Defined Autoworks 4-Rotor Engine

Defined Autoworks 4-Rotor via NoPistons.comAs far as I know, Defined Autoworks is the first shop to build a 4-rotor Mazda rotary engine here in the US. They machine their own 4-piece eccentric shaft with 5 main bearings that allows the engine to spin up to 12,000 rpm. An Electromotive engine management computer controls four 2,200 cc injectors. Electromotive also supplies the two ignition computers that control the 12 coils of the triple spark plug ignition system. The video documents the assembly of the engine along with some shots of the sliding plate throttle bodies and variable length intake runners. Dyno tuning will come later with an eventual goal of 800 horsepower to the wheels.

Source: Defined Autoworks on YouTube via

Nissan VR-38 Takumi

TakumiMeet the four men responsible for building all of the engines for the Nissan GT-R. In Japanese culture they are known as Takumi, masters of their craft. Like the hand-picked team that assembles the Lexus LFA, these men were chosen because of their over 100 combined years of automotive manufacturing experience. Each engine is entirely hand assembled from start to finish by the same technician. Their nameplate is then attached to the front of the engine to symbolize the personal pride that goes into the assembly of Nissan’s flagship engine in the plant where the company started.

Source: Nissan Newsroom on YouTube via GT Channel

Liberty Walk in Italy Part 1

LB_Performance_Murcielago-Desktop-02 via Speedhunters.comLiberty Walk is a tuning shop in Japan that is best known for their work with Lamborghinis. The company was founded in 1993 to share a passion for cars with Japan’s younger generation. Liberty Walk’s owner, Kato, even has a vision of a super car amusement park for families to enjoy together:

Liberty Walk // Amusement Park
from on Vimeo.

The team from Liberty Walk took their widebody Murcielago (pictured at the top) to the Lamborghini 50th anniversary celebration in Italy. They documented the trip to showcase the generosity of the Italian people that they received on their quest to showcase Japanese spirit.

Source: LBPerformance on YouTube

Touge Monster Showdown

The Touge Showdown will always be one of my favorite bits of automotive media to watch. It’s a competition put on by the guys behind Best Motoring and Hot Version to see which Japanese tuners can build the best overall balanced car for street driving (touge is a term used for the mountain roads of Japan). The motivation was to discourage a troubling trend that the hosts noticed where tuning shops were selling customer hardcore extreme tuned cars with stiff suspension and stripped out amenities. While great for track racing, these cars were completely inappropriate for the average enthusiast driving on the street everyday. Cars participating in the Touge Showdown have to have full interiors, air conditioning and use street legal tires. A special twist and bumpy course was chosen to make sure the cars had enough suspension to be fast over imperfect tarmac.

This particular tournament is an all-star bash of previous tournament winners. Though filmed in 2011, this is the first time we’ve had access to them with English subtitles. There wasn’t enough demand for Best Motoring and Hot Version DVD’s in America to justify production, but the magic of digital distribution now makes it cost effective for us to be able to watch these videos. The free version is broken up into 4 parts with commercials every now and again to advertise the paid download version.

Part 1 has the guys testing out the two All-Wheel Drive entrants. First up is the C-Ser Subaru Impreza tuned by the guy who started Yashio Factory. The tuning focus of the Impreza was on torque which led to a 2.5 liter block, small twin turbos and a lower redline. The second AWD car is the MCR R35 GT-R. This is the first outing for the car with the HKS GT800R symmetrical double turbo kit.

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TRD 86 Griffon Concept

Toyota Racing Development of Japan released this update on their progress with their Griffon concept based off of the GT-86. Originally debuted at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, the idea was to build a car capable of lapping Tsukuba Circuit in under a minute with the stock unibody and engine. All of the modifications have been done in the areas of suspension, lighter components and improved aerodynamics. These modifications make sense when you consider the Toyota GT-86 is the spiritual successor of the AE86. Both cars were designed to be lightweight handling machines with modest power so they could be used to train drivers.

Source: TRD Headquarters on YouTube