We really like going to car shows so it really sucks when several of them happen on the same day and we’re forced to choose. Such was the case last Saturday as SubieFest, Japanese Classic Car Show 2015, and Hot Import Nights were all going down. Not exactly at once but close enough to each other that we had to make a choice. As the title of this post suggests we decided to go with the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) and we’re totally glad that we did!
Nothing against SubieFest or Hot Import Nights but JCCS just seemed to have a bit of everything we wanted and it was also closer so there’s that. There was (as usual) a ton of cars at JCCS this year and great involvement from several OEMs. Mazda brought out the new MX-5 in addition to several choice selections from their unofficial car museum. Toyota brought out their famous James Bond 2000GT, and Honda really pulled out the stops by bringing the very first car they ever imported into the USA. Literally the first car! It was in shambles but Honda is actually going to restore the car and document the process via social media. They even filmed a commercial for the initiative at the show to kick things off. To keep up with that just search the major social media networks for the #HondaSerialOne hashtag.
While the OEM presence was great, what really stole the show were rows of amazing privately owned restoration builds or resto-mod builds of everything from vintage Skylines, 240Zs, Toyota 4 runners, RX-7’s, Datsun 510’s, you name it and there was an amazing example of it in attendance. Oh and just to illustrate how popular this show is: we arrived at the show just as it opened and the parking lot was already nearly full. Meaning people were likely there at least an hour or more before show opening! Parking got so packed that pretty much anyone who showed up after 10am had to park in near by downtown Long Beach and take a shuttle to the show location.
If you’ve never been to JCCS I would highly recommend you check it out next year. Its a great event with lots of amazing cars. Just make sure you show up early and dress for hot weather! If you want to see some of the best cars that were at the show feel free to check out the gallery below which has over 100 pictures. Just click any thumbnail for a larger version.
Love them or hate them, Rocket Bunny aero kits are what all the “cool children” are doing right now. Just about every popular platform has a Rocket Bunny kit available and in some cases, several. The latest Rocket Bunny kit to come out of TRA Kyoto is for the Nissan S14 (95-98 240SX). Its actually the second kit for the S14. The first (V1) kit was just about making things wider. This new kit not only widens the S14’s stance but converts the front end into something completely different from what Nissan had in mind when they originally designed the car.
The Rocket Bunny V2 kit essentially converts the S14 into a very “muscle car” looking vehicle. In fact the V2 kit’s nickname is the “Boss” conversion. Perhaps that is a reference to the Boss 302 Mustang, yet this conversion actually resembles something closer to a Plymouth Barracuda. To make things even more punk rock, the kit actually eliminates the rear bumper all together for a big rear diffuser. The OEM bumper may still fit on the car but don’t quote us on that.
If this new Rocket Bunny aero kit stirs your lemonade, you can pre-order the V2 Boss conversion right now from GReddy. The complete FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) kit which includes: a front lip, front bumper, hood, front fenders, grill, headlight mounts, headlights, side skirts, rear “duck tail” wing, rear fenders, and rear diffuser will set you back $4,380. The conversion requires turn signals from an S13 and aren’t included in the package.
What do you think of the new Rocket Bunny V2 aero kit? Do you like the muscle car conversion look? Do you hate it? Are you tired of Rocket Bunny kits or do you want to Rocket Bunny all the things? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype. For more pictures of the Boss conversion just click the thumbnails.
Yes, we still have yet more pictures from the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach a few weekends ago! In this gallery we stroll through the annual Mother’s Exotic Car Show. If you are unaware, Mother’s car care always takes over the vacancy left by the TUDOR Sports car paddock after they pack up Saturday night and fills the area with a ton of rare exotic and classic cars! Naturally I took a stroll through the area and snapped all the best looking cars. To see it all just check out the Facebook gallery below. Just make sure you are logged into your Facebook account to view it!
As you may have seen in a previous post, we went out to the annual Z Bash last weekend in Orange, CA. For those who are unaware, the Z Bash is one of the biggest Z Car meets in the country, perhaps the world. People flew in from as far as Amsterdam to come to this meet! Anyhow, there was lots to see and to do at the event, including dyno pulls. Yes, owners of Z cars had the opportunity to get their builds dyno’d on the spot thanks to a mobile dyno unit. Classic 240Zs on a dyno demand video documentation, so I filmed a few runs. The particular one below is a turbo-charged 240Z that retains its original motor albeit built to handle the pressure (see what I did there?). So, how much horsepower do you think it will make? Watch below and find out.
