40 years after Mazda first introduced its then innovative new rotary engine power source, the Japanese automaker is looking into breaking new ground with their latest powertrain system.

According to Autocar, the next-generation engine, codenamed the ‘16X Renesis’, has been in development since 2007, but it was only recently that a new wrinkle was divulged about this new powertrain. Instead of the long-held practice of using traditional spark plugs to ignite the engine, Mazda is looking into using laser beams to serve the purpose of igniting the fuel and air mixture inside the engine.

With the increasing advancements being made in the country on the controlled use of high-powered lasers, Mazda is looking into tapping into this new breakthrough by using these ceramic-made lasers. These lasers measure only 9 mm in diameter and 11 mm in length, measurements that can easily fit into a car engine and take up less space than the space-mongering spark plug.

While full-scale testing on this new system is still far from finished, the belief is that by using lasers instead of spark plugs, the engine would be able to run leaner and control the timing of the engine’s ignition. This, in turn, could dramatically cut down on emissions and, thus, improve the car’s fuel economy.

Full story after the jump.

Source: Autocar

The words ’average’ and ’supercomputer’ don’t belong in the same sentence, but when you’re referring to the Fujitsu K against every other supercomputer in the world, average is an overstatement.

The ’K’, as it is colloquially known in geek-dom, is the Fujitsu supercomputer that is the fastest of its kind in the world. And by fast, we mean really fast.

How fast, exactly?

Well, consider that the ’K’ stands for the Japanese word “Kei,” which translates to 10 quadrillion, the goal for the number of calculations the supercomputer can perform - per second. While Fujitsu hasn’t reached its target speed yet, it’s reached 82% of its goal, capable of processing 8.2-quadrillion calculations per second. That’s more powerful than the capabilities of the next five supercomputers in the world. Combined.

The Fujitsu K is so powerful that even the second-place finisher, China’s Tianhe-1A, can only produce one-third the output of the Mighty K. The new list, which was only announced recently, makes the Fujitsu K the first Japanese-built supercomputer to sit at the head of the Top 500 supercomputer list.

But despite the success and recognition this supercomputer is receiving, Fujitsu is far from satisfied. After all, the target is 10 quadrillion calculations per second. So plans are currently underway to add 100,000 cores to the Fujitsu K’s growing number of cores that currently sits at 548,352. Insane is an understatement, dear friends. A damn understatement. More power for the most powerful. If we didn’t know any better, that’s a recipe for Armaggedon.

Just like everything else, the history of drifting has spurned many different versions, some more likely than the other. Pinpointing exactly where it began is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, especially when you consider that, technically, the technique of drifting has been around since about the mid-1950s.

What we do know about its origin is that the Japanese played a very important role in ushering the technique’s popularity, so much so that it has become one of the most popular forms of automotive competition. Unlike other forms of ’racing’, drifting is different in that it’s not so much about who comes in first as it is about who can smoke their tires the most.

In a drifting competition, the most important things are line, angle, speed, and show factor. For the uninitiated, the line is pre-determined by judges before a competition with the drifters scoring points based on whether they take the correct line. The angle is the angle a car takes during a drift. The speed is determined by the speed of the car as it enters a turn, the speed through a turn, and the speed exiting the turn. Needless to say, as with any other competition involving high-powered cars, the faster a car goes around a turn, the rosier he smells in front of the judges. Then there’s the show factor, which, in essence, is arguably the most important part of drifting. This involves, among other things, the amount of smoke the tires burn, how a car navigates around a track in the most daredevil of ways, and how the crowd reacts to the driver’s performance.

That being said, from all that we know and enjoy about drifting these days, it’s equally important for us to learn about how this sport came to be. From humble beginnings in the Land of the Rising Sun to the worldwide phenomenon that it is today, drifting has become a popular sport for millions of fans who take great satisfaction in watching smoke come out of tires.

Head past the jump to find out more about the history of drifting.

Japan has had more than its fair share of natural disasters over the years, with scientists predicting that a "big" quake was bound to hit some time soon. That being said, no one could predict the massive 8.9 magnitude quake followed by the tsunami that recently struck the country. The footage was a sight that was horrifying to watch, but even more so to live through. Japanese companies are still struggling to regain their balance, but 3D Design is out to prove that the country will not just sit back and allow negative things to happen to them. They are out to make positive things happen for themselves. This realization is what made 3D Design, along with a number of Japanese and US tuning firms, create the BMW Z4 tuning package that illustrates that hope and determination.

The BMW Z4 by 3D Design by a number of players who contributed the many different elements of the vehicle. The overall design theme was worked on by WSTO and IND with 18" wheels from BBS inspired by the BMW’s M3 GT4 program and wrapped around Yokohama tires, size 235/40/18 front and 255/35/18 rear. The exterior of the vehicle is transformed by 3D Design’s own aggressive, full carbon fiber aerodynamic package.

The inner workings of the vehicle were also changed with an upgraded turbo kit from ESS, a KW variant suspension system, and a handbuilt exhaust system from Eisenmann. Other features include a Dinan camber plate, an upgraded brake package from Brembo, and a gauge package from Stack.

The most inspirational aspect of the vehicle is emblazoned on the passenger side of the BMW Z4 : "Don’t give up, Tohoku." I think it is clear that no one is giving up. In fact, they will end up being stronger than ever.

The 2011 Toyko Auto Salon was held back in January and somehow this doozy of a car slipped through the cracks. Built off of a 2000 Nissan Silvia, the Lightning Strikes Racing Edition gets taken to a much better place with a bright blue exterior paint job, a monstrous power upgrade, and a spectacular widebody kit.

