Japan

Japan

We are still waiting to see the official details on the production version of the Subaru BRZ , but Subaru isn’t wasting any time preparing the sports coupe’s future plans. The first thing on their agenda, of course, will be to make sure the BRZ is successful, but next on their list is plans to sign the BRZ up for next year’s Super GT Championship in Japan.

The Japanese Super GT series is known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (or JGTC) and is a competition recognized by the FIA. The event usually takes place at race tracks such as the Twin Ring Motegi, Fuji Speedway, and Suzuka Circuit.

Subaru has announced that its BRZ entrant will be in the GT300 class - an obvious choice considering the BRZ is slotted for a 300 HP 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine anyway. This may mean that the BRZ will most likely be replacing the current STI Legacy B4 in the race.

More details about this event will be announced at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon where Subaru will also be bringing the production BRZ. Stay tuned!

Over in Japan, a new tuning company is breaking into the auto tuning scene and they’ve prepared a nice program for the Lamborghini Gallardo as their very first project.

The tuning company is called BenSopra and they’ve only been open for a few months. Ever mindful of the fierce competition within the industry, the Japanese tuning company wanted their first project to be something people would remember - even if the whole program isn’t so much about over-the-top craziness as it is about subtle styling cues that add an element of sublime exclusivity to the Italian supercar.

The whole aerodynamic program consists of an overhauled front bumper profile, as well as the addition of a new rear diffuser and a new rear wing. These parts, combined with the touches of Italian flair Lambos are known for, makes for a very interesting look to the Gallardo .

Add that to the car’s already mighty powertrain - a 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces 560 horsepower - and you have a package that certainly does justice to BenSopra’s introduction to the auto aftermarket scene.

The Mazda RX-8 is set to run off into the sunset in a year’s time, but for one of Mazda’s most popular models, the inevitable end only means being given a proper swan song before officially saying goodbye.

Before the curtain drops on the RX-8 next summer, Mazda is preparing one final special edition model called the Spirit R. The car will be based on the manual version RX-8 Type RS and the automatic Type E and will be limited to only 1,000 units.

The two model variants of the RX-8 Spirit R will carry distinct styling features, including unique badges, fog lights and rear combination lights decked with black bezels, red painted brake calipers, a piano-black trim for the transmission tunnel, and a choice of three exterior paint finishes: Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, and Crystal White Pearl Mica.

On top of that, each model will have their own features. For the RX-8 Type RS trim, the added goodies include Recaro bucket seats and a special set of 19" bronze alloy wheels. For the RX-8 Type E trim, the changes include a black leather treatment on the interior with contrasting red stitching, a new sports suspension, larger brakes, and a set of 18" alloy in gun metallic finish wrapped in 225/45R18 91W tires.

The special edition RX-8 will drop in dealerships beginning November 24, 2011. So if you’re a fan of the RX-8 and you want to give it the send-off it deserves, here’s your chance to prove it.

UPDATE 05/02/12: Initially limited to only 1,000 units, the growing demand for the RX-8 Spirit has prompted Mazda to extend production of the special edition RX-8, adding another 1,000 models in the pipeline, thereby doubling the total number of this model to 2,000 units. So if you missed out on the first 1K, be happy that you get another shot of getting your very own RX-8 Spirit.

Ayrton Senna, Suzuka qualifying 1989 from Ian Anderson on Vimeo.

Automotive fanatic or not, there is no one in this world that hasn’t heard the name Ayrton Senna. He is considered by many as the greatest Formula 1 driver ever. He entered Formula 1 in 1984 and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions.

In 1989, when he raced at Suzuka, he was driving for McLaren. At the Suzuka Circuit in Japan that year, he had a little collision with Prost - also working for McLaren. After the collision, Senna pitted to replace the damaged nose of his car, and rejoined the race in which he inevitably ended up crossing the finish line in first place. Unfortunately, he was disqualified by the FIA for cutting the chicane after the collision and for crossing into the pit lane entry. Senna’s disqualification caused Prost to be given the win. Senna finished the season second with six wins and one second place.

See it all unravel in the video provided.

BMW has always had a good following in Japan, so much so that they’ve actually had a presence in the country for 30 years now.

To celebrate the German brand’s 30th anniversary in the Land of the Rising Sun, BMW has unveiled a special edition 5-Series F10 for the occasion. The car is called the 528i ’30th Anniversary Edition’, and as its name obviously suggests, it’s a limited run model that commemorates BMW’s 30-year presence in Japan.

The 528i 20th Anniversary Edition is limited to only 200 units and will come with special styling elements to justify its ’SE’ tag, including a Deep Sea Blue Metallic finish, a BMW Individual aluminum window trim, Veneto Beige dakota leather, Satin Walnut Wood Fine Honey Brown Individual trim, door sill plates engraved with the 30th anniversary logo, a head-up display, and a premium audio system.

As for the powertrain, the car will carry BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine, one that produces an output of 258 horsepower.

In the off-chance that you’re in Japan while reading this, the cost of owning one of the 200 models of the 528i "30th Anniversary Edition" is 7.9 million Yen, which is around $103,400 based on current exchange rates.