There are lots of cars that have a “following.” Cars that certainly have fans who are enthusiastic to that particular make and model. Cars like the Subaru WRX, Honda Civic, etc. Then there are cars that have “cult followings”. These cars have rabid, extremely devoted, perhaps even devout fans that will snarl and fight tooth and nail to defend the honor of their coveted vehicle and derive great joy from owning said vehicle. There are really only a handful of true cult cars in the world and the Datsun/Nissan Z is definitely on that short list.
The Z was originally created by Nissan (Datsun in America back then) to compete with the current European sports cars of the time from Jaguar, Porsche, and BMW. The President of Nissan Motors USA Yutaka Katayama, known affectionately by Z enthusiasts as “Mr. K” saw the potential impact that Nissan’s sports car could have in the states and was responsible for bringing the Z to America. The rest as they say, is history.
Several iterations and generations later the Z is still beloved by hundreds of thousands of fans today. Be it a modern 370Z or a classic 240Z, each generation has its throngs of dedicated fans. Serving those fans is famed Z shop, Motorsport Auto. For 30 years Motorsport Auto has been the “go to” shop for anyone looking to modify or restore a Z from virtually any generation. Once a year Z fans all gather together at Motorsport Auto in Orange, CA for the annual “Z Bash” meet, which is essentially the mecca of Z. Despite the rain, hundreds of people came out from far and wide to check out beautifully restored classic Z cars, built modern Z cars, buy, sell, and trade Z parts, and just celebrate all things Z. When I say “far and wide” I really mean it too. Plenty of people came from out of state but some people even flew in from other countries. In fact, there was a guy who came all the way from Amsterdam! I went to the event and was completely overwhelmed with the amount of cars on hand so I instead focused on the cars that caught my eye the most. Just click the thumbnails for larger pictures. Also stay tuned to our Instagram at @MotorworldHype for more pictures that aren’t in the gallery. FYI: all the pictures are in HD resolution!
For the last few years Mother’s Car Care has hosted a car corral at the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach. They take over what is now the TUDOR Sports Car Series paddock after the race teams leave Saturday night and fill the area in with amazing cars from classics to modern supercars. Then, just before the big race they let several of the cars do a parade lap around the Grand Prix course. I grabbed my trusty camera and filmed the cars returning from their lap and attempted to tally the total value of each vehicle driving by. By my estimate there is at least 5 million dollars worth of cars driving by in this one shot. Most of that total is made up from a pristine Ferrari Enzo, so my total may be a bit off. Watch the clip below for yourself and see if you can more accurately add up the total price tag and post it in the comments or tweet it to us at @MotorworldHype.
In the first official gallery from the Formula Drift Long Beach weekend I bring you all the fresh cars from the Fatlace Offset Kings showcase. As usual there were plenty of top notch vehicles in attendance. A few new cars made their debuts and a few familiar cars showed off a new look. A few of the cars that really captured my eyes included a Liberty Walk Ferrari 458 with BBS LM wheels (the first time I’ve ever seen BBS LMs on a Ferrari), and the latest creation from RWB, an orange creamsicle colored Porsche 993! Those cars were just the tip…of the iceberg. To see more, check out the photo gallery below!
Its been 45 years since the legend of the GT-R began, and ever since it has been coveted by speed freaks all over the world. The GT-R has seen several re-designs and each one has its own tale to tell. From the classic Hakosuka C10, to the beastly R32, to the now physics defying R35, each iteration of the GT-R remained always evolving and always drool worthy. To mark the GT-R’s 45th birthday Nissan will gifting the GT-R with a few extra ponies, leaving the MSRP alone, and gracing us with a special edition model that comes in a special gold (well technically its called Silica Brass) paint color.
The GT-R Premium and Black editions will receive an extra 50 horsepower bringing their totals to 550 while the GT-R NISMO will remain at 600 horsepower. The Premium Edition will also come with new 20 spoke aluminum RAYS wheels finished in a “near dark” color and wrapped with Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 600 run flat tires.
