Japan

Japan

Japanese tuning firm Abflug will have quite the presence at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon. We’ve already seen its plans for the Toyota GT86 , the Nissan GT-R, and the Lamborghini Murcielago.

For its fourth act, Abflug is taking a German route by building a program for the Mercedes SL-Class R230 . Calling it the "Platinum" program, Abflug’s lineup of modifications for the previous generation SL-Class comes with aesthetic, aerodynamic and handling upgrades. No surprises there, considering that it’s always been one of the best in Japan at offering this aftermarket trifecta.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any performance mods, which is a bummer, but the sports car is still good for up to 316 horsepower. That’s plenty enough for us. Plus, the body kit it flat out wicked, so it’s worth it.

Beginning with the Platinum Aero kit, Abflug was able to install a slew of new components on the SL-Class, including a new front bumper, a cooling hood, a front over fender and aggressive side skirts. The door panels are also new, as is the rear bumper, rear upper spoiler, the rear over fender and the rear diffuser. Rounding out the exterior mods is a set of 20-inch Abflug Prism III wheels wrapped in Falken tires. No mention of interior enhancements, so don’t expect anything out-of-the-ordinary when you get inside.

Just so Abflug didn’t leave anything on the table, the Japanese tuning firm also put in some time improving the car’s shocks, and springs through a tie-up with European Taste. Also added in is an upgraded braking system from DIXCEL.

Long before the Nissan GT-R wreaked havoc on the roads and earned its nickname, Godzilla, its predecessor was considered one of the most important cars in Nissan’s history. It was one that paved the way for a generation of drivers to, in their own words, "chooses the path of racing.”

Ever since the Skyline and the GT-R names were split, which led to the complete disappearance of the former in favor of the latter, not a lot of people have given the Nissan Skyline its due credit as one of the fiercest cars in the 1960’s.

In this video, we take a stroll down memory lane to reacquaint ourselves with how the legend of the Skyline was born all the way back to the 1964 Suzuka Grand Prix. This is where the earliest models of the Skyline, then a relative unknown model built by Prince Motor Company, took the fight to the most supreme machine of them all, the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS.

No, the Skyline didn’t win that particular race, but what it did was serve notice to just about everyone that this was a car that meant serious business.

We’re not gonna spoil you any more info from the mini-documentary because no amount of words will do justice to seeing the video for yourself.

Source: Nissan

Subaru has announced the limited edition 2.5i EyeSight tS. It will be limited to only 300 units and, despite its fancy name, is just a Legacy that is specially customized by STI (Subaru Tecnica International). In Japan, the model is priced at 3,528,000 or about $45,000 at the current exchange rates and will be offered in both sedan and wagon versions.

The model is being offered with special STI front and rear bumpers, a roof spoiler, “STI” and "tS" badges, honeycomb upper and lower grilles, and chrome exhaust tips. The car sits on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels combined with an STI-tuned suspension.

Inside the cabin, STI adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red contrast stitching, sports seats covered in Alcantara, a "Nick Toro" gear lever and an STI “Start” button. The interior can be ordered in either a black or a titanium gray trim and offers a revised instrument panel with a 260 km/h (161 mph) speedometer.

Under the hood you will find a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that delivers a total of 173 horsepower and mated to a continuously variable transmission and an all-wheel drive system.

The Japanese drift scene is one of the more mysterious yet fascinating things about the entire industry. The cars are insane, they’re customized to the hilt, and best of all, they attract some of the finest looking hotties in the country.

Kendra Messer is by no means Japanese, although she looks perfectly at home with all those Japanese drift cars. No, we’re not just talking about her looks; this lady is also a bonafide car enthusiast and a recognized racer and drifter.

Talk about the ultimate babe, right?

Photographer Nino Batista was able to capture the essence of what makes Messer such an attractive lady. Lingerie with Japanese drift cars? Yeah, that just about sums it up for us.

Nino put her next to a series of Japanese sports cars usually used for racing and drifting. Kendra, to her credit, has pulled off some sexy poses to go with those sports cars, and trust us, it’s a gallery that’s worth checking out.

Hop on over then to the gallery and look at how Nino Batista pulled off photography awesomeness yet again.

Source: Nino Batista

In the land where the Transformers were born - no, we’re not talking about Cybertron - a new robot franchise is set to be born and it’s serving notice to everyone that they’ve got the perfect car-to-robot set-up that could potentially replace Optimus Prime and company.

It’s called Chō Soku Henkei Gyrozetter - no idea what that means - and the early renderings of the characters show some definite promise, particularly the licensed vehicles that are expected to be part of the franchise. Check out the photos and you’ll see that there’s a Toyota GT 86 , a Mazda RX-8 , a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO , and the Godzilla itself, the Nissan GT-R.

Created by Square Enix, the people behind the Final Fantasy video game franchise, Chō Soku Henkei Gyrozetter was first launched recently as an arcade game with an animated film version set to be released later this year.

No word on yet on whether this new animated franchise will head outside Japan, but from the looks of things, we’re expecting a lot based on what we’ve already seen.

One of the many advantages of being in Toyota’s home country of Japan are the number of models the automaker builds exclusively to their homeland. The Toyota Mark X, which we first saw in concept guise a few years ago, is one of them.

Unlike any model Toyota produces for the international market, the Mark X is exclusive to the Japanese market. More importantly, the 2013 model of the car gets a facelift, making it even more distinguishable than its past incarnations.

