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Rauh-Welt Begriff Porsches - Rough Worldwide

Revisiting RWB and why it's still awesome!

Jan 11, 2016
Photographers: Super Street Archives, Stephen Brooks, Jofel Tolosa, Yves Huy Truong

Super Street has come a long way since '96. On our very first cover was a '93 Integra GS-R with Mugen side skirts, nitrous, and Racing Hart wheels. We wouldn't dare put a Euro in the pages of the magazine, let alone a Porsche, but times change and trends evolve. In the August '11 issue, we published our first Porsche feature from a small Japanese company called Rauh-Welt Begriff, also known as RWB. We were a little scared at first, but thankfully our readers didn't scold us for putting a German car in the mag. In fact, the community embraced it. At SEMA '11, the barriers continued to fall as Mark Arcenal of Fatlace/illest debuted the first RWB Porsche in North America (which later graced our June '12 cover). Mark's 911 was appreciated by enthusiasts from all ends of the spectrum whether they drove a BMW or Nissan. But how could this be so, especially when only a small fraction of tuner enthusiasts owned a Porsche? We can't speak for everyone, but a lot of RWB's success has to do with its passion behind founder and designer Akira Nakai.

Rauh welt begriff porsches mark arcenal 964 carrera Photo 5/26   |   While it has gone through a number of transformations, here is Mark Arcenal's '90 964 Carrera known as "Pandora One" in its original look. Through the help and friendship of Jon Sibal, Mark was able to set up a meeting with Nakai that would inevitably result in the first RWB Porsche in America, which eventually started a revolution of future worldwide RWB builds.

The Original Gangsta

Perhaps the most famous RWB Porsche of them all is Nakai's personal matte black 930. These photos are from a feature our former sister mag eurotuner did in '10. As you can tell, the naturally aspirated 911 is far from perfect with its loose wiring, bare interior, and beat-up body. But it stays true to its "Rough World" status. Its nickname, "Stella Artois," comes from a concept that hit Nakai as he was drinking beers in a Belgium bar. Cheers!

Rauh welt begriff porsches akira nakai 930 Photo 6/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Akira Nakai 930
Rauh welt begriff porsches akira nakai 930 Photo 7/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Akira Nakai 930

Like It Rough

It's easy to think RWB Porsches are just like any other widebody conversions. You have lots of money, buy fenders and bumpers, take the car to a body shop, then voila! We won't argue that you do need a significant amount of dinero to afford an RWB conversion or even own an aircooled Porsche for that matter, but the thought process behind creating one isn't as easy as placing an order on Amazon. Nakai's story starts in the mountains of Japan, where he used to roll with an AE86 Corolla crew. His hachiroku was far from perfect, and the way he described his cars was "in a rough style." Cars were meant to have flaws and to be a reflection of a person's character and/or driving style. With that in mind, he had always built projects that used rivets, tape, zip ties, and seeing the beauty from all these mistakes—he saw the beauty in flaws. Inevitably, this concept carried over to Rauh-Welt Begriff (German for "Rough World Concept"), where he began modifying Porsches for him and his close friends more than 25 years ago.

Rauh welt begriff porsches rwb hq Photo 8/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Rwb Hq
Rauh welt begriff porsches rwb hq Photo 9/26   |   Vintage photos of RWB HQ in Chiba, Japan, when we visited years ago. We're due for another visit!
Rauh welt begriff porsches akira nakai ae86 Photo 10/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Akira Nakai Ae86
Rauh welt begriff porsches akira nakai ae86 Photo 11/26   |   Nakai wasn't always working with Porsches. He got his start in hachirokus when he was part of an AE86 crew back in the '90s. It's where the "Rough World" movement started on the winding roads of Mt. Tsukuba. To this day, some of Nakai's friends carry the original heritage of RWB as they continue to drift hachis.

No Two Alike

Nakai's original intention was to increase the enjoyment of a car's driving experience. There wasn't a team of engineers who helped design each kit for maximum performance, nor an esteemed designer who was used to shape each body kit. Nakai used his personal experiences and inspirations to develop a style that gives a car undeniable presence on the track or street. While over-fenders tend to look the same with every build, Nakai ensures each car is unique and a reflection of the owner's vision.