The 45th Anniversary Limited Edition will be based on the Premium trim but come in the Silica Brass color mentioned earlier. It will also feature a special gold colored vin number plate in the engine compartment and will also come with a commemorative plaque on the center console. The 45th Anniversary Edition will be extremely limited and “less than 30” examples will be sold in the U.S.A. which means we can likely expect magnificent mark ups from any Nissan dealership that is chosen to sell one. This also means by the time you finish reading this it will probably already be much too late to order one even if you do have the cash for it. Fortunately for me that isn’t a concern as there is no way I’d be able to afford one anyway!
For more info on the changes and prices of the 2016 GT-R and its trim models check out the press release below. For a closer look just click on any of the thumbnails!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today announced pricing for the 2016 Nissan GT-R supercar, which is on sale now at select Nissan dealers in the United States. Prices* for the three 2016 GT-R models remains unchanged from last year, despite several significant enhancements, including:
Additional five horsepower for the GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition
All-new 20-spoke wheels for the GT-R Premium
New 45th Anniversary Gold Edition, featuring a special exterior paint color
The 45th Anniversary Gold Edition, built off of the GT-R Premium model, commemorates the GT-R’s long heritage of world-class high performance. Featuring a special gold paint color, the limited edition model also includes a special gold-tone VIN plate located inside the engine compartment and a special commemorative plaque on the interior center console. The paint color itself is the same “Silica Brass” color that marked the 2001 Skyline GT-R M-Spec (R34 Type). Fewer than 30 of these special GT-Rs are slated for the United States market.
The GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition are now rated at 550 horsepower**, the result of additional fine-tuning of the advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6’s engine electronics. The power rating for the exclusive GT-R NISMO remains unchanged at 600 horsepower. Along with the 50 additional horsepower and 18 additional lb-ft of torque, the GT-R NISMO features enhanced aerodynamic features, body reinforcement and ultra-precise handling (versus the Premium and Black Edition models).
The GT-R Premium’s new 20-spoke RAYS® aluminum-alloy forged wheels with premium dark (near black) finish replace the previous 10-spoke design. The wheels are mounted with sticky nitrogen-filled Dunlop® Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT ultra high performance run-flat tires, sized 255/40ZRF20 front and 285/35ZRF20 rear.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the 2016 Nissan GT-R:
GT-R Black Edition
Destination and handling $1,595
About the 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO
Now in its second year of availability, the Nissan GT-R NISMO delivers “factory tuned” supercar dynamics with advanced aerodynamics and ultra-precise handling. It takes the “standard” GT-R to an even higher level of street-legal driving excitement.
As in its debut year, for 2016 the GT-R NISMO model is available in very limited numbers in North America. It 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 optimized aerodynamics, suspension and powertrain, creating a well-balanced machine that is at home on both the road and track***.
The 2016 GT-R NISMO’s 600-horsepower VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 is rated at 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque**. The engine’s high-flow, high-capacity turbochargers are similar to those used for GT3 racing and offer improved breathing. Optimized individual ignition timing control for each cylinder and upgraded fuel pump (versus standard models) help improve combustion.
The VR38DETT V6 is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds. The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for quick shifts. High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.
The 4-wheel independent suspension receives unique NISMO tuning, with reduced weight and additional roll stiffness. Additional adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding) helps increase body shell rigidity.
The GT-R NISMO also features a special aerodynamic body treatment designed to enhance rod holding and minimize the negative impact of drag while adding to the GT-R’s muscular appearance. The unique front bumper, engine undercover and carbon rear spoiler increase downforce, lowering the center of gravity and generating an additional 220 pounds of downforce (at 185 mph) compared to the standard GT-R models. 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 standard Nissan GT-R. Four exterior colors are available for the GT-R NISMO: Solid Red, Jet Black, Super Silver and Pearl White.
Inside, the Nissan GT-R NISMO’s racing-style RECARO® seats offer comfortable yet firm support for the driver and front passenger. NISMO racers influenced the design of the steering wheel, which is dressed in Italian-made Alcantara® with three spokes, red leather 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.
About the 2016 Nissan GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition
For 2016, the Nissan GT-R defends its position as one of the most striking supercars in the market today – with the addition of five horsepower (non-NISMO only), new 20-spoke wheels for the GT-R Premium and a limited-availability 45th Anniversary Gold Edition with special exterior paint color.
All 2016 Nissan GT-Rs are again built on an exclusive Premium Midship platform, which enables the use of the unique independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system. This system places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, optimizing weight distribution and maximizing handling capability. Total vehicle adjustability is provided by set-up switches located in the center of the instrument panel, enabling the driver to adjust transmission, shock absorbers and the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R) among three settings – Normal, Special or R.
