Often I get asked the question: “What’s the difference between a ‘car meet’ and a ‘car show’?” I usually then ignore that person or flip them off… Seriously though I will give you the answer right now. A car show is about competition, entertainment, and is usually a big production. A car meet is much more low key and is really just about a segment of enthusiasts gathering to hang out, enjoy a nice day, and talk about the object of their obsession. Most of the time a meet is free and is held at some public location. However, sometimes a meet can be about much more than that. For example, the Nismolism meet last weekend in San Dimas was not only about enthusiasts celebrating all things Nismo but the event also raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Local dealership O.C. Infiniti also helped out by sponsoring the event. They also had reps on hand to answer questions and sell parts at employee cost! Can’t beat that with a stick!
Sure there were not many high-dollar magazine cover builds on hand but the fact that each car there represented hard earned money going to a good cause made each car there worthy of an award. I have a few teaser shots below but for the full gallery hit up our Facebook page. For more information on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation go to JDRF.org
There have been many car show series that have come and gone but the one name that has always had the respect of the import car enthusiasts is “Showoff”. Import Showoff has been around since the mid-90s and while they aren’t quite the force they used to be the name will still bring out the core enthusiasts. The annual Nisei Week Showoff in Little Tokyo is the one show many of us still anticipate with real enthusiasim. Why does the Nisei Showoff stand out? On the surface it doesn’t seem like much. The Nisei Showoff is usually small (ranges from 100-200 cars) but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in quality and atmosphere. Nisei Week Showoff is the show that all the cars the kids jock on the forums go to. So as you can imagine we were stoked to make the trip out to Little Tokyo again for Showoff this year.
While the car count was slightly lower this year compared to last year, Ken Miyoshi and Mainstream Productions certainly did not dissapoint when it came to the quality and variety of cars on hand. There was everything from old school Mazdas and F2o powered classic Celicas to a Lexus LF-A! There was even some European flavor with a few Porsches and a Lamborghini Murcielago parked next to a Gallardo. There were a few classics that we never seen before thus cannot really describe to you but feel free to look through the pictures below and the full photo set in our Facebook gallery to see if you can recgonize everything we shot!
Vossen finally dropped their latest Concave wheel dubbed the VVS-CV1. That is a lot of “V’s” for one name! So far you can get them in matte black or matte sliver and you get a machined lip with either color. Size wise they’re currently only available in 20 inch diameters with a 9 inch width for the front and a 10.5 width for the rear. Vossen designed these wheels for most luxury euro applications but they didn’t leave out Lexus or Infiniti either! We would love to see a set of these on a GS sedan!
This is big news if you happen to live in the big state of Texas. Mayday Garage just announced that Japanese tuning legend “Smokey” Nagata from Top Secret will make an apperance at the Import Reactor car show. Not only will he be there as a guest but he is going to personally tune 20 Nissans over the span of three days! So what is the occasion? Well, Top Secret is working on a new stand-alone ECU dubbed “Top Secret Process” and the marathon tuning session is meant to prototype the new unit here in the states. If you own a Nissan and live in the Houston area I suggest you do whatever you can within the boundaries of the law to make sure you are one of the lucky 20 cars to get tuned by Smokey! If you really are that young and don’t know who Smokey is or how he got his nickname then check out the video below.
According to the blog talkover at Stillen they are nearing completion of a new supercharger system for the Nissan 370Z and Infiniti G37. If you remember, their 350Z roots type supercharger system was a pretty popular item for a while, especially since it was the first of its kind. However, the 350Z had its down sides namely the need to buy a new hood or cut a hole in the stock hood to get the unit to fit. The second minus came from the fact that a roots type blower had limited boost options.
Stillen has taken the lessons learned from the first generation kit and promised that their new generation supercharger kit will be based on a Vortech centrifugal unit. No more hood swapping! Additionally the new kit will be available in 3 stages: Tuner (just the hardware no fuel management), CARB Legal (6 psi, decent power, and street legal), and Competition (bawls out, track only madness). Since the Tuner and Competition kits aren’t street legal they’ll have more of a solid release date. However since the CARB Legal stage is dependant on, well, CARB its release date is reliant on when CARB will give them the time of day to look over their work. We’ll try to keep you updated as things develop.
Most people just know Zele Performance for their GT-R and 370Z body kit but Zele has shown some love for Infiniti as well. If you just got yourself the new G37 coupe then I think you’ll fall in love with what Zele Performance has done with its face. Their GT Front Aero Bumper is absolutely sick. I didn’t even like the G37 all that much, until I saw what Zele did. When a front bumper makes you want to buy a car that you otherwise were indifferent towards then you know its good!
Autofashion USA in San Diego, CA has been up on the VIP trend before you started to see it in Super Street and all the other books. They pretty much started the whole movement in So Cal. If its Garson, Sessions, or Junction Produce products its a good chance Autofashion was the first store to carry those products in the US.
They run a classy joint and have been building show cars for a long time now and they haven’t shown any sign of getting stale. Recently on their blog they posted some pics of their fresh show room after they re-arranged things a bit check it out.
