Tommy Kaira and ASI Prius by Matt Rus and Ben Schaffer

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ASI Prius

Words by Ben:

I noticed Matt (Farmofminds) already preparing a Prius feature on the Tommy Kaira car and I thought I’d join in since I’ve been intending to write something about the ASI Prius as well as the TK car. So here we go, another Prius blog post…

Really Japan? Has this what it has come to? All tuning news and innovation coming out of Japan seems to be either R35 GT-R or Prius/Insight. The rest of the tuning scene has very little news coming out. Can we get a little variety please? I’m already holding back on some GT-R blog posts because we have so many as it is, thats the big news these days.

Although you’ll find me being a huge supporter and fan of the R35 GT-R tuning scene, the Prius tuning scene is a bit different for me.

Dont get me wrong, I really respect the Prius (and Insight) for what they are (nature saving, efficient and affordable daily drivers). In fact I wouldnt be opposed to getting a Prius for a daily driver and if I did I’d probably be looking at one of these two companies for modifications (and Top Secret as a great third option for more simple lip kits). There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Prius and absoultely nothing wrong with making it look cool and perhaps even improving aerodynamics for better performance and economy (although these two probably worsen rather than improve Cd).

So what’s my beef? I like the Prius, I’d rock these kits…why the negativity? I’ll tell you why. Because this year for Tokyo Auto Salon I’m bringing my whole crew with me, as I usually do. This year we’re rolling 8 deep to Tokyo to see what is new at TAS. And you know what, when I ask my industry insider friends in Japan they all are telling me that TAS wont be the same and it’ll be dominated by “green” cars and eco cars with much less sports car tuning.

I understand the Japanese consumers demand eco tuning and styling, thats cool…but it is so overboard at this point that it feels like the Japanese government must have made a mandate that all tuners ARE REQUIRED to offer a tuning package for either the Prius or the Insight. I mean, who isnt doing parts for these cars right now? Enough already! (and it’s just begun) I’m telling you, if I see a JUN stroker kit come out for a damn Prius I’m throwing in the towel!

So now on top of having a Top Secret Prius demo car (picture that along side the monstrous Nardo Supra) we now have ASI’s demo Prius (picture that alongside their monsterous Tetsu widebody Bentley GTR or their slick Ferrari F430) AND we now have Tommy Kaira’s Prius demo car (picture that alongside their intense looking R35 GT-R car in development).

See what I’m getting at? Where’s the hardcore? Where’s the sports car tuning? Lets enjoy the Prius for what it is (a great eco car) but for my sanity’s sake, PLEASE DO NOT REPLACE OUR SPORTS CAR TUNING FUTURE WITH THIS. I understand Eco is the future for the masses, but can we keep our sports cars too? I thought the point was to have a sports car for the weekends and a Prius to daily drive. Lets keep it that way, keep the R&D coming on sports car tuning parts too please! I really dont want this blog to be required to feature hybrid news 3 days a week because there is nothing else fresh coming out.

Know what I’m saying?

Let me hear what you have to say on this please…

Ending rant, nobody can argue that this rear end of the Prius (below) by Tommy Kaira (under new management in Japan)  is the most amazing thing we’ve ever seen on a hybrid. This is as good as it gets design wise for the Prius. If I was an aero parts manufacturer, I wouldnt even bother making a rear under spoiler for the Prius after seeing this by Tommy Kaira. Game over.


PS: It would make a LOT more sense to me if Top Secret, ASI, Tommy Kaira and the like all would release their Eco projects under a sub-brand name. Like Top Secret: Green or ASI Eco Line, etc. Just something so I don’t think about these demo cars and parts in the same thought as a monster tuned Supra, Ferrari, etc.

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