Walking through the halls of TAS this year it was obvious that every tuner out there is giving a lot of attention to hybrids, especially the new kid on the block, the CR-Z. The car you see above in the opening shot, built by aero specialist Silk Blaze, won the "Eco Car" award for its innovative front-end design which is aimed at improving airflow to help make the car more slippery through the air, thus more frugal. But tuners primarily modify hybrid cars to extract more performance, as let's be frank, they aren't exactly exciting in that department, so every extra horsepower is a bonus!
Of course improving the looks is also very important as is shown here by the Boom Enterprises Prius running on HRE P-40 19-inch wheels. To boost power the car is also fitted with a bigger intake throttle, less restrictive air filter and a sports exhaust system.
…runs an HKS supercharger kit based around the HKS GTS7040 blower. Kansai Service are still developing this kit and depending on supporting parts it may yield anywhere from 250 to 300 HP.
On the other hand HKS's street-tuned ZF1…
…is fitted with a GT Step 2 Supercharger, a mild kit that raises power to 202.4 HP. It's not quite clear if this figure includes the 14 or so HP the IMA motor is capable of delivering.
I followed the development of the C-West CR-Z on their blog so it was finally great to see the car up close.
The kit includes a complete front bumper, side skirt and a rear bumper lower section. I thought the low-mounted rear wing was rather nice, nor sure if it would hamper visibility though!
I knew the EMC Engineering CR-Z had to be packing something special under the hood to be sitting in the RH9 booth next to some of Japan's most impressively tuned cars…
…and it didn't disappoint. Joining the HKS Supercharger kit is custom titanium piping and an EMC carbon air box which helps lower intake air temperature dramatically. All of this is good for 300 HP.
Tommy Kaira's main show car, the R35 GT-R, was joined by this Prius running their full aero kit.
Quad exhaust outlets should put a few hairs on its chest!
This CR-Z on the Bridgestone stand could well be hinting at a possible one-make series, much like the Mugen Insight cup cars.
A VIP feel for the Aimgain Prius.
Lexus LS exhaust finishers have really been used on everything!
Now that's an original exhaust layout! Certainly gives an all-new feel to the Insight.
With an interior this flashy…
…the exterior could only be done up in this way!
This must be by far the most original hybrid on the planet! Linhbergh has already showed us the WiZ Concept V Hybrid Sunny but there was no way I could have skipped taking a second look.
Powering this 1989 Datsun B122 Sunny truck is the complete 1NZ-FXE hybrid powerplant from the Prius.
Check out the exposed battery pack and fuel tank.
Subtle looks are joined by a chassis-scraping stance and adequately cambered 15-inch Equip 01s. Not bad for a car built as a university project!
Nagata-san at Top Secret has preferred to extract additional power from his ZF1 demo car…
…by using a turbocharger rather than a supercharger. A 200 HP kit is already available and the above 300 HP kit running a TD04 turbo is almost ready for sale.
I went back to the Honda stand often to see if I could figure out what to make of the TS-1X concept.
I'm guessing Honda is testing the feasibility of releasing some of these innovative and curiously styled parts to the market. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that was baffled by its styling.
Rays released the Espcort 37 and 57 wheels, especially developed for hybrid and eco cars and featuring super lightweight construction to minimize rotating masses.
D.A.D. Prius. Need I say more?
The F-Sport version of the CT200h is already on sale in Japan and can be further modified to look like this display car by adding the full list of optional F-Sport by Modellista parts. These include the front bumper chin spoiler as well as side and rear skirts.
A few steps away from the CT200h was the G's Prius G Sports Concept, a car Gazoo Racing is considering creating if interest is high. The G's Prius gets 18-inch rims and very distinct front and rear bumpers.
And to finish up this look at the hybrids of TAS 2011 something completely different, a Porsche Cayenne hybrid on Schmïeden wheels.
I think I will have to dedicate the next post from the Makuhari Messe to the girls of TAS!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare