FB Update: Aqua / Prius by Noblesse

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Aqua Prius by Noblesse

JDM Tuner Noblesse got their hands on a Toyota Aqua/Prius C.  What do you guys think?

This post has been rebroadcast from our Facebook fan page.  To see similar updates, visit us at http://www.facebook.com/therealjdm.

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FB Update: Prius V by TommyKaira

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TommyKaira Prius body kit

Here’s a look at the new TommyKaira body kit for the Prius V.

TommyKaira aero for Prius V

This post has been rebroadcast from our Facebook fan page.  To see similar updates, visit us at http://www.facebook.com/therealjdm.

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FB Update: Tommykaira for Prius

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Tommykaira for Prius

Tommykaira continues their development of tuning options for the Prius…

This post has been rebroadcast from our Facebook fan page.  To see similar updates, visit us at http://www.facebook.com/therealjdm.

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Axell for Lexus CT200h

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For those looking for a good aero kit for the new Lexus CT200h, we’re distributing for Axell out of Japan. Here’s their next upcoming kit.

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BulletproofEco.com by Ben Schaffer

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Bulletproof Eco

We’ve been hard at work on expanding lately. A couple of new projects are in the works and at the moment I’m ready to introduce our Bulletproof Eco project.

www.bulletproofeco.com – Coming Soon Page

This one has been a long time coming…under the radar of most, we’ve actually been supplying Prius styling and tuning parts by Kenstyle, Toms and other high end Japanese companies for quite a few years already. However, lately the Eco tuning scene has rapidly picked up and we feel a need to double our efforts on our end to promote and distribute for our friend’s brands in Japan.

Bulletproof Eco is designed to do for Eco and Hybrid car tuning what Bulletproof Automotive has done for Sports Car tuning.

The website is being built now and I’m excited to debut it in the hopefully near future. In the meantime, please keep us in mind for you or your friends who are interested in adding something special to your Eco or Hybrid daily driver. Our Eco business is already running at full speed and we can currently accept any orders or requests by email or phone. For those who already know what they want, this is ideal while waiting for the official website launch which will debut a lot of parts and brands that many have never seen before.

This is also perfect timing to announce that we have recently been selected as the North American and Middle East Exclusive distributor for Tommy Kaira and their great Prius and Insight tuning parts lineup (and those cool LED emblems they make!).

Bulletproof Eco is already an authorized direct distributor for Prius and Insight Tuning Parts Produced By:

ASI Green

Tommy Kaira

Kenstyle

Top Secret

J’s Racing

and much more…

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The Transition – Discussion Shift From Vintage JDM To Eco JDM

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the_transition

I came across this picture from our archives and it made me think about the transition…The transition from our last blog post (the flawless old school Z) to what I want to write about next (Eco tuning) is what this picture represents…but also it represents the old and the new of JDM tuning which are both celebrating new heights of popularity at the very same moment in time. Granted the two cars are totally incomparable, but if i had to isolate two prominent themes of Tokyo Auto Salon 2010 it would be nostalgic car tuning and eco tuning. These two massively contrasting mediums of JDM tuning are what made TAS 2010 most different from previous shows.

So what about Eco Tuning? Well, there is one point in particular that I wanted to share. Often I learn profoundly interesting things in meetings with my friends and suppliers over in Japan. Although I wont say the particular company or the person in this case, there was an interesting perspective mentioned in private that I feel is worth mentioning publicly with my source being anonymous.

I asked my friend quite honestly what he felt about Eco tuning. His booth happened to feature a newly tuned Eco (hybrid) car so I felt he would have some perspective on where that trend is headed. This particular guy’s company, much like many other Eco tuning firms has its roots in sports car tuning. I suspect his perspective is comparable to those like ASI, Top Secret and the countless other well respected tuners who after years of tuning sports cars are now playing with the Prius and the Insight.

So I started off by asking what he thought about Eco tuning because of his new demo car. His response was not terribly enthusiastic about the demo car, but his response led to the overall impression that he feels that Eco tuning is an important part of the future of the industry. I said that I understood and agreed that it was a smart decision to produce something that would be a part of the next wave of tuning. But then I asked him how Eco car tuning is doing right now in Japan. His response was that he did not see many tuned Eco cars on the roads, almost none actually.

Then the “ah ha” moment of the conversation was revealed…

I asked him…if you don’t see tuned Eco cars on the road then why is it that Auto Salon was filled with tuned hybrids everywhere I looked? How could it be that the most popular trend at TAS of tuned hybrids is so far off from the current demand (or lack thereof for hybrid tuning). I was honestly shocked that he had a tuned hybrid car in his booth AND that everyone else seemed to have one as well, and here he was telling me that at the moment that very few people are buying parts like this at the very moment that people like myself are led to believe that they are becoming massively popular in Japan!

He then went on to explain that this is how trends are started. Essentially the situation is that collectively all of the tuners in Japan are betting on the Prius and Insight to be an important part of their future (based primarily on car sales data). If the industry feels that those are the popular cars, then the consensus is that if the entire tuning industry gets behind those cars that they’ll be able to influence the habits of the owners to modify the cars and a new segment of the industry will be launched.

Essentially I look at it as the entire Japanese aftermarket trying to jump start an industry from scratch. They are trying to build enough cool demo cars, and enough awesome parts that they will convince a new market to form based on the sheer collective effort of the aftermarket.

This concept goes against my traditional understanding of a business’s duties being to fulfill demand and instead shows the aftermarket’s optimism and brute force of creating demand rather than fulfilling it. I can’t lie though, it does work when it comes to JDM tuning.

Think about it another way.

