While it may take months for American mind-bending treasures like Kangaroo Jack and Agent Cody Banks to hit the Japanese shores, you get to enjoy the wonders of that island nation this very minute, and you don't even have to endure a half hour of Stuart Little 2: A Production Assistant Reveals All before the real entertainment begins.
Our cast includes two main characters, Tanabe and Succeed Sports, in a romantic interlude deep in the hilly region of the Shiga precinct. Although behavior such as theirs might be appropriate on Animal Planet, we have to keep it clean around here now, as we're becoming a bit squeamish as the years progress. Maybe it's the extra chromosomes or maybe it's that Max Power UK is no longer a part of our company roster. We'll never really know for sure.
What we can tell you is that a relationship like the one between Tanabe and Succeed Sports is extremely intimate, one that should be reserved for books with covers graced by Fabio and a woman, not a Yashio Factory Silvia. OK, that's a bit dramatic, but when you see how intense these characters get, you'll understand why we can say that they make red-butted baboons in zoo cages during the spring season seem as active as sunbathing elderly sloths.
From the outside, you should recognize that this is one fine Integra Type R, far beyond the parameters of a normal Final Call article. In fact, if we didn't have so many amazing cars queued up for future issues, this may well have passed as a normal front-of-the-book feature. We're just mean like that. Anyway, to make it worth your while, we should really talk about the car.
Tanabe and Succeed Sports tell us that the reason behind the vehicle's design is "for it to become the fastest naturally aspirated car in each circuit we decide to race it in." And with so many circuit choices in Japan, you can throw money on the fact that their R&D never stops. Tanabe, as you're likely aware, is an established performance parts manufacturer from Japan that also sells in the States as Tanabe Racing Development USA. Succeed Sports is a newer company that basically tests everything Tanabe throws at it, along with researching its own original parts. Both are heavily involved in racing, and both are extremely serious about winning.
Asyou can tell, both companies spared no expense. The Ings body kit may look minimalist, but believe us when we say that it is far from an ineffective showpiece. One of the greatest things about being a successful Japanese company like Tanabe is that you can afford expensive, finely-engineered Japanese items like the Ings setup you see here, which complements the structure of the vehicle instead of erasing its performance integrity with pointless flare. For visual appeal though, the paintjob could be as lavish as the companies wished. With a nod to JetBlue airlines and One Hour Photo's SavMart, the Integra Type R's overall color scheme is clean, organized, and methodical, albeit lacking the obvious hunter's blade and stalker tendencies. The trunklid does, however, sport a wing, a Voltex GT 3D-type wing, which provides as much wind-grip as the Airbus A320 that's taking your dad to the San Francisco airport. Hope he remembered to pack the Pine Sol, because it's not pretty in there.
Popping the hood latch, the first thing you will notice is that the engine is built. Very built. Way beyond Final Call built. So who built it? Toda Racing. Sure, there are a few stock items left, such as the spark plug wires, fuel rail, intake manifold, and the ignition. But that's because the companies are up to their shoulders in analytical mud, and they're gonna wait to tackle those items later. Everything else you see, from the fuel injectors to the cam gears, are all Toda Racing designed, save for the Mugen headers, ARC intake (installed after we shot photos), and the most noteworthy of all, the Succeed Sports original oil pan and piping design, which are prototypes enduring intense research.
Speaking of which, the complete chassis setup is also a prototype, as you can probably tell by the Succeed Sports separate-tank struts. If the guys over at Succeed Sports could speak English, we could tell you what's going on with the parts, but since they don't enjoy watching celebrities bathe in elephant dung on reality TV shows while ignoring minor events like the start of World War III, the common ground just doesn't exist. We did catch something from the Tanabe guys, however, who tell us that they are "testing the original parts one-by-one at the circuit with the aim of getting exact data and driving impressions for each change directly from the race driver." Sounds a lot less intense than snacking on glass shards while suspended over a vat of raw sewage, but who are we to judge? Regardless, the suspension setup shakes hands with the pavement, and like an endlessly long awkward moment with the guy sitting next to you on the plane, doesn't let go. That's right-it ain't no drifter. Those Buddy Club P1 Racing wheels aren't going anywhere the steering wheel doesn't tell them to. Additionally, for maximum control, the owners bypassed the ABS to make sure that it doesn't act up during a tight turn. But if you can't drive without it, you don't deserve to be racing in Shiga.
Inside, Succeed Sports looted the entire stock setup, integrating only a pair of Sparco Corsa seats and Takata harnesses, a Sparco steering wheel, and a digital boost gauge. Much like the original Succeed Sports racing pedals, the rest of the pieces are under development, and will likely remain minimal to keep the pounds down.
Overall, both Tanabe and Succeed Sports aspire to destroy old speed records with this Integra Type R, especially in the naturally aspirated class. No plans for nitrous, rocket fuel tanks, or forced induction are in the works for the engine-just pure, unadulterated Shiga air, high-octane fuel, and nudity. Yes, nudity. How else would you reduce the driver's weight? Dieting? Psssh. Dieting is not for magazine editors. But fat as we are, we know potential when we see it, and this Integra will definitely be knocking soft drinks over and laughing at the chubby folks when it's finished.
Owner Succeed Sports
Ride '01 Honda Integra Type R
Hometown Shiga, Japan
Daily Grind Original JDM parts manufacturer
Under The Hood Toda Racing complete engine setup (minus stock intake manifold, fuel rail, throttle body, ignition, and spark plug wires), Mugen valvesprings, ECU, clutch, and headers; ARC intake and racing radiator, Tanabe catalytic converter and Super Medallion Racing exhaust system, Succeed Sports original chamber-type piping and oil pan, ATS limited-slip differential, NGK spark plugs
Stiff Stuff Tanabe Sustec Pro 210 coilovers and prototype antiroll stabilizer bars, Succeed Sports original struts, tower bar (front and rear strut braces), rear tension bar, and rear cross bar; Mugen bushings
Rollers Buddy Club 17-inch P1 Racing wheels
Stoppers Succeed Sports master cylinder stoppers, Crucks brake lines, PFC brake pads
Outside Ings body kit, Voltex GT 3D-Type wing
Inside Sparco steering wheel and Corsa seats, Takata harnesses, digital boost gauge, Succeed Sports original pedals