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Hinting at a possible tuner version of the new March/Micra sub-compact, Nissan has revealed a NISMO concept model at the Tokyo Auto Salon. Standing alongside similar NISMO-tuned versions of the Leaf and Juke, the March NISMO Concept gets the expected goodies.
Included in the package are lighter forged wheels and an upgraded (and lowered) suspension, not to mention a custom aero package with a rear spoiler. Inside the car gets sports seats and an upgraded steering wheel, while outside it’s coated in a pearl white paint with red highlights.
Similar packages were revealed for the Juke NISMO and Leaf NISMO which were unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in December. The Leaf NISMO is transformed into somewhat of a futuristic jellybean in the process, while the aero kit and lowered suspension make the Juke a mean looking sport-cross.
Check out all the cars below, as well as the Leaf NISMO RC race car and find AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon coverage here.
GALLERY: Nissan March, Leaf and Juke NISMO Concepts
GALLERY: Nissan Leaf NISMO RC Race Car
To say there’s a strong tuner car culture for hybrids in Japan might be a bit too generous. Oh, there’s no doubt the Japanese love to modify the cars, but perhaps the term “customization” is more accurate.
At this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon there was the usual selection of Prius model with wild bodykits and big wheels. And while most take a step towards the extreme, the Lumiere Prius Hybrid Interceptor police car still looks pretty mean. At the opposite end of the we’d-drive-it spectrum is the DAD Prius v, complete with oversized wheels blinged out with Swarovski crystals.
Along with conventional Prius models, the aftermarket has expanded to include the new additions to the Prius family, like the Prius v wagon and even the smaller Prius c.
See all the cars below:
At Japan’s annual Tokyo Auto Salon, they’d call our list of the Top 10 Worst Cars of SEMA tame. Sure we documented some atrocities during our time at North America’s largest aftermarket expo, but it’s hard to compete with a diorama of an army soldier apparently shooting baby dolls on the tonneau cover of a pink pickup truck. And have those babies been run over, or are those supposed to be tattooed?
Like you, we can’t resist gawking at a good train wreck. Just remember, once you’ve taken a look, these car’s can’t be unseen – no matter how hard you try.
GALLERY: Crazy Cars of the Tokyo Auto Salon
Aftermarket wheel manufacturer TWS Forged obviously liked what they saw when Toyota unveiled the Nurburgring Edition Lexus LFA. Sporting a more track-oriented aerodynamic kit and a functional rear spoiler, that package (even in its shocking orange paint scheme) now looks tame compared to the modified LFA on display at the TWS booth at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
Along with that huge spoiler out back the LFA gets a custom set of TWS wheels, as well as an ultra-aggressive rear diffuser setup to further improve aerodynamic flow over and around the supercar.
GALLERY: Lexus LFA by TWS Forged
Nissan has announced an extensive 10-car lineup for the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon including everything from modified minivans to GT-R race car. Following roughly a month after the Tokyo Motor Show, the salon is in many ways Japan’s version of SEMA, giving aftermarket tuners and race shops a chance to show their wares.
In the brand’s NISMO motorsports-derived area will be four models, including the 370Z NISMO and NISMO Juke Concept, as well as a NISMO-tuned version of the Leaf EV and the Leaf NISMO RC race car. In addition, Nissan will display the Motul Autech GT-R, which won five of eight races in last season’s Super GT series, where the S Road MOLA GT-R team captured both the team and driver’s titles
In-house tuning brand Autech will show off three modified vans, including a custom NV350 Caravan Rider, the Serena Rider Performance Spec Black Line and the Elgrand Rider High-performance Spec Black Line – a wild looking version of what we call the Nissan Quest.
In addition, Nissan will show off two special edition production models, the GT-R Pure edition “For Track Pack”, as well as the Skyline 55th Limited Edition, commemorating the car’s 55th anniversary with a custom aero kit and extra goodies.
The Tokyo Auto Salon takes place from January 13-15 and, as always, look for AutoGuide’s extensive coverage here.
GALLERY: Nissan’s Tokyo Auto Salon Models
In addition to the 2012 Rio B-Spec racer, built by Kia Racing and Kinetic Motorsports, Kia has unveiled an Optima Hybrid pace car for the United States Touring Car Championship. The Optima, built by GoGoGear.com, actually replaces the modified Soul that severed last year.
It may be a hybrid, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring, already deliver over 200-hp in stock form the car gets a Magnaflow exhaust system and air intake kit. So it’s not sloppy when out on parade laps the car also gets a coilover suspension, and looks the part with a new aero kit (including front splitter and rear spoiler), plus the usual light bars. And no SEMA car would be a SEMA car without an over-the-top 2400-watt Infintiy audio system.
Look for the Optima Hybrid Safety Car to first hit the track at the USTCC in March of 2012.
GALLERY: Kia Optima Hybrid USTCC Safety Car
In total, the Korean automaker will display six sports-themed vehicles. The first of the group has already been teased (above) and is a colorful creation inspired by pro golfer Michelle Wie – whom Kia has used before in its ads. In addition, Kia has announced a second of the six cars will be themed around NBA star Blake Griffin. As for what that car will look like, and the remaining four vehicles, we’ll have to wait for SEMA to find out.
Look for full coverage on AutoGuide’s 2011 SEMA Show coverage page here, starting November 1st.
While most of the cars at the SEMA Show are built to be over-the-top displays of horsepower and gaudiness Hyundai is preparing to showcase at least one of its new Veloster models that takes a different approach.
Make no mistake, the car created by marketing agency PM Lifestyle and the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) will display a full suite of modifications, but it’s designed to be representative of what the average tuner could do with his or her car. The message is clear: Hyundai is betting the Veloster will be a hit with the tuner crowd and with auto enthusiasts and is working to showcase just how attractive a platform it can be.
Far more than just IHE (Intake, Header, Exhaust), the ‘Versatile Veloster’ will get a Sequence-X body kit, Konig wheels and plenty of Seibon carbon fiber goodies, including the hood and trunk, with a custom blue paint job covering the rest of the car. Performance upgrades include an AEM Cold Air Intake, Magnaflow exhaust and a custom header, while KW was contracted for a full coilover suspension and SSBC is supplying the brakes. Making an expected 163-hp (up from in the stock car), there’s also a Nitrous Express system for some added power.
On display at the 2011 SEMA Show from November 1-4, the PM Lifestyle ‘Versatile’ Veloster will then go on a three-year show tour with UTI, making appearances at 120 autocross, supercross and demonstration events.
Get a full rundown of the modifications after the jump and see AutoGuide’s complete 2011 SEMA Show preview here:
Discuss this story at Veloster.org
Set to be unveiled at the Korean automaker’s stand at the annual aftermarket expo and built by ARK Performance, the rally-car styled Veloster will get some massively flared fenders and a custom interior – with the obligatory blinged-out audio system like no one told them it’s not 1998. Perhaps more exciting is a twin-scroll turbocharger under the hood helping the Veloster make 210-hp. While not breathtaking performance, it’s a solid hint at the amount of power a rumored factory Veloster Turbo could make. Sadly, this isn’t a production engine, but a custom turbo setup.
This latest show car marks the third time Hyundai and ARK Performance have teamed up for SEMA, with a Genesis Coupe on display last year and a Tiburon before that.
GALLERY: ARK Performance Hyundai Veloster
See after the jump for a full list of the car’s planned modifications:
The much maligned styling of the Nissan Juke is in many ways overcome by its impressive driving characteristics. Still not convinced? Then perhaps the Nissan GT-R powered ‘Super Juke’ will help change your mind.
Under development by Nissan Europe, the car will use the very same twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 engine as Godzilla, making around 480-hp. With a stripped down interior this wildly modified machine should be able to hot 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds. Who needs a Bentley-powered VW Golf anyway?
Look for the car to sport flared fenders, a new front splitter, rear diffuser and some upgraded wheels, tires and brakes.
Built as a one-off project, the car is expected to debut before year’s end. We just hope it makes its way across the pond for SEMA.
The World Time Attack Challenge, held at Australia’s Eastern Creek International Raceway near Sydney, has attracted a deep field of local and international competitors including top American teams Sierra Sierra Enterprises and their Mitsubishi Evo 8 and Factor X Motorsports Development and their awesome Acura NSX.
It may be an easier commute for the Japanese tuners, but it’s no less impressive that world-class Time Attack machines like the Sun Cyber Evo, Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza STI, and both the PanSpeed and R-Magic FD Mazda RX-7s will also be in attendance at Eastern Creek this weekend.
Hoping to put home field advantage to good use are top Australian teams Hi-Octane Racing and their stunning R34 Nissan GT-R, APC Racing’s Evo 8 MR, and Notaras and their lightweight 590-hp Mitsubishi Evo.
With an intriguing mix of the best Time Attack teams and drivers in the world, all vying for the title of World Time Attack Challenge champion, we’ll be following the action this weekend very closely and will report back on Monday with a full account of all the on-track action. In the meantime, wet your Time Attack whistle after the jump with a video of Mark Berry piloting Australian favorite Hi-Octane Racing’s GT-R around Eastern Creek in preparation for the WTAC.
[Source: World Time Attack Challenge]
Racing legends Peter Brock and John Morton will fly their famous #46 red, white, and blue pattern on a classic Japanese roadster once again. But rather than on the Datsuns that made this livery so renowned, it will be on the most popular roadster ever sold or raced, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The car will fly the BRE colors next weekend as part of Round 2 of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup at Road Atlanta.
After the decision was made to honor Peter Brock of BRE at the upcoming 2010 Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta, one of the biggest vintage racing weekends of the year on the east coast, Mazda sketched up a BRE graphics package for the MX-5 and then got Morton and Brock onboard. With 2010 being the 40th anniversary of Morton’s SCCA C Production (CP) Championship at Road Atlanta in a BRE prepared racecar and his racing career including more than a few race wins with Mazda, the connection was strong.
As Peter Brock stated, “It’s been some 37 years since a factory supported car in BRE livery sat on a racing grid. Seeing the new MX-5 in our traditional colors almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s wonderful that Mazda, a company that really loves, understands and supports racing of all kinds, has seen fit to honor our team’s great racing history with this new spirit of competition”
According to John Morton, “This Walter Mitty weekend is very special for me because it is bringing together so many facets that were significant in my racing career. First is the reunion and recognition of our championship winning BRE team that Peter Brock developed in the late sixties and that led me to two SCCA National Championships and two 2.5 Trans-Am Championships in the early seventies. Second is the opportunity Mazda has given me to race in a professional race in my sixth decade of competition. Twenty-six years ago I shared the BFG-sponsored, class winning Mazda Lola at Le Mans which was the beginning of a long relationship with both companies. The Mazda Miata MX-5 I will be racing at the Mitty, the only real modern sports car in mass production, is a reincarnation of the cars that started this sport in America in the late forties.”
Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Mazda North American Operations, added, “Mazda is a team of enthusiasts. Long before we began working behind the scenes for Mazda, we were race fans. We love the sport and the heritage. This opportunity to pay tribute to Pete, John, and the BRE team is something we did out of respect, with knowledge that there are others like us who appreciate the blending of heritage and modern sport.”
Mazda unveiled the BRE MX-5 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the Mothers Polish display within the fan expo. If you are a fan of BRE, we recommend you pack your best 70′s wardrobe and get yourself to Road Atlanta on April 29th thru May 2nd.