Rauh welt begriff porsches kensuke ohsawa 930r Photo 12/26   |   One of our favorites of all time, Kensuke Ohsawa's '84 930R nicknamed "Masterpiece." Its camouflage paint and frequent track use make it special to us.

RWB Evolution

In the earlier days of RWB, it wasn't as hard to stand out. Nakai didn't offer his services outside of Japan (until Mark Arcenal came along), and most builds consisted of similar fenders, suspension parts, and Nakai's favorite wheel—SSR Professor SP1. Now that RWB is worldwide, things have changed and owners are adding more of their own personal flair with different colors, liveries, wheels, and even engine conversions. While some concepts aren't everyone's taste, Nakai respects the intentions of every owner and wants them to enjoy the way their car looks. He's also done a few things on his end to help his customers, such as offering two different fenders ("Super Wide Fenders" are standard, "Royal Fenders" are wider), five different rear wings, as well as different end plate options.

Rauh welt begriff porsches ian king 993 carrera 2 Photo 13/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Ian King 993 Carrera 2
Rauh welt begriff porsches ian king 993 carrera 2 Photo 14/26   |   A good example that not all RWB Porsches are the same nowadays—here is an LS-swapped 993 Carrera 2 on bags. It was featured in SS 9/14; owner Ian King hails from the Philippines.

We do admit, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and fed up with the over-fender craze, however, Nakai's message goes beyond what's seen on the surface. Each and every one of us build our cars a certain way—some for performance, some for show, and many in between. But in the end, we should build our cars for ourselves, enjoy what we've built, and not let anyone take away from that as demonstrated by Nakai and his "Rough Worldwide" movement.

Rauh welt begriff porsches track Photo 15/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Track
Rauh welt begriff porsches track Photo 16/26   |   Many RWB owners in Japan take their cars to the track regularly. Might be worth looking up the Idlers Games at Tsukuba Circuit if you don't believe us...
Rauh welt begriff porsches sema Photo 17/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Sema

Bernardo Pena's 911 Carrera 2

Rauh welt begriff porsches bernardo pena 911 carrera 2 Photo 18/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Bernardo Pena 911 Carrera 2

This red beauty was owned previously by Darren Yoo—an SS regular who's been featured here with his Liberty Walk M3 and custom wide-bodied 997 GT3. This 993 is, yet again, another one of his excellent creations and possibly one of the most detailed, show-stopping RWB Porsches we've come across. Several things stand out, such as the full wire tuck, neo-chrome ITBs, BBS E88s, and camouflage interior. Important partners of the build include LTMW, Gearheinz, Phaze2, and Bisimoto. Since our original shoot, ownership has changed over to Bernardo Pena—his Liberty Walk GT-R graced our cover two years ago. Bernardo has since updated the wheels to retro-styled concave Rotiforms and swapped out the loud rear wing for a duckbill spoiler.

Rauh welt begriff porsches bernardo pena 911 carrera 2 Photo 25/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Bernardo Pena 911 Carrera 2

Robert Panlilio's 930 Twin Turbo

Rauh welt begriff porsches robert panlilio 930 twin turbo Photo 26/26   |   Rauh Welt Begriff Porsches Robert Panlilio 930 Twin Turbo

This '88 Carrera is owned by Robert Panlilio, co-founder of the streetwear brand Crooks & Castles. Besides having one of the most recognizable clothing brands around, Rob has always been a car enthusiast. As a teenager, he rolled in a slammed CR-X, while later in life, we've seen him pull up in a dumped Mercedes wagon on BBS wheels, an SVR-kitted 458 Italia (european car magazine cover car), and now this awesome 911. The bodywork was completed by LTMW and consists of RWB's Royal fenders. The Porsche also rocks Work VS-XX wheels and Brembo brakes. But pop the trunk and that's where the real knockout punch is. After an engine rebuild by Gearheinz, Bisimoto added a pair of Turbonetics turbos before finally tuning the car using an AEM Infinity. Not only is Rob's Porsche sexy as hell, but it also has extreme boost to break the rear tires loose!

Sam Du
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