The bullet with wheels pictured above isn’t exactly a production ready model, but thanks to the work of Toyota Industries Corp., the KU:RIN - Japanese for "air" and "wheel," is complete enough to achieve a compressed air top speed of 80.3 mph. Being a record worthy number, Toyota says they plan on submitting these results to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The long and slender KU:RIN is 3.5 meters long and only 0.8 meters wide. This three-wheeled compressed air-powered vehicle is designed in such of manner that, instead of using mechanical power to compress air, it generates mechanical energy from the expansion of the compressed air. The compressed air acts as energy storage, playing the same role of a battery pack in an electric vehicle. The record top speed is an incredible feat, but the problem with the KU:RIN is that it can run only 1.98 miles between charges. Not exactly a number that anyone would be comfortable with.

The new record set was achieved at the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) test facility at Shirosato, Ibaraki Prefecture on September 9th.

Toray Industries is a multi-national company based in Japan that is considered as one of the foremost carbon fiber makers in the world. With all the resources it has on tap, Toray is venturing into the world of automotive building with the help of renowned auto designer, Gordon Murray.

Their first project, a two-seat electric concept, is called the TeeWave AR1 Concept and it has got enough carbon fiber to last multiple lifetimes. That’s hardly surprising, either, considering that they have all the carbon fiber they need at their disposal. Almost every panel of the car is made from carbon fiber, reducing the body’s weight to just 846 kg (1865 lbs) while also making it roughly ten times stronger than reinforced steel. By comparison, the Tesla Roadster weighs 1,220 kg (2689 lbs), 44% heavier than the AR1 Concept.

According to Toray, the TeeWave AR1 can reach a top speed of 91 mph with a range that hits 115 miles. The extensive use of carbon fiber on the AR1 Concept allows it to be as light as it is, but the cache to all that is the tremendous cost that comes with building just a prototype. Word has it that one prototype of the carbon fiber-decked AR1 Concept comes with a price of $3.88 million, a number that’s ridiculously expensive even by the standards of the most exotic of supercars.

That’s not to say that there’s no future for the AR1 Concept past the prototype phase, but the whole point for Toray has always been to introduce the prevalent use of carbon fiber, not just on high-priced exotics, but on everyday vehicles as well.

Hit the jump to see a video of the TeeWave AR1 Concept during its debut at the 2011 Toray Advanced Materials Exhibition.

Japanese tuning company, Liberty Walk Performance, is a household name in the Japanese tuning scene. With their works finding their way on the Web, these guys are well on their way to being recognized the world over as a pretty bad ass company.

Known for their works on exotic supercars, LWP has come out with a new kit for the Lamborghini Murcielago called the ’LB-R Zero Fighter’. The styling kit features a new paint scheme that was inspired by Zero Fighter planes from World War II. The military theme of the whole LB Performance Type 2 body kit also features camouflage-themed seats on the interior with the calipers given the same treatment. In addition to that, the car also comes with a set of Werfen GT-04 wheels with similar camo pattern barrels.

As far as performance upgrades go, LWP left the supercar’s powertrain untouched, opting to keep the Murcielago’s 6.5-liter V12 engine the same. Can’t say we blame them, considering that on its own, the supercar is already capable of producing 631 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 487 lb/ft at 6000 rpm.

With most programs for the Murcielago, LWP’s project is a unique military take on a modern-day exotic that figures to get much more attention than a stock Murcielago ever could.

Honda has launched a special edition CR-Z "α · Black label (Alpha Black Label)" on the Japanese market. This model comes equipped with alloy wheels and a black interior, among other improvements. It will be offered in seven different exterior colors and will be priced from 2,510,000 yen or about $32,000 at the current exchange rates.

Honda has opted for a black interior in order to create a sense of deep calm and advanced quality black-themed coordination (front seats, door linings, meter visor and the shift boot). The model is also equipped with 16" lightweight aluminum-coated wheels painted in metallic pewter gray.

Nothing has changed under the hood so the hybrid CR-Z will still come with an IMA hybrid system made up of a 1.5 Liter gas burning engine combined with an electric motor. The electric motor provides an additional 14 HP for a grand total of 124 HP and 131 lb-ft of torque.

See the look on that guy’s face? He should be ecstatic considering that he just became the very first owner of the Ferrari FF in Japan.

The event for the charity auction was set at the Italian embassy in Tokyo and was intended to raise money for Ishinomaki, a city that was completely devastated by the earthquake that rocked Japan earlier this year. Together with the charity auction, the event also celebrated Ferrari’s 35th anniversary in the Land of the Rising Sun with the prized catch being the very first Ferrari Four to be sold in the Japanese market.

After a feverish bidding session, the Ferrari supercar was won by Masaharu Seno, an architect from Tokyo who paid a little under half-a-million Euros for the chance to become the envy of just about every Japanese fan of the Italian automaker. The proceeds from the charity will be used by Ferrari to build a school in Ishinomaki for all the students affected by the devastating earthquake.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, the Ferrari FF is powered by a 6.3-liter direct-injection engine that produces 660 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 504 lb/ft of torque at 6,000 rpm with a 0-62 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph. Now you know why Mr. Seno was all too excited to pose with Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo and his brand-new Ferrari FF supercar.

Source: Ferrari

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