Mazda releases end of line RX-8 Spirit R final edition

October 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Rotary fans worldwide took the news hard that Mazda was killing off its RX-8 without word of a successor – but now there is a small silver lining.

Mazda has just announced that it is releasing a final special edition of its RX-8 which could be the final rotary production cars ever built. Named the RX-8 Spirit R, this very collectable special edition will be limited to just 1,000 units, with sales in the Japanese domestic market only.

The Spirit R nameplate is familiar being also used for the final edition of the RX-7 and the RX-8 version will be sold in two variants – a six-speed manual version based on the RS model and the other with a six-speed auto based on the Type E model.

After it launches the Spirit R and the auto-only Type G will be the only RX-8 models on sale in Japan with production ending fully on June 12th, 2012.

Naturally, the Spirit R receives some special touches like an exclusive Recaro bucket seats and bronze 19-inch alloy wheels. Special equipment includes a sport suspension set-up, larger brakes with red calipers, new front headlights and Spirit R badges. Continue reading “Mazda releases end of line RX-8 Spirit R final edition” »

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C launched in Japan

December 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

A Subaru Impreza WRX STI would be special enough for most of us but for the hardcore enthusiast it’s simply not exclusive enough. Always keen to help out, Subaru has just released the new extra rare Impreza WRX STI Spec C for the Japanese domestic market.

This latest Spec C version aligns the new model with the facelifted WRX which debuted earlier this year.

So what’s special about the Spec C?  For this new edition it includes an ECU remap and the addition of new ball-bearings for the twin-scroll turbocharger. That equates to new power figures of (227 kW / 304 bhp) and 430 Nm of torque from the 2.0 litre turbo unit.

There are also some driveline changes on the WRX STI Spec C with a mechanical rear LSD replacing the previous Torsen type as well as having the front chassis reinforced with a new cross member. It will be lighter too, losing weight through an aluminum bonnet, smaller battery and 18-inch light alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tyres in 245/40R18 dimensions.

Gold-colored Brembo brake calipers are standard and there are options available including Recaro sport seats. This edition is exclusive and only 900 examples will be produced.

Subaru reveals STI-equipped Forester tS exclusively for Japanese market

October 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It probably won’t ever make it down here to NZ, or any other market outside of Japan, but the new JDM Subaru Forester tS deserves a closer look. Based on the Forester S-Edition, the tS is given the go-faster treatment with a range of upgrades and STi parts including a modified suspension that sits 15 mm lower than usual, 17-inch alloys, a front spoiler and some special tS badging.

In the cabin there are STI sport seats that use a combination of leather and Alcantara as well as a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and a modified instrument panel.

Motivation comes from a 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine matched up with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Japanese customers won’t be limited to just Subaru Blue for colour choice with  four exterior colors offered. It will be an exclusive ride too with Subaru planning on producing just 300 examples. The cost? Well it’s not a cheap steer with the base-model costing 3,450,00 Yen ($56,550 NZ).

Check out the gallery below for more images of the Subaru Forester tS.

Continue reading “Subaru reveals STI-equipped Forester tS exclusively for Japanese market” »

Honda to produce limited-edition Civic Type-R Euro

April 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Honda Civic Type R Euro has proved a real hit in Japan and a solid seller in their market. It’s no surprise really, the UK-built hatchback packs 201 horsepower, agro styling and a suspension that has been perfected on the tarmac of Europe. It isn’t as fast as some of its predecessors, but that hasn’t stopped Japanese buyers from snapping them up. Honda says that since the car went on sale in November, the company has sold 1,850 units on its home turf.

Now, to celebrate, Honda is turning out a special edition version of the Civic Type R Euro three-door. Changes over the standard model aren’t expected to be too radical and it’s expected to be mainly a styling update. The bodywork is due a refresh, but any power increase seems unlikely. Hopefully if the Civic Type R Euro continues to be popular in the Japanese domestic market we will begin to see a few down here in NZ. Fingers crossed.

NISMO tuned Nissan 370Z debuts in Japan

June 26th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

NISMO Nissan 370Z fq

If you can get to Japan and have a passion for all things Z, Nissan’s got something very tasty for you. The company has just unleashed its factory tuned 370Z, and the results are attractive.

The JDM NISMO 370Z features a modified version of the 3.7-litre V6 engine that churns out 350 horsepower compared to the standard car’s 332HP. It’s available with a choice of either 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission.

The NISMO package also ads 19-inch alloy wheels shod in 245/40 R19 tires up front and 275/35 R19 at the rear, stiffer suspension and a high-performance brake system.

The coupe’s exterior styling is modified with a functional aero kit that includes a longer dipping nose, unique rear fascia, large wing and side skirts, while the interior is upgraded with a set of sport seats, special door trim and NISMO gauges.

If you want one jump on a plane to Japan and take a wad of cash with you Nissan has priced the NISMO 370Z at 4,935,00 Yen (about $79,760 NZ) for the 6-speed manual gearbox model and at 5,040,000 Yen (approx $81,435 NZ) for the automatic version.