As in previous years, the 2016 GT-R Premium and Black Edition’s 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by specially trained technicians, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. An aluminum plate is added to the front of each engine showing the name of the “Takumi” engine craftsman. The advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 is now rated at 550 horsepower. Torque remains at 463 lb-ft. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
GT-R’s interior balances functionality with a sense of ease and comfort. It features sculpted performance bucket seats for an optimal driving position and a cockpit-style instrument panel with a large center-mounted tachometer and multi-function display – which includes mechanical and driving information, as well as an on-board driving recorder. A specially designed 11-speaker Bose® sound system with speakers mounted in rigid aluminum die cast panels, which provides sound quality suitable for a supercar, is standard. The system includes a Bose® Active Noise Cancellation system (not applied to GT-R NISMO) tuned to reduce engine booming sounds. Also standard on all models is a RearView Monitor.
The 2016 GT-R again includes a choice of three interior color schemes, including a hand-stitched Premium Interior Package, offered in both Ivory and Red Amber, with semi-aniline leather appointments with hand-stitching on the front seats, along with accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel, door trim, armrests and shift knob.
The GT-R Black Edition adds special lightweight black aluminum forged RAYS® wheels, unique red and black interior, Recaro® leather-appointed seats and a unique dry carbon fiber**** rear spoiler.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
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 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold almost 5.2 million vehicles and generated revenue of 10.5 trillion yen (USD 105 billion) in fiscal 2013. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun 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 with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
Nissan has taken the GT-R AKA Godzilla racing all over the world via customer car programs and OEM-backed programs. However, the GT-R hasn’t seen much racing action stateside despite its decades of racing pedigree. It looks like that is finally going to change. Today Nissan announced that they will partner with the “Always Evolving” racing team to campaign a two car effort in the Pirelli Challenge series this year. The weapon of choice will be the new Nissan GT-R GT3 built by the mad men from Nissan’s NISMO motorsport arm.
If the name “Always Evolving” sounds familiar that is because this is the same racing team that was co-founded by Roger Rodas who unfortunately passed away in a car accident along with friend and team supporter Paul Walker. The team prides themselves on enjoying motorsport life while also giving back by contributing to several charitable organizations.
The team has tapped Bryan Heitkotter and James Davison as their drivers. Bryan was the first winner of the North American GT Academy program which was a nationwide competition among the best Gran Turismo players to graduate to a real life racing career. Since winning GT Academy Bryan raced for two years in a 370Z NISMO for Doran Racing in the Continental Tire series and raced in the Altima Program in 2014 in the Pirelli Challenge. James has a strong background in open wheel racing running Formula BMW, Star Mazda, and the Indy Lights championship. James also drove for the TRG-Aston Martin team in the IMSA series.
Sponsored by Replay XD and backed by NISMO Motorsport the team will begin their run for the Pirelli Challenge championship next month in a trail by fire at the Circuit Of The Americas. Personally, I can’t wait to see these cars in action. I especially can’t wait to see them up close at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April! For a better picture of the GT-R GT3 just click the thumbnail below. For more info the official press release is below as well.
2011 Nissan GT Academy Champion Bryan Heitkotter to pilot #05 GT-R GT3
IndyCar, Prototype and GT racer James Davison to Campaign #33 GT-R GT3
First U.S. Appearance of Nissan GT-R Built to FIA GT3 Specifications
Debuts in Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas March 6-8
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Motorsports announced today a partnership with Always Evolving (AE) to campaign two GT Academy-NISMO Nissan GT-R GT3 racing cars for the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season.
Nissan GT Academy North America 2011 winner Bryan Heitkotter will drive one of the team cars, while Australian open wheel and GT star James Davison will pilot the second car. Featuring logos from the GT Academy program, the two cars will be co-sponsored by Replay XD and NISMO.
AE will utilize AIM Autosport for much of the car preparation and on-track support during the season. ased in Los Angeles, the team was founded in March 2013 by friends Roger Rodas and Erik Davis as a platform combine their passion for cars and their desire to support their favorite charitable organizations. Following Rodas’ tragic passing in November 2013, the team has established “Racing in Honor” as their internal mission for the 2014 season in his memory. ased in Los Angeles, the team was founded in March 2013 by friends Roger Rodas and Erik Davis as a platform combine their passion for cars and their desire to support their favorite charitable organizations. Following Rodas’ tragic passing in November 2013, the team has established “Racing in Honor” as their internal mission for the 2014 season in his memory. AIM won the 2012 IMSA GTD team, driver and manufacturer championships, as well as the 2013 manufacturer title while campaigning a Ferrari.
