Bad world economy and big earthquake make bad situation for Japanese sport car market now. Best Motoring DVD and Hot Version DVD suspended publication due to the bad car economy in Japan and gas is becoming more expensive. I was worried that this would spoil any new cars from coming out, but I was wrong. Japanese car companies still have plans to make new sports cars. A high-powered CR-Z is coming from Honda along with next generation NSX; Toyota has FT-86; Nissan has next generation GT-R; Subaru has their version of the “FT-86” and a new STI. All of these companies are concerned for the environment, so a lot of their cars will come as a hybrid or diesel model; some as an EV (electric vehicle). I’m looking forward to this year’s Tokyo Motor Show and I wish all-new sports cars would be good for the tuning market in Japan and USA.
In January, Keichi Tsuchiya (aka Drift King) and Daijiro Inada quit D1 Grand Prix for organizing another drifting event, which is “Drift Muscle”. Keiichi says Drift Muscle is for the drifting enthusiast. If you had street legal tuning car for drifting, you can take part in Drift Muscle. Drift Muscle regulation say street legal D1 Grand Prix is kind of a professional event. You need special drifting car for taking part in D1. You need your FR tuning car for taking part in Drift Muscle. If you are a big D1 fan, you know these two guys: Nobushige Kumakubo and Kazuhiro Tanaka. They drove Lancer Evolution and Impreza from Team Orange. Kazuhiro didn’t take part in D1 last year but he will come back to D1 stage this year but not from Team Orange. Kazuhiro drives S15 Silvia with 2JZ motor from Kazama Auto. Kazama Auto has two D1 racecar now. S15 with 2JZ motor and Lexus IS with 2JZ motor. Last year, Super Street made story about Kazama Auto Lexus IS with 2JZ motor. Kazama’s IS for Drift Muscle is same car as Kazama’s IS for D1 (changed body color, customized and tuning for D1). Nobushige Kumakubo drive Nissan Laurel sedan (C33) with RB26 motor. He choose Nissan’s old sedan (C33 Laurel is older than S15 Silvia) but I don’t know why; I think he wants to get another or new drifting skill because he said he needs practice to drive straight-six motor car on his blog. Guess you can never learn enough drifting skills?
I think Yashio Factory is very famous for 240SX owners in USA. Past issue of Super Street magazine featured Yashio’s pink S15, 240SX and supercharged Toyota Yaris. Yashio’s owner, Kazuyoshi Okamura, will take part in Super GT race. He will drive Chevy Corvette GT race car. One tuner and D1 driver takes part in Super GT race car is surprising news, which means drive super GT race car and take part in Super GT race is such a difficult thing. Aftershock of big earthquake and nuclear powerplant problem make us feel sad now but Japanese car market and tuning market is stepping forward now, and that’s good.