Japan

Japan

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

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

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