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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Feel The Fury – TommyKaira Prius RR Hits Suzuka Circuit

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TommyKaira Prius RR

While most of the world finds the Prius to be a practical yet bland daily driver, TommyKaira has gone on to create a Prius with a unique personality. One could go as far as saying that they’ve created an “aggressive” looking Prius. Whatever it may be, TK has given me a new appreciation for the Prius and made me think that perhaps it would not be so terribly boring to own one.

I shared the picture below on our facebook fan page to mostly favorable comments and a whole lot of surprise. The one point of view which most people share (myself included) is the puzzling nature of why a design this agressive should find its way on to a Prius. A Prius most certainly does not need all of this racing aero does it?

Well, while myself and others were questioning the point of all of of these racing modifications and how a Prius would never see the track… a funny thing happened in Japan. TommyKaira was actually racing the Prius at Suzuka Circuit! I never really pictured a Prius running at Suzuka, yet TommyKaira gave it a go.

No lap times were posted, but we do have pictures indicating the oddity of two Prius racers along with a CR-Z. The Prius might be the only race car capable of completing a hot lap while safely eating a bowl of hot ramen.

TommyKaira Prius RR

Below are a few more shots that I find really cool for anyone who either A. Likes the Prius or B. Has written the Prius off as a car that has no passion.

Noteworthy is the full titanium 4 tip exhaust, the highly modified tail light design, and of course the wild new aero kit.

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Making The Prius Cool

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TommyKaira Prius Tommy Kaira

I look at this picture of TommyKaira’s latest version Prius and I can’t help but think that it looks cool! It is surprisingly difficult to use the words cool and Prius in the same sentence.

Surely all of the ducting is not needed or practical but from purely a visual point of view TommyKaira has managed to make the Prius actually look exciting! At the moment the Prius tuning movement has had trouble spreading to the US. With so many people driving blandly designed hybrids like the Prius I’m really surprised that more people arent stepping up to turn that practical daily driver into something really special and not simply just practical.

For many Prius owners the primary purpose of the Prius is not simply Eco meaning Economical but Eco meaning Ecological. There are more millionaires driving cars like the Prius than any other car in it’s price range. The Prius has always carried a social message of green. All I’m saying is green and responsible does not need to be dull. New cars like the Fisker and Tesla are proving that point and I still believe there is hope for the Prius as well. To me, this picture proves that point.

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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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