Monday, November 24

WALD Lexus IS-F (side)

Everybody should know by now, the Lexus IS-F is packing serious V-8 power. In fact it is a 5.0 liter 416 hp Yamaha engine shoved into the smallest chassis currently offered by Lexus. Those that are familiar with the car have noticed the wider front fenders and reworked front bumper. Everything else is pretty close to the regular ISx50 platforms. The hood like the BMW E92 M3 also have been given a major hump, in my opinion, I call it an afterthought. The bulge on the hood of the IS-F is especially prominent throwing off the lines of the car. If you look closely you will notice the extra step front he fender line that just looks thick and out of place. Yes I know it was design for clearance but surely we can redesign motor mounts to drop the motor 1-2" inches lower. The regular ISx50 hoods are sleeker and better fitting for the lines of the car.

Check out my rendering of what the IS-F should look like if outfitted with the total WALD aero. Flat black wheels are in. We saw plenty of flat black everywhere at SEMA this year. Clearly WALD has carried that look onto their project IS-F as well. I added a simple Time-Attack pin strip on the wheels just to give a break between the rim and the tire. Also the stances was improved as well. The "F' on the front fender was removed b/c proportionally a distorted square box does not go well with a sleek side marker.

This is way more aggressive.

WALD Lexus IS-F (rear)

So this is the rear of the WALD kit for the Lexus IS-F. Yes, I know.. what the hell where they thinking. Too much of everything and not enough thought. WALD styling has gone way too far in my opinion. Somebody tell their designers to take 2 steps back and you've got it!

To help this poor IS-F, I've came in with my own Photoshop skills to clean things up a bit.

First we got rid of the quad stacker exhaust tips for a pair of slighter rounder tips. The alien looking eye ball reflector lens look completed out of place. Not to mention the stair-stepper rear diffuser. So that too was deleted. I do not mind the CSL looking carbon wing but it would be better to be an entire trunk replacement. Also the taillights were cleared and smoked for the Euro look. All emblems were shaved except the "F" and the Lexus trunk emblem.
If I had an IS-F project, this would be the rear of the car.

What do you think?

Friday, November 14

ARC Ti GT-R Exhaust

ARC has developed their high performance titanium exhaust for the GT-R. Look a the craftsmanship on this work of art. The tips alone can make you run for cover. Entire exhaust only weights 6.8kg which is 14 pounds. Be prepared to pay a pretty price tag. At over $4,000 you can hang this on your wall as automotive art.

The highest quality is still in house Made In Japan.

Thursday, November 13

SEMA GT-R continues

Among all the GT-Rs at SEMA, this had to be my favorite. Funny, this car actually belongs to a fellow name Jon from Norcal. The execution is flawless. This car sat in the Status booth all week and were the lesser of the GT-Rs to be acknowledged. Starting with the wheels, what can be better than a custom set of HREs finished in brushed lip and clear coated then a rough matte dark gray face. What got me was simple, this was the only GT-R with step lip and correct stance. Every other GT-R had huge bling wheels on. Rounding out the wheels, Jon went with ZELE International carbon lip kit, Top Secret coilovers, and one bad as Titanium exhaust. Congrats on making my top pick for Best GT-R at SEMA!

Nitto Tire booth had this ASR tuned GT-R again in white. The modifications were pretty extent with complete hard tubing and blow-off valves and even a center exit exhaust. I wonder what the numbers are?

iForged had a pretty clean GT-R outfitted with the best from Amuse. The wheels were a massive 22" inch 3-piece wheels that fill the fender arches perfectly.

HRE wheels had a very attractive booth with this 2-tone GT-R, matte on gloss black. The car even had smoke headlights and taillights with 2 different sets of wheels on either side. 

In the ENEOS booth, ZELE International Japan shipped over their highly anticipated company GT-R. The complete right-hand drive car was set to promote the companies newly developed carbon replacements parts. You will fine, grill, front lip, skirts, rear valance, side mirrors, fender vents hood vents and many more interior trims pieces all finished in carbon. Look for more from this company in the near future.

SEMA 2008 GT-R Galore

So as you may know now, the 2008 SEMA show at Las Vegas wrapped up a week ago and I'm just getting started to point out the highlights of the entire week. I work for Goodguys Rod and Custom and it is a privilege to work the event booth at SEMA every year.

What was the hit of the show? You guessed it, the King of all cars, Nissan GT-R. Many knew there would be plenty of highly modified GT-Rs at SEMA, but little could have estimated the shear number of GT-Rs gathered together at once.
Nearly 20 Nissan GT-Rs were displayed throughout the convention center right by the Hilton Hotel. Bulletproof Automotive looked to be the main provider for all the major GT-R builds. Mobile 1 and TOYO tires had the most extreme of GT-Rs of the week. Both were rocking BBS LM limited edition wheels with ENDLESS racing 6/4 calipers front and back. TOP SECRET, BRIDE, Takata, Amuse, Mines, all supported many of the cars in display. This deep purple GT-R was rumored to have cost an additional $80k to build on top of the $90k plus price for the car.
Axis wheels were present with their freshly painted GT-R with their latest in wheel design and plenty of carbon pieces from AP Racing. COBB were utilized to crack into the Nissan ECU for better performance. Check out the black top to match the CF goodies.

SEIBON had a huge booth this year rocking 7 heavily decked out demo cars. Here is their company owned demo GT-R with their latest dry carbon aero replacements. Those that do not know the process of dry carbon compared to wet carbon should do a bit of research to full understand the process and reasons why it is many times more expensive than regular carbon. In short, dry carbon is lighter and way stronger hence the price and availability. Their GT-R had a complete front bumper, hood, lip, skirts, rear valance, and trunk all made in dry carbon. I did find out the company out sources to China for all manufacturing. Better check the fitment first.

FALKEN tires had their own GT-R as well. The car belonged to a member of Team Hybrid and it carried some newer brands to hit the market. Notice the CF lip and canards. The GT carbon wing is also an aggressive addition to the black and white look. Seem like white GT-Rs on carbon were the look to have.

More later.

Monday, November 10

SEMA 2008 Day 1

Where do I start.. 6 days in Las Vegas, 4 days of PR, and 1 night of stomach flu, I am glad to be home. This year, my annual SEMA trip started Monday afternoon. After taking BART to the Oakland airport station and then jumping onto a shuttle that cost way too much, my flight was heavily delayed due to weather at Vegas. Instead of negative thoughts, I made a friend at the airport. His name was Jay and he works as a field tech support for global cellular tracking. He had some amazing gear and yes, if you use a cell phone through a carrier, you can be tracked within a few micro-seconds. No, it has nothing to do with GPS chips. Mainly using triangulating the signal through towers, this form of tracking is heavily used by the FBI. Anyways, boarded the plane and finally land in the desert around 6:30 PM.

A good friend picked me up and thanks to his patience I had a ride to the hotel and dinner. We ate at a very delicious and famous hole in the wall, apparently every known VIP enjoys the ramen and sushi at this joint. In fact, I was lucky enough to meet the president of CUSCO and J's Racing that night while sipping the best of the East.

A quick trip to Lucky's and I checked in at the Hilton and feel asleep early around 11. I needed enough sleep to start Day 1 of one crazy SEMA ride. Also, Tuesday was election day and everybody in the area had election fever. For the first time, I too was glued to the news like a dirty politician scamming their own state.

More tomorrow.

BTW, this picture is of the best damn car at SEMA 2008, the humble TETSU GTR.