“Nissan couldn’t be happier to have Always Evolving and AIM as Nissan’s partners to campaign the first GT3 spec GT-Rs in the U.S. in Pirelli World Challenge,” said Rick Kulach, Nissan North America Motorsports Manager. “This partnership is a great opportunity to showcase Bryan’s talents alongside James, who is a rising star in motorsports. It’s exciting to have a GT Academy champion in a great car racing at this level.”
Based in Los Angeles, Always Evolving Racing was founded in 2013 by Erik Davis and Roger Rodas to combine the friends’ passion for cars with their desire to support their favorite charities. Following a tragic automobile accident late in 2013 that took Rodas’ life, Davis elected to continue with Always Evolving in his friend’s honor.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Nissan in Pirelli World Challenge,” said Erik Davis, Chairman of AE. “Our two brands have had a distant relationship for many years, and to be able to now officially launch an effort together bringing the Nissan NISMO GT3 GT-R to North America is humbling to say the least. We look forward to showcasing the team, our drivers, the GT Academy and our sponsors in a very competitive platform.”
Heitkotter, 34, won North America’s first gamer-to-racer GT Academy competition in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 while driving a Nissan 370Z NISMO for Doran Racing, Heitkotter earned three pole positions, two second qualifying spots, four top 10 finishes and a podium. In 2014, Bryan switched to a Nissan Altima for the CA Sports team. There, he earned three podiums and four top five finishes in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car (TC) category in six events. Most recently, behind the wheel of the Doran #41 370Z NISMO, Heitkotter and GT Academy teammate Nick McMillen finished sixth overall in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Series (CTSCC) race at Daytona International Speedway in January 2015.
“I have been watching the Pirelli World Challenge gain momentum over the past couple years, and I’m absolutely thrilled to help represent Nissan in this highly competitive series,” said Heitkotter. “The GT-R has proven to be a spectacular racing car, and I can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish together.”
Davison, 28, was born in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the United States when he was 18 years of age to develop his skills in open wheel racing. His career highlights include a 2005 victory in Formula BMW at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a runner-up finish in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship, and second spot in the 2009 Indy Lights Championship. Davison ran up front during the 2014 Indianapolis 500 driving for Always Evolving KV Racing Technology, finishing the race in 16th position. In his limited time in sports cars he has always been at the front, driving for the TRG-Aston Martin team in IMSA competition. Davison has recorded five consecutive poles in IMSA including pole position at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We have great confidence in Erik (Davis)’s vision and ability to campaign a competitive car at a high level every race,” added Kulach. “James Davison is not only a talented young race driver, but he’s also a great sportsman and will be an outstanding representative for the Nissan brand.”
The first Pirelli World Challenge Race for 2015 will be at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas March 6-8. Television broadcast times have not yet been announced and the series will be webcast via www.world-challengetv.com.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
About Always Evolving
Always Evolving is an integrated media and technology company with a diversified portfolio of software and hardware assets. The company recently acquired the Replay XD action camera system and is hard at work making sure more consumers, athletes and video producers love its cameras and video-based experiences. Based in San Francisco, California, Always Evolving’s products and services are quickly becoming the only choice for action camera, drone and POV camera buyers and video producers everywhere.
About AIM Autosport
Established in 1995, AIM Autosport is a Canadian sports team operating multi-car teams in professional sportscar racing. AIM’s success has been achieved through the dedication of its employees and the continuous support of the team’s commercial and technical partners. Away from the track, AIM Autosport serves the needs of the racing community with a purpose-built preparation shop situated in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, Ontario.
About Nissan GT Academy
GT Academy is a competition created by Nissan and PlayStation® that unites the worlds of virtual and real-life racing to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers become a reality. The competition, which originally launched in Europe in 2008, finds the best Gran Turismo® players from across the participating countries by testing their skills in an online gaming qualification process. They will then compete against each other in live National Finals before the winners from each final switch to driving real Nissan cars at the now-famous Silverstone “Race Camp.”
The overall winner of GT Academy is then trained in the multiple areas required to become a professional racing driver, if the winner makes the grade they will compete in the Dubai 24 Hour race for Nissan and have the chance to be considered for a future career with Nissan as a “NISMO Athlete.”
Its that time of the year again! The big came has come and gone and the internet is buzzing with the usual post-superbowl stories: the game (what the flipping pancakes were you thinkin’ Pete Carroll!?!?!) , the half time show (how ’bout that gold lion and dancing sharks?), and of course the commercials. Now, there was obviously a ton of commercials but here we only care about ads of the automotive variety. With that filter in place it narrows things down to 11 ads this year which is about two more than last year. What does that mean? Not much really as some of the contenders had more than one spot. For example Toyota ran two different spots for the new Camry while Lexus ran a spot for their new NX SUV and for the new RC 350 coupe. As you may or may not remember it was the Chevrolet spot “Life” which won first place last year because of its powerful emotional message. All the other OEMs must’ve taken notes because many of this year’s spots were attempts to pull at the heart strings. Some worked some didn’t.
So, which spots made it to our fresh three this year? Let’s find out!
Third Place: “How Great I Am” – Toyota
Its hard to argue with a commercial with its main theme being the spirit of human perseverance. This spot gives the audience a glimpse at the life of world class snowboarder Amy Purdy, a double amputee who refuses to let something like losing her legs stop her from doing what she wants to do while being completely awesome at it. All of this is shown over the famous Muhammad Ali speech “How Great I Am”. Its hard to go wrong with butt kicking women and Muhammad Ali so with that Toyota makes it into the Fresh Three.
Second Place: “Wisdom” – Dodge
Some of the best car commercials actually don’t seem to be car-centric at first and then they find a way to tie their theme together with the brand message and it turns out awesome. That is exactly what happened in Dodge’s “Wisdom” spot. It starts with Centenarians (people who are 100 years old or older) imparting gentle words of well, wisdom. At first things are sweet and heart felt with suggestions like “live for now” and “always tell the truth”. Then things get edgy as Dorothy Titleman (Born 1914) recommends to “keep your eyes open and sometimes your mouth shut!” Que the guitar riffs, Dodge Challenger burn outs, and it only gets better from there!
First Place: “With Dad” – Nissan
Congratulations Nissan! Your “With Dad” spot is officially our pick for the best car commercial of Super Bowl XLIX and the winner of Hype Bowl 2015! “With Dad” tells the story of a father who works as a journeyman racer for Nissan. He works his way up the motorsports ladder and has success, but the constant time away from his young son takes its toll on him and his family but he pushes on to continue supporting his wife and son. It’s a bit cheesy and a bit unrealistic but it still manages to hit all the right emotional buttons while showcasing excellently filmed cinematic racing with cars like the 370Z and GT-R. Then it earned a ton of bonus points by debuting Nissan’s new GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 race car AND the next Nissan Maxima. All in all its an emotional commercial that is still manages to add action, and Easter eggs for enthusiasts. More than enough to be worthy of the title!
Honorable mentions (just click the titles in the red text to be taken to the commercials)
“My Bold Dad” – Toyota. Another father-themed commercial, this Camry spot by Toyota is more of a tear-jerker than Nissan’s spot but without being sappy. This one will get you, especially if you have a daughter!
“Lets Play” – Lexus. This is one of the first official commercials for the new Lexus RC 350 coupe. Its very simple but does a great job of getting its point across in a fun and creative way featuring some stunt driving in an RC car (as in Radio Control) and in a “RC” car as in Lexus RC thanks to Sam Hubinette. The odd thing is this commercial isn’t listed as a “Super Bowl” commercial even though it aired during the game while the other Lexus commercial (for the NX SUV) is. We think that was a big mistake on Lexus’ part. They definitely should have led with this!
“The Perfect Getaway” – Kia. This spot for the Kia Sorrento starts off a bit slow but builds up to some decent laughs as ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan gets pitched to star in a Kia commercial that seems mundane at first but ends in “fireworks.” Watch it and you’ll see what we mean.
Well, that does it! Those are our favorite commercials of the Super Bowl. You may notice that none of the European brands made it to the list. Unfortunately, didn’t really bring it as well as they have in the past. Some were no-shows all together like crowd favorites Audi and VW. Mercedes and BMW showed up to the party, but unfortunately they ended up being the weird guy at the party that you wish you didn’t start a conversation with. You will see what we mean when you see our post for the worst ads! Stay tuned!