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1996 Toyota Supra RZ (JZA80) - Joke's On Us

Varis is bringin' the '90s back in a very sexy way

Jonathan Wong
May 16, 2018
Photographer: Sam Du Videographer: Carlos Uriostegui

There are certain tuning houses in Japan that can always be counted on to bring heat during the winter chill that comes along with a show such as Tokyo Auto Salon. One such place is Varis, a small band of merry aero masters who have crafted their magic over many years on many cherished cars, most of which we've featured, including one of our favorites: Toyota's majestic JZA80 Supra. So, it should come as no surprise we were once again floored the minute we laid eyes on this demo car, proving that Varis still has what it takes to produce stunning bodywork.

1996 toyota supra RZ hurtling solid and joker side skirts Photo 2/30   |   1996 Toyota Supra RZ Hurtling Solid And Joker Side Skirts

According to acting director of Varis, Naohiro Yahagi, the reasoning behind building this Supra is due to a couple of things: 1) '90s-era sports cars are still the rage in Japan, and 2) Varis wanted to launch a more affordable line of aero products, so it did it under the name Hurtling Solid & Joker (your guess is as good as ours). "The concept is simple," Yahagi says. "All you need to do is accentuate the original body a little bit because it's already cool to begin with." Three months of designing took place before production began, then a couple more months were needed to finish the paint and bodywork before it was declared TAS-ready. "Good design and work take time," he adds. "Choosing the right wheel and tire selection is also important, and considering how they match the aero or how the car is to be used at the circuit must be looked at."

But Hurtling is more than simply a subdivision or offshoot of Varis—some customers go to Varis looking for ways to custom-modify existing Varis parts and install them, so Hurtling is able to produce such one-offs and provide these special services in order to help bring their customers' dreams to reality. "To give a classic shape more modern design features is something I liked doing," Yahagi says. And he speaks the truth—these TAS demo Supras show us something totally new. Some of the fender shaping and bumper accents seem to have been carried over from other demo cars, such as the Bulletproof Automotive 86/FR-S that made headlines during SEMA '13.

1996 toyota supra RZ hurtling solid and joker side skirts Photo 6/30   |   1996 Toyota Supra RZ Hurtling Solid And Joker Side Skirts

Varis has plans of one day bringing the Hurtling flavor stateside, potentially as a SEMA feature vehicle and with certainty to next year's TAS—that's how far ahead they're looking. "I'm always thinking of what I can do to surprise people next," Yahagi adds. If these cars are merely shaping the beginning of what's to come for Hurtling, then we can't wait to see what these future demos will have in store for us. Is it too early to make a request for the new Supra?

Wilder Widebody

Garage revolver widebody supra Photo 7/30   |   Garage Revolver Widebody Supra
Garage revolver widebody supra Photo 8/30   |   Photos: David Ishikawa

The Hurtling Supra not aggressive enough for you? Get a load of this Varis widebody which also debuted at the '18 Tokyo Auto Salon. Built by Garage Revolver, it's a more extreme machine with an aggressive widebody conversion, Do-Luck-built 2JZ, custom rollcage and much more. Unfortunately, it wasn't running at the time of our visit, but we hope to bring you more of this 800+hp blue beast once it's done.

1996 toyota supra RZ varis hood Photo 12/30   |   1996 Toyota Supra RZ Varis Hood
1996 toyota supra RZ TRD strut bar Photo 16/30   |   1996 Toyota Supra RZ TRD Strut Bar
1996 toyota supra RZ nardi steering wheel Photo 23/30   |   1996 Toyota Supra RZ Nardi Steering Wheel
1996 toyota supra RZ volk racing TE37 saga wheel Photo 27/30   |   1996 Toyota Supra RZ Volk Racing TE37 Saga Wheel
By Jonathan Wong
507 Articles
1996 Toyota Supra RZ (JZA80) - Joke's On Us
Tuning Menu
Owner: Naohiro Yahagi
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Occupation: Varis Representative Director
Power: 400 ps
Engine: HKS intercooler and intake; Amuse R1 Titan exhaust
Engine Management: HKS F-Con IS and boost controller
Footwork & Chassis: Blitz coilovers; Ikeya Formula front/rear upper and lower arms
Brakes: Original Runduce front and rear big brake kits
Wheels & Tires: 18x10.5" +24 Volk Racing TE37 Saga wheels; 275/35R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE71R tires
Exterior: Hurtling Solid & Joker front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper and rear spoiler; Varis front hood; Ridox front fenders; DoLuck side mirrors; Lime Rock grey custom paint
Interior: Recaro SPG GK seats; Nardi steering wheel; Laile shift knob; Saito rollcage; Eclipse head unit

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