The JDM approach
When I was last out at Liberty Walk a couple months ago shooting its Ferrari F50 and BMW M3, I asked Kato-san about his upcoming Ferrari 458 project. He seemed extremely excited about it, taking me out to his garage and showing me a pair of brand new Italias that would eventually – after the first prototype built for the SEMA Show – be getting the same treatment. When it comes to making a statement, this is a man that doesn’t hesitate an ounce; he sets his mind to something and within a very short period of time the finished result is in the public eye for all to see.
And that’s exactly how the 458 project came to light. After Miura-san at TRA Kyoto had completed the very first LB☆WORKS wide body kit, it was shipped off to LT Motorwerks in El Monte, California, where the build was carried out.
Kato-san and his crew followed, and along with the LTMW guys, have dedicated many sleepless nights converting the stock 458 into something no one has ever attempted with the platform.
Call it a JDM approach to Italian exotica. It’s the equivalent of double middle finger salute to all the purists out there who cringe at the mere thought of a Ferrari being fettled in any way, shape or form.
But it’s the way in which LB☆WORKS cars shock that has made them so well known.
With Larry having immortalized the car just a few hours ago, we had to share his images with you as quickly as humanly possible. Ladies and gentleman, I present you the car that’s about to melt the interwebs.
So what to make of it all? The 458 as a base was definitely a difficult car to work with. Ferrari pushed the boundaries of styling when it came to penning its new best-selling, mid-engined car, and even attempting to mess with those almost-organic lines seems like pure madness.
But if there’s one person out there that knows how to integrate an additional wallop of badass-ism into a car, it’s Miura-san. His work with the Rocket Bunny FR-S last year was almost unprecedented. It literally made the hachiroku more popular than it already was, and well and truly put TRA Kyoto on the map.
Following a somewhat simple recipe of ‘wider is better’ and ‘lower is cooler’, the aero package that transforms the 458 is based around the rawness…
… of screwed-on overfenders that have been styled to blend in with the Ferrari’s wheel arch lines, but purposely stick out like a sore thumb. In a good way of course. You can see Miura-san integrating the tucked-in fender portion behind the wheel – a detail that he developed with the BenSopra 380RS at the beginning of the year.
Cut those fenders
The restyled front bumper enhances the mustache-like grille, introducing a much bigger central opening and a pair of brake cooling ducts, all mated to a protruding lip spoiler that’s held in place…
… with three adjusters. Very DTM.
Here’s a better angle that shows off the widening effect…
… which, of course, called for some slightly painful cutting and grinding of the stock fenders.
No, no, don’t cringe – Kato-san couldn’t care less. In fact, he’s going to do the exact same thing to his very own personal 458 in Japan when the time comes. Except that car is a road-legal 458 Challenge with carbon fiber fenders.
The rear gets the same big-radius overfenders slapped on top and mated to a little bumper finisher that extends those widened lines onto the bumper.
It somehow all flows – those organic lines of the 458 I mentioned earlier, joined by another level of aggression. From this angle it almost looks like there are three layers stacked on top of each other…
… creating the car’s massive hipline.
Master-touch: the ducktail
And then we get to the biggest JDM touch of all: the ducktail spoiler. On a Ferrari. Good Lord – yes!
The almost-vertical carbon spoiler is smoothly integrated into the Italia’s rump with a center cut-out allowing the LED brake light to show through.
As you can see, it’s beautifully contoured around the bottom section of the engine cover too.
The LB☆WORKS treatment is completed with a rear diffuser and a set of SVT side skirts that tie each and every piece in together. But bold looks aren’t worth anything if they aren’t accompanied by an appropriate dose of stance, right? The stock Ferrari dampers have been fitted with special Liberty Walk springs that allow the 458 to sit lower than any 458 has sat before.
Filling up the pumped wheel arches are a set of satin black Rotiform LVS wheels. The three-piece rims were made especially for the LB☆WORKS project, with careful thought to offset allowing a tight tuck under the fender lips. Measuring up at 20×9-inch +/-0 in the front and 20×12-inch -33 at the back, there’s a huge footprint on the road. In the shot above you can also see the custom painted and machined CSD calipers that replace the factory Brembo equivalents, but use the same carbon ceramic rotors.
