I still can’t believe what Ueta-san of BenSopra has managed to create in such a short space of time. When I first met him earlier last year he told me that for a long time he’d been thinking of ways to launch his own tuning brand. I did sort of dismissed it initially believe it or not, but I do hear these sort of statements quite often. But then, a few months later, I found 3D renderings of his crazy project in my inbox, along with a message asking what I thought. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes! Not only had he set the plan into motion but he was almost there, ready to build his very first demo car. Since its unveiling at the Tokyo Auto Salon back in January this year, the BenSopra aero kit has made it around the world, it has made a very obvious impact in the US thanks to loyal supporters of the brand and has become one of the most recognizable aero kits of 2012.
We saw the main demo car, based on the aborted Blitz D1 R35 project, in detail a couple of months back, but there was one other BenSopra GT-R I have been meaning to shoot since January. It’s a car that Ueta-san initially built for himself, a street-legal counterpart to his RWD drift beast and a ride that he has recently sold to one of his customers.
So when I was out in Kyoto back in October he invited me to stop over his newly set up workshop to check out some of the cool new cars he was working on and finally shoot that second BenSopra “R.”
Despite the persistent rain it turned out to be a good day because the first thing Ueta-san did was hand me the keys to the GT-R so we could drive it down to some potential “covered” shooting locations. Performance wise there is nothing special about this car, it runs the stock 480 HP those early models came with, except it’s been equipped with the mother of all R35 exhausts…
…taking full advantage of those side exits that were originally designed into the BenSopra aero kit. Two custom “screamer” pipes were fabricated and connected up to the actuator side of the exhaust housings of the stock IHI blowers to vent gasses directly out the side of the car. These things make the GT-R so loud, words cannot even begin to describe. It’s incredibly loud even at idle, but when you begin to get past 3,000 rpm the sound intensifies so much I found myself shifting up as I didn’t want to attract the wrong sort of attention. After getting kicked out of one “dry” location, I decided to head back to the BenSopra shop and shoot the car there…
…a tighter space than I had originally hoped for but one that had all sorts of cool cars parked around it like one of the many S-chassis Ueta owns.
I had time to once again admire the widedody kit in its smallest details…
…and riveted-on goodness!
The GT-R wears 20-inch Work Wheels…
…Gnosis HS202 to be precise, sporting a custom negative offset to get the most lip possible. The rim part of the wheel has been given the special black anodized finish that Work offers and mated to a silver center. The suspension is taken care of by KW adjustable coilovers that have been set to offer a good fitment between the wheels and overfenders, yet not making the car sit too low that it becomes undrivable.
The big front cowl is the BenSopra’s kit party trick and it’s always such an occasion when you lift it up, tilting it on its front-mounted hinges…
…to expose the mighty VR38 in all its rubber-hose and plastic-cover complexity. Apparently the new owner of the car will be modifying the V6 for more power, to help its performance match that…
…menacing exterior. The huge GT wing and in particular the bumper-mounted stays are a detail that really make the kit recognizable, and a trait that Mira-san of TRA Kyoto – who produces the aero kit for BenSopra – also used on the Rocket Bunny conversion for the 86/FR-S/BRZ/GT86.
The interior has been kept comfortable since this was for the most part of 2012 Ueta’s street car so on top of a GPS-radar detector, a must have on Japanese roads…
…the cabin has been spiced up with some alcantara-clad Bride reclinable seats, replacing the big and heavy electric ones the R35 comes with.
For a company and a name that has only been around for little over a year, BenSopra has really made a statement. The cool thing of course is that this is just the beginning and there will be tons more exciting things coming from Ueta-san and his team in 2013!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare
I don't know why Bride never made any of their seats in alcantra. Honestly, as it stands, I'm more tempted to buy those pretty fake alcantra seats over the fabric real things.
Doesn't seem to be a brilliant fit between the bonnet/front cowl and the adjoining body panels...
I always thought the stock r35 was super ugly leaving aside the mind blowing engineering. This kit transforms it into something i actually really like (except when dudes paint those wee fairing fins behind the wheels a different colour - wack). I'm curious about the styling similarities between this kid and the Rocketbunny ZN6 kit. Did Miura san have a hand in the design, as well as fabricating the kits?
tenpennyjimmy " The huge GT wing and in particular the bumper-mounted stays are a detail that really make the kit recognizable, and a trait that Mira-san of TRA Kyoto – who produces the aero kit for BenSopra – also used on the Rocket Bunny conversion for the 86/FR-S/BRZ/GT86." Yes, he did.
hahahaha the first time i loaded this page the heading said it was the gtr, yet i saw the audi rs6 xD
I'd like to see more function in their future work. I still don't see why people went crazy over this kit. Lots of money spent though, and it's fast since it's a GT-R. Nice paint. Cool seats.
DJJAW11 Hard to say, it's like a very light metallic bronze. Looks very good in person
like i said before, i like how he added the character lines in front of the rear wheels, making it look more like a skyline (in that part) than it used to
not sure if i'd want any sort of force shoving down on the rear face of my bumper tho
oooooo, ahhhhhh. and I like how all the haterds can't say anything nice. I like it, who cares what you little beotch's think.
so sick! at first when i saw it as TAS i wasnt too keen on it but its deffinately grown on me!!
At least this BenSopra GTR isn't running those 30 something odd mm spacers, like that stupid hellaflush BenSopra GTR is.
Ah you mean the hub extenders? That's because the 1-piece rims it runs aren't available is such wild negative offsets. I guess that's the good thing about 2-piece rims, you can literally choose your offset...within reason of course
Love the effort, the wheels, the colour and the fitment but I just can't get on with that kit. Totally ruins the front end for me. Personally the RocketBunny (TRA Kyoto) kit for the FRS/BRZ is much nicer and more flatering to the cars lines, even if they do both share the same front splitter. Still excited to see what's next from BenSopra...
Robo_No1 I think you are on to something here. Maybe they should offer a simpler entry-level kit for those that aren't prepared to go all the way. I'll mention it to Ueta-san :)
@speedhunters_dino he can have the idea, only as long as its called the RobSopra kit lol! But your right, something more flattering and sympathetic to the cars lines would be right on the money. Although obviously that's only my opinion; its success so far goes to show that Ueta-San has clearly dropped on to the fact there's people out there who really want their GTR to be more outlandish, and in your face. However having a less in-your-face street kit (like the RocketBunny ZN6 kit) but with a similar feel would be a nice addition to their product line up.
@speedhunters_dino @Robo_No1 It's funny how people go ape-shit over Ben Sopra kit, and yet any kind of functional aero work on a Honda is deemed rice...