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T (the R-Spec model in particular) was built to appeal to buyers who like to modify their vehicles. One of the top tuners in the United States, AMS Performance, has begun developing performance parts for the Genesis Coupe 2.0T – a car that until now has been mostly ignored by the tuning industry. Among the first products they’ve released for the 2.0T is a front mount intercooler kit, a direct bolt-on solution that increases internal airflow by 60%.
Combined with AMS’s soon to be released turbo kit and the requisite fuel system upgrades, Genesis Coupe 2.0T owners can look forward to a serious increase in horsepower, one that should allow them to give Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and Subaru Impreza WRX STI owners a run for their money.
We’re excited to see a reputable tuner getting started on a Genesis Coupe project car, as this Hyundai has a lot of potential and in 2.0T form bringing back rear-drive performance at a lower price point.
We’ll be sure to report back when AMS is “done” with the 2.0T build-up and we encourage you to follow the full development process by AMS, detailed on their blog.
See after the jump for a few extra pics of the new(and upcoming) parts:
At this year’s Modified Magazine Tuner Shootout, the Super Lap Battle track record set by Crawford Performance last year was broken by driver Gary Sheehan in the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza L. With famed Japanese Time Attack driver Tarzan Yamada behind the wheel, the Crawford Performance 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI set a lap record of 1:02.1 in 2009, but that record was reset by a half second after Sheehan posted an impressive 1:01.6 in GST’s ’98 GC Impreza L.
According to GST owner and ECU tuner Mike Warfield, “We had the car running on our low boost [24 psi] setting because we wanted the engine to survive the weekend. Had we unleashed Sheehan with our high boost (32 psi] setting I’m confident the car could run sub 1-minute.” In fact, GST’s in-car data acquisition system revealed a hypothetic 59.8-second lap based on Sheehan’s best segment times around the circuit using their low boost settings, so Warfield’s prediction of a possible sub 1-minute lap seems entirely realistic. Regardless, with an official time of 1:01.6 GST Motorsports is now the current Super Lap Battle track record holder at Firebird’s main circuit.
Below is in-car video of Sheehan setting this new mark:
While AMS set the standing mile record for four-cylinders with its Evolution VIII at the Texas Mile, as well as a drag racing record earlier this year, the team at Boost Logic has been busy at work preparing their Nissan GT-R to set a standing mile record. Recently the team brought out its tuned GT-R to the twice-annual Texas Mile event to see just how fast it would go.
The Boost Logic GT-R entry tops the dyno at 823-whp @ 25 psi with Boost Logic’s twin turbo kit, intercooler with 3-inch piping upgrade, 4-inch midpipe and exhaust system, Jet Fighter exhaust tips and stage 1 fuel system. Safely relieving all the excess pressure are TiAL blow off valves. Tuning is taken care of courtesy Haltech’s engine management system while a Cobb Tune does the most important function – relieving the GT-R of its speed and rev limiters.
This combination was good enough to set the standing mile record for a GT-R at the Texas Mile held at the end of last month. Boost Logic’s GT-R was nailed going 203.6-mph at the mile marker and they feel that it’s just the starting point. Will we expect a little rivalry brewing with AMS and Boost Logic? We wouldn’t be surprised if AMS rolls out their GT-R for the next event to battle it out with Boost Logic. Should make things interesting!
The next dates for the Texas Mile are set for October 22-24.
See the video of Boost Logic’s wicked-fast GT-R after the jump:
To our surprise, the number of Nissan GT-Rs at this year’s SEMA Show is much lower than expected, with the Camaro being the obviously dominant vehicle. One of the nicest GT-Rs on display is the Black Bison model from Japanese tuner WALD.
We found the car over at the Jonari booth, the company that distributes WALD (along with other brands like Rinspeed and even Mansory) in North America. The pristine white GT-R features the full WALD aero kit including side skirts, rear fender arches, a new front bumper with carbon fiber accents, a carbon rear wing and a carbon diffuser. Also included in the build are a set of 22-inch WALD P13F wheels with Yokohama Advan tires, WALD lowering springs and a full titanium exhaust from Arqray Japan.