For one, the front grille of the car is probably the only one amongst Toyota’s many models to have a huge "X" adorning it. In addition, the car also gets LED infused headlights, bulging fenders, a trunk-mounted rear spoiler, and wraparound taillights that resemble the Toyota Camry . Inside, the Mark X also gets plenty of new equipment and features, particularly the higher trim Premium and 350 G’s models that both have leather upholstery, heated front seats, stainless steel door sill plates, and a comprehensive infotainment system that includes GPS navigation, a TV tuner, and 12 speakers.

As far as performance goes, the Mark X comes with two powertrain options with the first being a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 179 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine is also being offered with 314 horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque.

In case you’re interested - and you live in Japan - the 2013 Mark X retails for 2.4 million yen, which is around $30,500 based on current exchange rates.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

The Lexus LFA is unquestionably one of the best-sounding exotic sports cars currently on the market. Its 552 horsepower, 4.8-liter V10 engine delivers an incredible howl unmatched by any of its competitors and the following video helps to demonstrate just how incredible the LFA sounds. Oh yeah, and it also appears to be quite tail-happy too.

Captured at an exclusive Lexus Spindle Night in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan, three LFAs, including the uber-exclusive LFA Nurburgring Edition were brought together into an outdoor arena to perform what only can be described as a lovely Japanese ballet.

After all, drifting is arguably the largest and most internationally-recognized sport to have ever come out of the Land of the Samurai, and this video helps to demonstrate just how happy the Japanese are to test the true performance capabilities of every car out there.

Check out the video above and keep the following performance stats in mind. As mentioned, the LFA’s 4.8-liter V10 engine pumps out a Lamborghini Gallardo -equalling 552hp at an incredible 8,800 rpm at 354 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm. Most impressively however, is the fact that 90 percent of that torque is available between 3,700 rpm and the car’s 9,000 rpm redline!

So, Toyota is ready to present their GT-86 endurance race car ? Subaru isn’t sweating that one out because they themselves have a racer up their sleeves.

The Subaru BRZ , the GT 86’s sister from another mister, is getting a race-spec version, except that instead of it hitting the endurance block, it’s being primed for the rally scene.

The car, which is being called the BRZ "Zero Car" or "Opening Car," actually made its debut at the 2012 Japan Rally Championship on July 28th and 29th as a race-livered sports car that has been customized for rally use. It has a number of new features, including a front chin spoiler and a rear wing, as well as a new set of white-finished alloy wheels.

Further details about the car are expected to be revealed by the Japanese automaker in the coming days. What we do know is that, judging by the photo Subaru dropped on us over the weekend, the BRZ "Zero" is looking like it has a future in the rally scene, not just in Japan, but everywhere else as well.

The Toyota iQ, which us in the States know as a Scion iQ , is never mistaken for a speedster or a sports car. However, weighing in at only 990 kg (2,182 lbs) means that it doesn’t take too much power to make it quick. The folks at GAZOO Racing decided to see what happens when they toss a supercharger on a Toyota iQ with the optional 1.33-liter engine.

The end result is a super-lightweight car that pumps out an impressive 122 PS (120 horsepower) at 5,200 rpm and 174 Nm (128 pound-feet) of torque at 4,800 rpm in a compact package. This means that the supercharger added a full 28 PS (27 horsepower) and 56 Nm (41 pound-feet) of torque. GAZOO Racing is building a very limited number of these iQs – 100 to be exact – and they have dubbed this machine the Toyota iQ GRMN Supercharger.

In addition to a supercharger, GAZOO Racing included an updated suspension and transmission. Also added in were 4-wheel disc brakes, allowing its driver to bring this micro-machine to a halt quickly.

The Toyota iQ GRM Supercharger retails at 3,550,000 Japanese Yen, which is $45,367 at the current exchange rates. That’s a full $27,332 more than the base-level Scion iQ, which is quite a price hike.

The 100 units are already sold out, so if you are looking to snag one of these iQ GRMN Superchargers, you’re going to have to check out the used car market and hope you’re lucky enough to find one.

Mitsubishi has been out of the luxury sedan market for what seems like ages, but in reality it’s just about a decade. Thanks to the Japanese automaker’s relationship with Nissan , Mitsu is diving back into the luxury sedan market, as it will use the Infiniti M35hL LWB to make a luxury sedan of its own.

According to reports, the exterior of the Mitsubishi variant of the M35hL LWB will remain very similar to the Infiniti model it is based upon. The key differences between the Infiniti model and the Mitsubishi model will be the elimination of the Infiniti waterfall grille, swapping out the front bumper for a slightly revised one and replacing the Infiniti badges for Mitsubishi ones, of course.

Being based on the M35hL LWB, this new Mitsubishi Dignity will boast the same hybrid 3.5-liter V-6 drivetrain that the Infiniti has, which boasts an impressive 359 horsepower, but a slightly disappointing 199 pound-feet of torque. The base price tag of ¥8,400,000 ($105,500) is also quite the deterrent, but 30-plus mpg on the highway is definitely a draw.

In addition, if you are in the U.S. and want to snag up this upcoming model, you can pretty much forget about it. Mitsubishi Mitsubishi is only offering this model in Japan. We would suspect that if this model performs well in the Japanese market, Mitsubishi would certainly release it in the U.S.

For now, the details on the Dignity are still a little scarce, so this is all we have to pass on for now. As more information becomes available we will pass it on.


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