Did you want to buy a 370Z even more than before after Amuse came out with that Vestito aero kit? I sure did…

And the first time I saw the Ericsson kit and exhaust for the M3, at that moment I lusted after an M3. Before that I admired the M3, but after that all I could think about was buying one! And the examples go on and on, hell I want a S30 Fairlady after Rocky Auto convinced me!  I don’t think that any of us can deny that actual desire (demand in business terms) can be jumpstarted by the industry if amazing parts and complete cars are created.

It is for this same reason that the FT-86 was revealed at TAS already heavily modified. Intelligent car companies are embracing the aftermarket to make their cars more lusted after and cooler! So here, the story of TAS to me is seeing the entire collective aftermarket giving a big push forward to the sexiness and appeal of the Insight and Prius in hopes for successfully launching a new category of tuning which the industry desperately needs to stay healthy long term (keep in mind, the industry cant survive on out of production Supras, Silvias, etc forever).

So wrapping up…it was a fascinating lesson on what happens when the entire Japanese aftermarket seems to rally around a concept and to create a new style of tuning and a new demand out of essentially thin air. It might sound crazy, but based on what I’ve seen in the past I think it may just work. I know I’ve had thoughts about cruising daily in a Tommy Kaira Prius after seeing that car at TAS…So at least I can say that its working on me!

PS: I’ll feature more Eco cars that I felt were cool later on. I wanted this post to be more conceptual about this important discussion on the power of persuasion and the unity of the aftermarket in Japan to rally around the singular goal of launching a new style of tuning.

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Welcome To 2010 Post – A Forward Thinking Post

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ASI Toyota Prius Lexus Bulletproof Eco

Happy New Year everyone! I’m excited about 2010! During my hiatus I spent some time thinking about life, cars and the future.

One thing that reoccurred a few times during my time reflecting and reading was the theme of electric cars and eco cars in general. Now if you’re like me, this probably sounds like a boring topic…but if you’re like me, you’ll give reading this a chance because you know how much I care about sports car tuning and where I’m coming from.

I wanted to share the cliff notes of my thought evolution during my time off.

First of all, this is a great video to all of you who are forward thinking and interested in the future:

http://www.ted.com/talks/shai_agassi_on_electric_cars.html

That TED video in the link is not the first and also will not be the last I’ll share here over the years. I’m a huge supporter of TED and I recommend it to anyone and everyone who has an interest in the world we all live in. There truly is knowledge for any and every interest, presented from thousands of the world’s foremost experts. Its all free and streaming on that website and I don’t make a penny endorsing this, I do it for the bettering of your knowledge/perspective and for the positive advancement of world we all must co-exist in.

So back to the point…I’ve been admittedly reluctant on accepting the shift from performance cars to Eco cars as of late, and I’ve stated my feelings here on the blog many times before. In actuality I’m very PRO green technology I’m all about reducing our footprint and curbing global warming…but at the same time I cant help but get depressed as less sports car tuning is ultimately slowing down my hobby and for that matter the industry my business operates in.

With that being said, I think undeniably that electric and/or various other low emission vehicles is the answer to many of the very daunting problems we have right now in the world. The TED video I linked to above provides a very compelling vision of what a proper mass roll out of an electric vehicle solution looks like and the massively positive impact it can offer the world.

I agree with the message in the video and I support that image of the future. But I want my sports cars too…I don’t want to ever give up the joy of driving and modifying fun cars.

Next and unrelated to stumbling upon that TED video, I watched an older episode of Top Gear in which they interviewed Jay Leno. Leno said something interesting to this point…he said that when cars replaced horses, horses lost their primary function as a mode of daily transportation but yet they transitioned into a permanent role of sport and personal enjoyment rather than basic transport. Essentially, the advent of cars ended up giving horses a permanent place in the world for those who enjoy horses for the passion or riding rather than the necessity of it.

Now, the horses I’m interested in are more plentiful…(400 horses minimum at a time for me please)

With that being said, perhaps hybrid cars, electric cars and other green vehicles which I consider a necessity for the world (yet a horribly boring drive) will bring the same result.

Lastly, I read a great article in Fortune Small Business magazine (another magazine that just got the axe and one that was the closest resemblance to Business 2.0 which was my favorite magazine until they died as well). This article was about two guys that took over a Cadillac dealership in Northern California to open a Prius conversion shop. They would take the Prius and for about $5000 they would convert it to be able to run on electricity only. Basically “souping” up the battery system by adding more capacity and rewiring the electronics to be able to bypass the engine completely…I was inspired. Their business exhibits the same passion that we have for bolting on a turbo kit and reworking the ECU and fuel to compensate for more air flow, yet they were doing it for the passion of ECO tuning rather than sports tuning.

To conclude…

In three unrelated stumbles upon information I developed my own vision of the future in which ECO tuning and sports car tuning not only co-exist but help each other to unite a more solid and permanent foundation for the passion of car tuning.

The idea of an all electric zero emissions daily driver and a beast of a sports car for the weekend seems like a future that I can be happy with and at the same time the world can be a better place because of it. At the same time, our weekend sports cars can become even more focused on the “sporting” side because daily practicality will become less of a focus with a gas and dollar saving ECO car to be used as a daily beater. This will allow for more aggressive sports car builds because the trade-off between speed and usability will become less of a factor. If my hopes are true, the purity of sports car tuning will become enhanced when the future arrives and this day comes.

Regardless of whether I’m right or wrong, one thing I know for sure is nothing stays the same forever. With that being said, you’ll soon see a new business emerge from our company. I’ll refrain from saying more details until the website is done to share with you all.

Happy New Year! May the future be bright for us all.

Ben

PS: The ASI Green Prius will debut at Tokyo Auto Salon. You can see the first sneak peek of the real car here. We’ll be offering ASI tuning for the Prius immediately upon its release, just as we also offer ASI’s Ferrari and Bentley tuning programs now to our clients.

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