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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 12 2013, 1:01 PM

10. Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ


Like the 2012 SEMA Show in America, the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon was packed with Toyota and Subaru’s latest sports car. But that’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of other attractions on the Makuhari Messe Convention Center show floor. 

Coming in 10th on our list of Top 10 Cars of the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon is the Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ. Perhaps what the CR-Z should have been from the factory, minus the rear spoiler, the Mugen RZ is a supercharged hybrid powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder with 153 hp. Five-away adjustable coilovers give the CR-Z the sporty handling it deserves, while the body styling gives the CR-Z a much more attractive design. Too bad Mugen is only planning on selling 300 of them.

 |  Nov 25 2012, 1:37 PM

HKS USA may not exist anymore, but that hasn’t stopped its parent company in Japan of continuing to manufacture high-quality performance parts. The long-awaited supercharger kit for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ is now available, though it may be hard to get your hands on it.

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 |  Jun 15 2012, 12:01 PM

We’ve seen some pretty silly car sound apps in our time, but oh boy… this one might have just taken the top spot on our list.

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 |  Apr 04 2012, 3:32 PM

It’s not often that a game changing sports car comes out onto the market. The Toyota GT 86 / Scion FR-S is exactly that, and it’s clear that tuners and aftermarket product manufacturers are just as excited for the platform as automotive enthusiasts are.

There’s little to no doubt in our minds that the Scion FR-S will be a huge hit – you can read our review here – and the aftermarket will only make the vehicle better. Tuners in Japan have already been hard at work since they got their hands on the GT 86 earlier than America. But the Scion Racing / GReddy drift Scion FR-S driven by Ken Gushi (pictured above) looks ready to rock into action at the Long Beach season opener.

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 |  Jan 24 2012, 6:30 PM

There’s a ton of buzz surrounding the return of HKS to drifting with Nobuteru Taniguchi behind the wheel of a Toyota GT 86. Now they were the first ones to throw the new sports car on the dyno, pulling down around 170-rwhp which has about a 15-percent drivetrain loss (200-hp crank), which is pretty impressive.

HKS also spent sometime showing off their excitement about the GT 86 and the return of Nobuteru Taniguchi, with footage of NOB driving a GT 86 and speaking about it. The video ends with the upcoming D1 Grand Prix competition drift car and Taniguchi putting it through its paces.

Check out the lengthy video after the break featuring HKS’s driver, Nobuteru Taniguchi and the Toyota GT 86 getting dyno’ed.

[Source: FT86 Club]

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 |  Apr 29 2011, 10:00 AM

In a very surprising and unfortunate move, HKS USA sent out an email to several of their dedicated distributors stating that HKS USA will cease to exist by the end of August, 2011. Opened since 1982, HKS USA was one of the pioneers in America in distributing high quality, Japanese-made parts to our market. In addition, we were always blessed by seeing some of the most ultimate car builds from Japan over in America thanks to HKS USA’s operation.

While we’re all well aware that our industry is going through some tough times right now, it has become even tougher for many Japanese aftermarket parts manufacturers that have a stateside operation. Combining the struggling economy in America and Japan’s recent and tragic disasters, it really shouldn’t be a huge shock to many of us that these unfortunate events are occurring.

The letter simply states that HKS will be transferring its U.S. operations to Japan and will continue to export products to America but HKS USA as a whole will cease to exist. It will be interesting to see how this impacts HKS Japan and whether or not America’s market was strong for them to begin with.

Hit the source to check out a high-res image of the press release.

 |  Sep 12 2010, 11:11 AM

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Companies like Abflug have developed a reputation over the last couple of decades for having some of the most aggressive body kits out there. And while it still fits the desires of some, our eyes just aren’t accustomed to finding it attractive.

In Abflug’s defense, this Nissan 370Z kit isn’t as extreme as we’d expect from the body kit manufacturer. The front end design of the car is pretty acceptable, not our favorite but surely not the worst we’ve seen. But the rear bumper and spoiler is just way too extreme and aggressive. We’re sure some love this race-inspired look for the street, but we feel it’s way too much for such a refined sports car like the 370Z.

This particular 370Z was built by Mid Night International and also sports a set of 19-inch Abflug Gran Revolfe Prism II wheels. For the most part they’re OK, but again, not exactly on the top of our list for 370Z wheels (especially with the assortment out there that fits the car). Performance wise a Power Craft Hybrid exhaust system was bolted on.

Perhaps wild aero kits are set to make a return? Then again, maybe not.

[Source: Farm of Minds]

GALLERY: Abflug Nissan 370Z

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 |  Sep 11 2010, 9:22 AM

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There’s no questioning just how popular Nissan‘s 350/370Z has become in tuning circles, reminding us of how well the Supra caught on as a tuner car. And while some have believe the car’s VQ35DE/VQ37HR motor has the potential of overtaking Toyota’s 2JZ as the new formidable powerplant, very few have achieved reliable, high horsepower figures. But that’s to say no one is trying, and 370ZTune.com is currently working with one of their customers, Mike out of Georgia, to hit the 1000-hp mark in style.