Yesterday at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show Infiniti released what they called the “Essance” concept. First and foremost this car is stunning! At first they released a teaser shot of just the rear of the vehicle which reminded me a little of the Chris Bangle designed BMW Z coupe but later on they rolled out the car in all of its glory and its a glorious thing indeed! What gave me the whole GT-R variant vibe is the fact that this “concept” is motivated by a twin-turbo V6 and I’d venture to say its probably the same engine that currently drives the GT-R. However instead of being AWD the Essance is rear wheel drive and it is also a hybrid…what?! It’s all very compicated but very cool. Oh and to add a little extra freshness to the mix they had a custom set of Louis Vuitton fitted luggage custom made for it! Check out the press release for more info.
03.03.2009 , Rolle, Switzerland
INFINITI ESSENCE CONCEPT DEBUTS AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW – REPRESENTS THE MAGNIFICATION OF “INSPIRED PERFORMANCE”
ROLLE, Switzerland (March 3, 2009) – The essence of the Infiniti brand distilled into one car and then taken to the extremes to satisfy the world’s most demanding car enthusiasts – this is the Infiniti Essence. Presented as a concept at the 79th International Motor Show of Geneva, Essence is a celebration of Infiniti and its 20 years history as a creator of performance cars. But equally it is an inspiring exploration into the brand’s future. The dramatic design, technology and performance statement is a 592-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive gasoline/electric hybrid coupe.
The Essence Concept showcases many of the technologies, including hybrid, and design cues that will distinguish Infiniti production cars of the coming years. And, by steering Infiniti’s guiding principle of “Inspired Performance” into the luxury super-coupe market for the first time, it reaffirms Infiniti’s place among the world’s most exclusive and vibrant car brands.
A front-engined, two-seat, 592-horsepower, rear-wheel drive luxury coupe concept measuring 185 inches long
A preview of Infiniti’s gasoline/electric hybrid drivetrain – capable of high speeds when conditions allow, zero emissions where they don’t
Fresh design language to influence future production models
New safety technology, including Back-up Collision Prevention
Minimalist and intensely driver-focused interior
“New luxury” meets traditional Japanese craftsmanship
Louis Vuitton fitted luggage to maximize trans-continental capability
Essence Exterior Design: “Dynamic Adeyaka”
With breathtaking good looks and perfect proportions, Essence exerts a powerful pull on all those who love cars. It looks like a driver’s car, one that would be right at home on the world’s grandest motoring routes, yet Essence is not an aggressive sports car.
Infiniti’s “Dynamic Adeyaka” attitude ensures Essence is single-minded, but also inviting, sophisticated and born of inspiration from both the human and natural worlds. To further boost its emotional appeal, it features details that bring a very modern take to some very old Japanese traditions. The designers’ aim was to merge all existing Infiniti design cues with fresh design language in a shape that the 20-year-old marque has never before attempted. The result is highly sculptural yet also very delicate. Essence speaks of power but not intimidation.
The hood, as expected of an Infiniti, is long and the rear deck short. Together with a flowing “wave” profile between muscular front and rear wheel arches, Essence at first appears to be in the classic sports car mold – but there is nothing retro about Essence. The side window graphics bring a particularly innovative and distinctive edge to the styling. The window appears to be resting on a ledge, its razor sharp line in contrast to the concave sweep of the upper body just below it. The rear section also features complex surfacing with concave “scoops” that flow down the rear pillars from one of Essence’s most distinctive design cues: a C-shaped kink to the side windows’ trailing edge. Outlined by a wide flourish of stainless steel, it adds instant movement to the car even when it is standing still.
One of the most distinctive details is the trim around the side air vents. The simple yet delicate shape, finely finished in aluminium, is based on the “kanzash,” a hairpin used by women when wearing the kimono. Other lines and details are inspired by the wide brush strokes of Japanese calligraphy. Essence represents a successful merging of iconic cultural cues with automotive aesthetics.
Essence’s front is characterised by Infiniti’s signature double-arch grille, set at an angle that suggests the car is about to leap forward. There is an illuminated Infiniti badge at its heart. Rounded corners effectively hide the front overhang and make this 185-inch-long car (15.4 feet) appear anything but big in the flesh.
At the front, as over the rest of the car, Essence eschews superfluous body embellishments that could interrupt the graceful strength of the whole. The grille is framed by subtle strips of stainless steel but there’s little other trim and no other grilles or intakes, not even fog lights. The door handles are slivers of push buttons flush with the body, while even the rearview mirrors must make way for minuscule cameras teased out of the A-pillars. More familiar Infiniti cues include the lights. At the front, the signature L-shaped modules taper back on to the bulging guards, picked out at their top edge by a row of LEDs. Slender fillets of red light curve around the car at the back, overlapping with the trunk opening and framing the spoiler, which appears to have been pushed out from within the car.
Essence Interior Design: Driver-Focused
A driver’s car demands the perfect driver’s cabin. Essence’s interior is minimalist, ergonomic and totally focused on giving the driver a feeling of absolute control – while the passenger area is dominated by comfort, calm and elegance to offer the kind of hospitality that is so important to Essence. The asymmetrical cabin is divided into two areas separated by a large curving console between the seats that sweeps around to merge with the center of the dashboard. The driver’s side is themed black, the passenger’s “cocoon” an earthy red.
A flat-bottomed steering wheel, chronometer-style dials, bright red engine start button, and short, alloy-topped gear selector announce to the driver this is a serious performance machine. Other interior features include larger gear change paddle shifters behind the wheel and a signature Infiniti analog clock. With the materials used – leather, Alcantara, hand-painted wood inspired by traditional Japanese lacquerware – the cabin exudes a rich and inviting warmth. Essence’s interior promotes a sense of well being which is key to the Infiniti driving experience.
Essence Drivetrain: Power With Responsibility
Essence’s drivetrain is designed to meet the highest expectations of owners by delivering the one thing everyone expects of an Infiniti – sheer driving pleasure. In Essence, that pleasure is taken to new heights, at the same time as previewing an innovative green hybrid engine. Essence is unusual even in the rarefied atmosphere of the world’s fastest road cars by being able to call on a mighty 592 horsepower.
Like the design, the performance is designed to be sophisticated and unobtrusive – performance with a human touch. The hybrid system is a logical extension of Infiniti parent group’s groundbreaking green commitments. It offers power with efficiency, and high performance with zero-emissions running, by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor. These can work independently or together as a “parallel” hybrid system. In congested urban areas, the electric motor alone is all that is needed for Essence to glide silently between stoplights, with no tailpipe emissions. When the traffic clears, Essence responds with a highway performance that few cars could match. In “power assist” mode the full 592 horsepower is unleashed with both gasoline and electric power working together.
A key difference over some other hybrid systems is that both the V6 and the electric motor feed their power only to the rear wheels. Infiniti’s 3.7-liter DOHC V6 gasoline engine is fitted with twin turbochargers and a new, efficient direct-injection fuel system, boosting power to 434 horsepower.
Essence previews a new type of electric motor, called 3D Motor, that was designed to meet tough requirements on size and power output. The result is a particularly slim, disk-shaped motor that has twice the torque of a conventional unit. Its design was achieved by 3D magnetic field analysis to optimize the layout of the electromagnetic coils and permanent magnets. For use in the Essence, the motor is positioned between the engine and transmission and provides 158 horsepower, drawing power from a compact lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk area. Because the 3D Motor operates in both propulsion and power regeneration modes, the battery pack is kept charged up.
Optimized energy usage across the widest possible range of driving conditions is guaranteed by two separate clutches, which “switch in” the motors as required. It is a system that needs no torque converter, further enhancing responsiveness and driving pleasure.
Essence Safety: A Collision-Free Future
On a global level, Infiniti is committed to building safer vehicles equipped with advanced safety technologies. Essence previews some of the next-generation safety features that will ensure Infiniti cars remain among the safest on the road, adding two new technologies to the Distance Control Assist (DCA) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) systems that are available in today’s production Infinitis. Side Collision Prevention (SCP) and Back-up Collision Prevention (BCP) extend the anti-collision shield all the way around the car.
With SCP, when the driver decides to change lanes, side-mounted sensors activate a warning if an approaching vehicle is detected in the driver’s intended lane. A yaw mechanism is then activated through brake control of individual wheels to help prevent a potential collision. Back-up Collision Prevention works in a similar way, sensing a vehicle behind, giving the driver a warning but then, if the warning is not heeded, activating the brakes automatically. The warning system and pre-emptive safety features are designed to help support the driver in an intuitive manner with minimal intervention.
Essence Practicality: A Very Specially Made Solution
The team behind Essence harked back to an early motoring era to find the right solution for carrying luggage. The result is as classy as luggage ever gets, surprisingly practical and dreamily romantic. It also re-establishes the historic ties between a carmaker and one of the best-known names in luxury goods – Louis Vuitton. Vuitton first worked with a coachbuilder – the famous Kellner Company – in 1908, equipping one of their early luxury limousines with a set of bespoke luggage. Other coachbuilders quickly beat a path to Vuitton’s door in Paris. Made-to-measure Vuitton trunks were an integral feature of some of the greatest cars of the first part of the 20th century.
The collaboration between Infiniti and Vuitton revives the idea of a set of the highest quality luggage made to fit exactly a car’s trunk area. In Essence, there are three rigid pieces: a matched pair of slender briefcases atop a large trunk. All are made in the new Damier Graphite canvas and feature sleekly integrated handles and an overall design in harmony with the car itself. In addition, a button on the key fob electrically opens the trunk lid, allowing the trunk floor to slide silently rearwards.
HKS is known for their turbo kits but every now and then they do something different. I guess today’s date is “now and then” because they just dropped a brand new “GT Supercharger” kit. This one seems different from the rotrex kit they came out with a few years ago. However one thing that remains the same is that this kit is for Nissan’s VQ series motors and its carb legal!
Cobb Tuning’s “Access Port” is probably one of if not the most user-friendly ECU tuner a enthusiast could get their hands on. Evo and WRX guys have been using the Access Port for years and now its available for the 2008 Infiniti G37. This a quality buy if you’re looking to get the most out of your G without making the comittment of a turbo or supercharger.