The original Nissan Silvia was powered by an SR20DET engine prepped with an output of 250 HP. Once JUM Lightning popped the hood and worked their magic, that same engine was able to produce 180 HP more, leaving the grand total at 430 HP at 7000 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 5800 rpm! Finishing the engine work is a 6speed gearbox from Nismo GT-LSD.

As for the exterior, JUM Lightning matched the aggressiveness of the engine with a full on widebody kit and an Aragosta Suspension System that was specifically tuned for the FUJI Speedway. The kit is made from dry carbon fiber to support large forces and includes a front bumper, side bumper, a flow rate mounted on the bonnet, and a new set of wheels. Final touches comes as a full titan exhaust manifold, Sparco seats, and Brembo brakes.

There are a lot of things in life that can be counted as daring exploits. This, however, isn’t one of them.

A nutjob fan attending a Red Bull sponsored exhibition event in Japan decided that it would be a good idea to jump over a moving Red Bull F1 car, proving that idiocy can always get you your 15 seconds of fame, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

As Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, Sebastian Buemi, was driving the Red Bull showcar back to the pits at a reasonably slow 30 mph, the fan jumped from nowhere and proceeded to clear - or at least attempt to - the moving F1 car. Unfortunately, even his best high-jump impersonation was not, ahem, high enough and his legs just ended up clipping the top of Buemi’s race car.

Despite his random act of lunacy, the fan suffered no serious injuries, but as the video evidently shows, his stunt will now go down in You Tube infamy as one of the dumbest things anybody could do to get some attention.

Source: You Tube

For all intents and purpose, this full body kit for the Nissan 350Z looks pretty cool, although there might be a little confusion on the front bumper. Anyone else think it looks remarkably similar to the Mansory Porsche Panamera ? We don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but we’re prepared to let it pass.

The work on this 350Z was done by WEBER Sports, which introduced the car at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year. It’s chalked loaded with a full body kit that includes the aforementioned front bumper, a new bonnet with air ducts, side sills, a rear wing, a rear bumper, an under duct center, and plenty of carbon fiber components to go around.

All things considered, the whole kit looks awesome on the 350Z, arguably one of the most underrated Japanese sports cars in recent time. While there are some items that leave a lot to be desired - the front bumper being one of them - the overall treatment given by WEBER Sports on the sports car makes it an eye-catching piece of metal orange fire ball.

Once upon a time, Japanese tuner 3D Design took the task of giving the current generation BMW F10 5-Series a pretty swell aerodynamic package, one that featured a redesigned front lip, rear diffuser, rear wing, and roof wing.

Not one to leave the F10 hanging, 3D Design gave the M-Sport package of the new 5-Series its own aerodynamic upgrades. With the F10 M-Sport featuring a sportier overall profile than its 5-Series counterpart, including a new front and rear bumper, it wasn’t difficult for 3D Design to come out with a body kit that adds more appeal to the beastly sports car, including a two-piece carbon front lip and a rear diffuser that was combined with the M-Sport bumper which comes with its own carbon fiber replacement piece,

The price for the front lip costs $1,038 with the additional carbon pieces fetching $687 for the pair. Meanwhile, 3D Design has priced the rear diffuser at $1,400. They are not exactly over-the-top additions to the M Sport package, but who says tuning projects have to be extravagant all of the time?

There’s no shortage of tuning firms that work on wide-body aerodynamic kits for Mercedes vehicles. Whether it’s a renowned firm like Brabus or just a local custom company in your town, you’re going to inevitably find someone that can offer you these packages.

Over in Osaka, Japan, a shop called Pole Position Tuning recently released their aerodynamic kits for two Mercedes models, the CLS-Class and the SL Class . Judging by the photos of these two kitted out Mercs, the folks over at PPT have definitely shown some promise with their packages.

The Mercedes CLS-Class was given a wide-body kit, a lower stance, and a set of custom wheels. The wheels look massive, and the tires practically look non-existent when tucked in the wheel arch, making it seem as if driving the Mercedes will give way to some metal to metal action. On top of that, there’s also a pretty intimidating rear wing that, if you ask us, doesn’t really suit the luxury styling of the CLS. The wide-body kit, the lowered stance, and the custom wheels all look good on the car, but that rear wing, especially those aluminum wing mounts, does very little to give the car’s overall luxury appearance some justice.

Hit the jump to see what Pole Position Tuning did with the SL 65 AMG.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the Lexus LF-A in varying shapes and colors, drooling over these Japanese supercars every chance we find. All that time, however, the LF-A was nothing more than just a prototype because the production version wasn’t even being built yet.

All that changed on December 15th of last year when Lexus officially began production of the LF-A at the Motomachi production plant in Japan. A little over a month later, the first-ever production model – a bright orange version similar to the Nurburgring Package - of the LF-A was rolled out of the production block.

The work on the car is done by 170 people all of which have a specific role in the build of the Japanese supercar. Among them include specialists that only handle the carbon fiber components found in the car. In addition to that, the building of the LF-A and all the subsequent procedures done on each car are recorded and kept on journals, with each of these journals estimated to be 3,500 pages long.

We can’t blame Lexus for being this meticulous when it comes to building their maiden supercar. It took them a few years and a number of prototypes to get to this point, so we understand why they’re being very detail-oriented with the Lexus LF-A.

$375,000 a car will do that to you.

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