A video has been teased about the car, and while we’re more interested at how they’ll be hitting the 1000-hp mark, it’s worth showing off what’s been done to the exterior of it. Zele Performance, based out of Japan, specializes in aerodynamic kits for the Nissan 370z, Infiniti G37 and Nissan R35 GT-R; and this is actually the first time we’ve seen the full 370Z body kit on this side of the world. It is definitely plenty aggressive to back up the Z’s inevitable performance.

And to achieve the famed 1000-hp mark, 370ZTune.com will be outfitting this 370Z with GTM’s 4.5L stroked block (which includes a 96mm stroke crankshaft and Arias Extreme HD pistons) paired to their stage 6 turbo kit featuring twin GT35R turbos. The built shortblock will be mated to a GTM’s stage 1 head featuring their proprietary valve springs and retainers. Plenty of fuel will be supplied through Denso’s 2150cc injectors.

Getting the power to the ground will be an OS Giken triple-disk ceramic HR clutch and flywheel while tuning comes through a collection of HKS electronics.

We’re just hoping this is one of those projects that actually gets completed, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on it in hopes to see some videos and dyno runs. One thing’s for sure, they’ve already got the aesthetics handled, we can’t wait to see under the hood.

[Source: CarDomain]

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 |  Sep 02 2010, 8:24 PM

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RJ De Vera and Hondas have become synonymous with streetable performance for over the past decade. De Vera is one of Honda’s most avid enthusiasts, building some of the cleanest, daily-driven projects we’ve seen over the years. So it’s no surprise that Honda has partnered up with RJ yet again for their newest and greatest creation, the Honda CR-Z.

We’ve been preaching since the Tokyo Auto Salon that the hybrid tuning craze is inevitably going to take off in America. While it may never reach the heights of what Japan has done in the last couple of years, the release of Honda’s CR-Z could help shape the new trend.

For SEMA this year, Honda has given away several Honda CR-Zs to car builders around the nation to show off what can be done to the fun, hot hatch. We’ve already teased the Fortune Motorsports and Tjin Edition’s build, and now we’re getting a sneak preview of what RJ De Vera has planned for his CR-Z build.

We spoke to RJ briefly and he stressed to us the focus of the CR-Z is to be a clean and fully functional street car that is fun, hence the name CR-Z Type-F. Naturally the CR-Z wouldn’t quite pull its own weight (for now) as a Type-R model, and naming it as such would just be foolish and downright silly. De Vera told us that he wants it to be fully functional so it can compete in the Source Interlink Super Lap Battle shortly after the show.

The CR-Z will be showcasing Wraptivo’s brand of products, a new division of Meguiar’s that focuses on custom car wraps. On the outside will be a matte black wrap with glossy black accents to contrast. Carbon fiber film wrap will be used on the roof, hood and part of the center section of the front bumper to show off just what Wraptivo can do for you.

Naturally a clean aero kit will be utilized along with a set of lightweight Volk Racing TE-37s in an awesome F-Zero Red color. Suspension looks like it’ll come from TEIN while Brembo will be handling the aftermarket brakes. De Vera disclosed to us that he is working closely with HKS on getting a supercharger for the hybrid, while Hondata has been working hard on cracking the ECU to eke out every bit of power.

As always, AutoGuide will be on hand at the 2010 SEMA Show in early November to bring you complete coverage.

Get more Honda CR-Z News and Info at CR-ZCraze.com

Official press release available after the break.

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 |  Aug 09 2010, 4:58 PM

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With the Honda CR-Z just hitting dealerships, plenty of excitement is brewing with all the aftermarket goodies that have already been designed and developed over in Japan. HKS has been producing high quality products for a variety of Japanese vehicles for decades and now they’re focusing on their line of GT Superchargers. And what better way to make the news than to manufacture a supercharger for the upcoming Honda CR-Z hybrid?

Currently HKS’s supercharged CR-Z makes around 170-hp, which is more than respectable for a hybrid. How it affects gas mileage, we’re not sure, since no numbers have been released. But given that it’s all in its infancy, we can expect tuners both in Japan and America to really take advantage of HKS’s GT Supercharger to push power beyond 200 while maintaining mpg when power isn’t needed.

Check out the video of the CR-Z on the dyno after the break. It’s clearly in a fast forward frame rate, but you still get the idea.

Video available after the break.

GALLERY: HKS Supercharged Honda CR-Z

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[Source: Luxury4Play]

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Tokyo Auto Salon 2010: HKS Kansai Service Alive and Well

HKS shows off tuned GT-R, EVO and even a Suzuki Swift at Tokyo Auto Salon

 |  Jan 14 2010, 11:44 PM

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HKS Kansai Service, a workshop in Japan that is part of the HKS group, had an impressive display of vehicles and products showing off their tuning prowess. Included among them were a previous-generation Skyline R34, a brand new R35 GT-R and EVO X. And let’s not forget the least of the cars on display, a tricked-out Suzuki Swift. HKS is sure to be planning parts for subcompacts like this, with news that Mitsubishi is planning to bring the Swift to North America.

We were surprised to see that tuning Japanese car’s isn’t just a one way street with Japanese tuners buying only made-in-Japan parts. In fact, many of these HKS cars sported carbon fiber aero kits and accessories from SEIBON North American.

GALLERY: HKS Kansai Service display at 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon

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