for its newest Formula Drift entry.

Currently the best-rated videogame racing franchise of the past 10 years, the new Forza Motorsport 5 game is slated to be released on the “all-in-one games and entertainment system” –  according to Microsoft officials – the new Xbox One.  In anticipation of the November 22 launch, Forza Motorsport 5 will be at the heart of a nine-week promotional effort Falken Tire has set in motion beginning late November. The contest will encourage gamers and Falken Tire customers from around the world to submit their design for the new Subaru BRZ competition car to be driven by 2011 Formula D Champion Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara for the 2014 drift season.

“Falken Tire is again reaching out to the Forza online community to ask people to create their own one-of-a-kind Falken livery for Team Falken’s new Subaru BRZ,” said Nick Fousekis, Falken Director of Motorsports Marketing.  “We are asking players to submit their Forza 5 Motorsport screenshot-based designs to Falken Tire’s Facebook page.”

“The winning design will live on Dai’s Subaru BRZ for the entire season,” declared Jonathon Bradford, Team Falken’s Formula Drift Supervisor. “Being a part of this very important network of Forza Motorsport players is key to building awareness of our brand as well as the Formula Drift Championship,” he stressed.“We suspect there’s a very strong crossover among fans and participants of both sports, and they’re also likely Falken customers.”

Added Fousekis:  “We are pleased Discount Tire will return to co-sponsor Dai’s new BRZ for the 2014 season, and with SPD Metal Works handling the building of the car, Dai has set the bar high for his championship effort. I know he’s also excited – as we all are – about having a special look designed by a Forza Motorsport 5 player.”

Working in conjunction with Turn 10 Studios, the contest will begin during the final week of November and run until the 31st of January 2014. Official Falken and Falken Sponsor Logos must be integrated into the submitted designs, with visibility from all corners of the car (quarter panels, and the center of front and rear bumpers).  In addition, Falken’s 2014 partner sponsors’ logos must be included, which are:  Discount Tire; Sam’s Autoland; BC; Sparco; SPD Metal Works; and Mobil 1. In addition, a “creative interpretation of the traditional ‘Falken Scallops’ livery should be included,” according to Fousekis.

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