Originality is harder to come by these days. With the widespread popularity of over-fender widebody kits, it comes as no surprise that many enthusiasts are starting to find the style played out. Artisans such as Kei Miura of TRA Kyoto and Wataru Kato of Liberty Walk have been criticized for their predictable ways. Slap on some fenders, slam on air-ride, and rock some expensive wheels—suddenly you've built a social media sensation. While we can appreciate these craftsmen have worked hard to create popular body kits, the naysayers are quick to judge. We're also always keeping our eyes open for people who think outside the box and don't have any desire to follow the trend, such as Nobutaka Tsutsui of KRC.
KRC is a fairly young company and new to Super Street. Its initials stand for "Kind Red Company"—"red" representing the circle in the Japanese flag. The company's mission is similar to that of TOMS Shoes, where a portion of sales is given to a local charity. Nobu-san's story is quite interesting as he comes from a dying breed of samurai bloodline, which is where he gets most of his inspiration. Besides the design being done by Nobu-san and his team, manufacturing of all the custom aero the company produces is also done in in-house. There's no outsourcing or rebranding—everything is 100 percent made in Japan!
We encountered this FD3S Mazda RX-7 at Tokyo Auto Salon '15. It was a peculiar car and we weren't sure how we felt about it at first. But our curiosity grew, and we ran into the FD again at this year's show with a few improvements. The car was still one of the wildest-styled rides we've ever come across in Japan in recent years, so we decided to make a stop at KRC's HQ in Osaka during our visit last January.
This RX-7 is dubbed "Zetsuei," which Nobu-san tells us, means, "It runs so fast, its shadow cannot follow." Nobu-San continues to tell us, "The FD3S was a '90s car that did close to 230 kph (143 mph) in stock form. Cars of today have not all done much better. We chose this platform because it can to do top speed runs, drag race, and drift." The RX-7 has been fitted with KRC's original 02 Type body kit. The hood, trunk, and doors are all one-off pieces. The rear features an exposed, "no bumper" look, which leaves you admiring the diffuser. The rear fenders alter the lines of the FD from stock to shock, while the exposed front fender design incorporates blades similar to something you'd see on a BenSopra GT-R. The front bumper has been fitted with canards that complement the fenders. A lower lip completes the menacing appearance.
The minimal interior is a dead giveaway the car wasn't just intended for comfort. This was built with the intention of only going fast! It's a fully capable track car, although KRC tells us it doesn't have any problems with it driving on the street. Inside the cabin you'll find a single Revolver bucket. The leftover passenger space is reserved for two huge monitors to look out for cops. We're not kidding, there are zero fucks given when driving this car on the streets of Osaka!
Open the hood and you'll be relieved this FD still retains a rotary. The 13B was built by Nakamura Racing Factory and was cryogenically treated to reduce wear and improve longevity. Together with an assortment of TRUST parts, a bigger HKS turbo, and nitrous on tap, the whole package is capable of 800 hp.
It took KRC two years to complete this car, and no one can argue that there's any other RX-7 that looks as wild as Zetsuei today. "Copying other aero parts maker's style is easy. Originality is not," Nobu-san concludes. While the styling might not be everyone's cup of tea, we welcome Nobu-san's commitment to being as original as possible in a scene that's become saturated with bolt-on widebody kits everyone and their mother has. Dare to be different?