Volk Releases TE37 SL Super Lap

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Rays Japan just released this hardcore new TE37 variant called the TE37 SL (Super Lap). Somehow they managed to shave off another pound from each wheel with a new manufacturing technique. New sizing even includes a 18×11 which I’m personally excited about. I like how the new sticker is in your face controversial. Some will love it and some will hate it (fortunately a quick peel off is a solution). I think it’s damn hardcore which is the entire point.

We’re a RAYS/Volk authorized dealer so if you’re looking into picking up some new wheels like these please give us a shout and we’ll be happy to assist you and always offer our price match guarantee (worldwide) as well. sales@bulletproofautomotive.com

TE37 SL Super Lap

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Only In Japan – Chevy Van by Ben Schaffer

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Chevy Van - Only in Japan, Te37, Brembo

This random picture is something you’d only see in Japan.

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Lateral Thinking by Patrick Callahan

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If I’m honest with myself I’d have to say that TAS was a disappointment for me this year. The hybrid cars seemed to be the “hottest” sector of the show and as has been stated previously on this blog, the change in the scene is a little difficult to digest. Even the mighty GT-R which has single-handedly brought so many companies into our segment of the aftermarket didn’t quite have the breakthrough products I was expecting.

What’s an enthusiast to do? Looking to the past for platforms and inspiration as Ben mentioned is certainly one way. While I certainly appreciate the cars of the past I’m starting to think that another approach might be looking outside of Japan for platforms. For the first time in a long while, America is making world-class cars and Japan seems to be falling behind the curve and into disrepute (Toyota recalls anyone?). Even Korea is getting in on building cars with genuine potential for mods.

One car that has long had JDM support is the Corvette. The appeal of a V8 powered sports car wrapped in an attractive fiberglass body has been appreciated around the world. West Corvette has been working with these American machines since 1982 and they offer many nice upgrades including TE-37s in both aluminum and magnesium, awesome brakes and brake hats and of course their own long tube headers and exhaust. With the recent release of the ZR-1, you could produce quite a monster. They even have parts for the C4 which is typically unloved.

Even the C6 platform is admittedly a bit dated so what about the future? Well, I’m looking at the new Ford Fiesta. This car is everything we used to love about the little cars from Japan, it just happens to be made by Ford. Am I the only one imagining this car with a Cosworth motor in white with carbon accents?

There are many other potential gems including the Pontiac G8, Cadillac CTS-V and even the new Mustang. As much as we used to hate on these brands, they sat up and took notice. Their lineups are still a bit spotty but the potential is undeniably still there.

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Tuned Lancer Evolution V by Matt Rus

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Blogs and sites are already full of nicely tuned last generations Evos, so it’s a fun challenge to find some older generation Evos with the proper tuning treatment. I was doing bit of research and found this nice yellow Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V from Japan.

Visually, the car wears a set of white Volk TE37 wheels under some GP sports front fenders. The hood was replaced with a lighter carbon fiber unit from Varis. You won’t see them but behind those wheels are stock Brembo calipers and rotors taken from Evo 8. A Blitz LM radiator is fitted in front of the car as well. Under the hood a Greddy oil catch tank and Greddy BOV is hiding. The Evo also has a Jspeed roll cage, yellow Recaro seat for the co-driver, Recaro SP-GT II bucket seat for the driver and a Key’s racing steering wheel. On the dash a carbon fiber Garage HRS center panel with Defi gauges is fitted as well as a HKS type-0 turbo timer. The ECU is replaced with a Apex’i Power FC for increased power.


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GT-RR R35 Demo Car – What Top Secret Te37s Would Look Like?

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GT-RR R35 GT-R Top Secret LE37 Photoshop

When Mana-P and I collaborated on the design of this car’s graphics nearly a year ago, I really wondered what Top Secret Gold Te37s would look like on there. The color combination of gold and chrome foil always matched perfectly for some Top Secret gold rims. Unfortunately Volk did not have any GT-R wheels that I wanted to rock at SEMA 2008 so we ran BBS LM’s instead and the rest is history…or is it? With this GT-R going back to New Jersey where it’s home ultimately will be, we sent it back to its home in style with a set of ultra exclusive Top Secret TE37 wheels in 19″ for alternative use (BBSs will still be the daily rims).

The Top Secret rims looks as amazing on the car as I expected, but I was left wondering just how much better they’d look if there were a proper size for the GT-R (all 19″s look a bit small on the massive GT-R). So what you’re seeing in the introduction picture is a quick photoshop to bump the rim sizes up to something more appropriate for the GT-R. If only Top Secret could convince Volk to make these in a size this large…

The following pictures are the actual size of the rims on the car (still looks hot to me, but 19″s will always look a little small on the R35). The car was set for “transportation” height so it was a little 4×4 style since that day we loaded it into a transport rig to send it home. Because we’re running the Top Secret suspension with cup kit, we can set the car lower ultimately and the height can always be lifted with the touch of the remote control.

I’ll be out in NY and NJ next week with the car as we enter into the next round of tuning out there. More is still to come, believe it or not. I’m happy that we sent the Purple R35 from SEMA back to Hawaii last year and finally this car goes back to the east coast. Having GT-Rs that we’re proud to have created on each end of the country is very satisfying to us all over here!

