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.