The abbreviation "VIP" has been thrown around a lot over the years, especially in the aftermarket automotive arena. Staggered, stanced, slammed, aero-equipped, opulent, excessive, shiny, swanky... the list of VIP descriptors goes on to great length. While many may attribute this approach to modified vehicles of Euro ethnicity, the Japanese have long had their own approach to VIP builds. Take AIMGAIN International, for instance.
Since 2002, this Hiroshima-based VIP vanguard has produced everything from Toyota Crown estate cruisers to slammed minivans. With aero, air suspension, and high dollar rollers serving as its specialty (how very VIP, right?), AIMGAIN International has risen to the top as one of the most recognized automotive tuning shops in all of Japan. With that in mind, we dropped by AIMGAIN during our southern Japan blitz last autumn in order to check out one of the cleanest shops on the planet. What we found did not disappoint. Not only did we encounter one of the slickest facilities we've ever seen to date but the brand's new focus on sports cars was absolutely jaw-dropping.
WELCOME TO THE WIDEBODY NSX
Supercars are special no matter what the occasion, but what rolled off their showroom floor for a photoshoot is nothing short of amazing. Have you ever encountered a widebody NSX crafted almost entirely from carbon fiber? Yeah, neither have we until we discovered this second-gen NC1 at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon show. Eager to learn more, I dove into a Q&A session with AIMGAIN's chief of project planning, Ito Hiroshi in order to find out what all went into making this gorgeously armored giant.
As the only mid-engine Japanese sports car on the market, Ito-san admits that the Honda/Acura NSX was an obvious choice when it came time to select a chassis for the company's hero car in 2019. He went on to confess that while it was quite difficult to re-envision the original shape of the NSX's sharply sculpted OEM exterior with carbon fiber, the end result speaks for itself: drop dead gorgeous.
IMPORTED FROM ACURA
Coming across an NC1 NSX is as special in Japan as it is in America. Encountering one that has been almost entirely encapsulated in carbon fiber is downright mesmerizing. Compounding the matter is the fact that those Acura badges aren't just there for show, for this is an imported American version of the twin-turbo supercar. While every modern model of the NSX sold around the globe is manufactured in Marysville, Ohio, USDM models get things like Acura badges and a left-hand drive configuration. Toss in English navigation controls and matching infotainment and you have the Japanese equivalent of an imported JDM gem, which is precisely why AIMGAIN decided to build one.
ALREADY SUPERCAR PERFORMANCE
When asked why their NSX still rocks a stock twin-turbo hybrid V6 (with three electric motors), they state that it's already ideal as-is, with its 573hp and 476 lb-ft of torque along with a close-ratio nine-speed automatic gearbox. In fact, in a recent comparison test by our friends at Motor Trend, the NSX ranked first in the sport hybrid class with the most performance potential. But while these specific areas of the American-made supercar sit unaltered, the AIMGAIN NSX's aero, suspension, and wheels recieved the full VIP treatment.
MODIFICATIONS FOR SHOW, BUT CAN STILL GO
In true fashion, AIMGAIN equipped its mid-engine supercar with a bespoke air suspension setup, which utilizes Bold World components and one-off shocks. This custom suspension solution is accompanied by AIMGAIN's very own two-piece GTM wheels. These ultra-exclusive rollers come in a 20x9" layout up front and a staggered, 21x12" configuration out back, with Pirelli P-Zero compounds all around. An intriguing side note here, is that the wheels on the passenger side are a completely different color than the driver side. Why, you may ask? Because some people are indecisive as to which wheel color to choose, and AIMGAIN wanted to highlight the best of both worlds.
GT CARBON FIBER WIDEBODY KIT
However, the focus of this project isn't wheels or suspension, but carbon fiber, LOTS of carbon fiber. Everything on the outside, save for the doors, A-pillars, roof (which is already carbon) and the center of the front grille has been replaced with AIMGAIN exclusive dry carbon fiber components. Intricately detailed, and flawlessly executed, these ultra-high-end pieces are part of an entire kit created by AIMGAIN's design department. Up front, the carbon fiber NSX gets a fresh front end, vented hood, raked underspoiler and 50mm over-fenders made from the lightweight material. After skating past the equally wide side skirts, wind hits bulging 80mm rear fenders, before being channeled toward the backend's underspoiler and diffuser. Any turbulence felt up top gets forced toward a decklid spoiler that has been affixed to the trunk, which is dwarfed by a gargantuan Voltex 1,800mm GT wing.
SO HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
As with all of AIMGAIN's products, the fit-and-finish on its NSX GT kit is on a level of its own, from the way in which the carbon weave fluidly feeds from one panel of the car unto the next, and how the sharply carved lines aid both intercooler ventilation and aerodynamic excellence is brilliantly executed. But getting your hands on something this premium doesn't come cheap. The price for the dry carbon widebody kit will run you about $33K, minus the hood and the trunk. Add $8K for that option, and you're well on your way to $41K (plus shipping and handling and also whatever it'll cost to fit everything). The Gucci price tag coupled with the already ominous $150K sticker of the NC1 makes this AIMGAIN NSX in a league of its own.
REMEMBER THESE FORMER FEATURE CARS WEARING AIMGAIN ATTIRE?
Jay Garcia's sweet satin purple R35 Nissan GT-R shot in our own photo studio
Blast from the past, Jessyca Blood's convertible Lexus IS 250 C featured six years ago!