I wonder what the next project will be…we’re always taking client requests to do custom builds so we’ll see soon perhaps.

GT-RR R35 Demo Car with Top Secret Te37 WheelsGT-RR R35 Demo Car with Top Secret Te37 Wheels

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Cars You Would Not Expect To Be Rocking Volks

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Volk RE30 On Ford GT

I thought I’d make a post on some cars you’d never expect to see rocking Volk wheels. Thanks to Phillip at Mackin, I have a few pictures to show.

Without a doubt Rays makes some highly functional wheels, but due to marketing and image its unfortunate that often they dont get much play on non Japanese cars. In recent years we’re seeing more of them on BMWs, Porsches and other German cars thanks to Rays international marketing, but still it is relatively rare to see some of our favorite Japanese rims on a wider range of rides. The Ford GT above is a great use of the lightweight 1pc forged RE30 wheels and I’m sure it was a great upgrade for that car.

Here’s a picture I took in Japan 10 years ago of a Japanese market Camaro Z28 with Te37s. This car was my own personal introduction to this topic. Sorry for the low res pic, thats how they made digital cameras back then!

Camaro with Te37 volk wheels 1999

That JDM Camaro was up on game, check the Brembo BBK hiding behind those TE37s. I’m sure this was a super tough car for the late 1990s in Japan.

Z28 Camaro with TE37s and Brembos

One more car for this topic: Te37s on a BMW X5. This is something I never thought I’d see.

BMW X5 on Volk Te37s

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Rays New Wheel And Thoughts…

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RAYS Gram Lights 57G

My first post back after the awesome blogger contest entries! Thank you again to everyone who participated!

The new Gram Lights 57G is one of the hottest new Rays wheels I’ve seen in a while (from the first look at the pictures released) and I think is worthy of a post here. It is refreshing to see a new rim by Rays that I can get excited about. There just has not been much to get crazy over when it comes to new rim designs out of Japan in recent years.

Rays clearly has a tough job when it comes to making impactful new wheel design trends. I say that because the TE37 is still one of the hottest wheels from any manufacturer in any country after more than 10 years. I had a set of Bronze TE37s on my Honda Prelude in the late 1990s, and after all of the trends and innovation the TEs are still at the top of my list of rims I’d select to do a build with. I cant think of many products I can say that about over that long a period in time. Its damn near an impossible feat.

So on one hand I feel a little bad for the product designers at Rays because they’re having a hard time eclipsing the desirably of the TE37 which is more than a decade old. Not to lay any fault on them…they still have made some really great wheels over the years, but to me, only the CE28N has been at the same level as the TE37 when it comes to classic wheel greatness. There are plenty of honorable mentions, but only two certified timeless classics in my opinion. (thats still two more than most wheel companies will ever get)

Put the Meister S1 2pc and 3pc wheels, the TE37s or the CE28Ns on any car and they will always look great. Forever.

So the modern wheel game consists of some very big shoes to fill. The VR G2 wheels were one of Rays newer releases and has the makings of a wheel with good design longevity. But honestly, I cant ever say that I felt excited about them…they always felt like a safe play, and if you were to think of them as TE37 Generation 2s, they feel a bit like a letdown. Like remakes of classic movies, sometimes sequels are hard to do…especially when comparing to a set of concave TE37s in 18×10.5+15 GT-R offsets. That’s like doing a remake of Scarface without Al Pacino, pretty much an impossible task to eclipse the original.

So maybe me hoping that they will make a rim more classic than the TE37 someday is nothing more than a pipe dream.

I’m at least excited to make this post and show two new rims which I’d say are some of their best designs in years. I really wish the 57G posted above would have been a Volk Racing branded wheel since my experience with Gram Lights has for the most part been an inferior product when compared to Volk Racing. I still dont understand why they use the word light in a brand that has heavier rims than Volk Racing. That always from a marketing point of view turned me off on Gram Lights, from the very first time I picked up a wheel in Japan and wondered how a light wheel could be so heavy. I used to call them Gram Heavies when talking with my friends. I mean, I get that Volk need a more economy line but I always felt the name was a bit misleading.

Give me a set of these 57G wheels under the Volk Racing brand with forged production (these are cast for cost savings reasons) and a concave face. That would be a classic winner. Until that never happens, this is still one of the hottest new rims out. Certified.

These 57G wheels by the way have a concave face available it seems (not pictured). They actually have 3 different face profiles which is a GREAT idea. Sizes max out at 18″ with offsets going down to +12 on the 10.5s. Makes me still want to run a set on my S2000 widebody in 18×10.5+12 Face-3. Hmm…if only they were the forged Volk Racing versions I wish they were.

And for those old school Honda heads out there, this variation below might just be even cooler for you. The 57 Vintage offered in 16″ with 4×100 bolt pattern only. A “new classic” wheel if you will…Put on the right car, this would be certified hotness. (Mugened out EF Civic HB and Slammed DC2 Integra Type R quickly come to mind)

Gram Lights 57 Vintage

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