The LB☆WORKS 458 will be on display at the Nitto stand over the course of next week’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. There it will showcase the manufacturer’s Invo tire, which it runs in 245/35ZR20 and 295/30ZR20 sizing front and rear respectively.
A V8 concerto
Performance-wise, the high-revving, flat-plane crankshaft-equipped V8 still develops its stock 570hp, but it’s been made to really howl thanks to upgraded ARMYTRIX center pipes…
… and an Innotech Performance Exhaust (iPE) rear section.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this car will be a showstopper at this year’s SEMA show.
A quick peek into the interior reveals a stock cabin with comfortable, yet supportive, leather-clad buckets…
… and a driver-machine interface…
… with each of the controls at your fingertips.
The Liberty Walk 458 is yet another testament to the way that Kato likes to do things. He isn’t in it to try and sell a million bodykits, and he knows full well that there won’t be many 458 owners out there prepared to have their fenders cut up so that FRP flares can be screwed on. But just like his past projects, he follows his heart with a style that has quickly defined him and his company.
Call it a pure expression of his vision, brilliantly executed through Miura’s eye for design and cutting-edge manufacturing process.
This car represents everything that is right about the JDM tuning scene right now. And while there are bound to be a lot of haters, it’s hard not to take a bow and thank Kato-san for coming out with these crazy projects year-in and year-out. Now scroll back up and have another look at all those images!
The fenders make the car look cheap, if you are going to make a widebody make it right. Sorry looks tacky may as well call it a Honda
Was wondering when is this car brand coming to NFS World online game??????
Been waiting forever for this Ferrari to be added to the game...Guess you need a play station to get one.
the newer Rivals has one..but come on lets get this car in NFS World i like buying over priced cars and parts...lol
Going broke with the current cars i own in the game.
A 1969 Chevy Impala two door drop top convertible with a 455 big block engine and a super charger pushin over 500 horses that car will eat that thing alive lol that Ferrari wont even stand a chance lol hahahahahahahaha
This is a mean 458! Pure streetfighter style, with a lick of GT for good measure. I need a bigger Christmas tree to put this under!
Beautiful work. Beautiful photography. i like the color especially, very deep — I'm going to paint all my vehicles this color ;-0
I don't remember any other post on Speedhunters with this many comments. So much hate and love at the same time.
This is just plain striking to me! Give props to Liberty Walk. Turning an automotive peice of art into something that just instantly catches your eyes, and not being afraid to shock people in the process. Just the execution on making this build work, makes it more striking to me. I would love to see what this car is like on the track. Just WOW!
I like this lower wider mentality. The 458 is beautiful! But this 458 is like something out of MadMax or something. I really digg that style! One day i will own a ride with a TRA Bodykit ^^ WIde Fenders and a Ducktail Spoiler rock!
Gotta say I do like what he's done but it looks like someone gave an average joe who has gone through his fair share of Nissans enough dough to play with a Ferrari.
REAL creative. I'm blown away.
The only gripe I have with Liberty Walk cars is that they have 'performance' written on them. The cars may look badass but it's always to the detriment of performance so why plaster 'performance' over it, why try and call it something it's not? Maybe that's why people hate their cars so much.
Amazing pictures, great car (even though I still don't like the riveted flares and prefer a clean look). However, the close-up of the wheels look like they have a HORRIBLE finish to them. This should definitely tarnish the Rotiform name if they can't get a proper finish for a project of this stature.
Love it, so what if some people dislike it? It's only a 458, there's thousands of them all going to be kept near stock, so let's have fun with some, fit some crazy body kits and slam it. And yes it is an advertising car, hence everything is turned up to 12 with the colours and branding.
It just looks bloody fantastic.
almost a perfectly executed car but the rear fenders just don't look as good as the front fenders. the rears need to follow the lines of the body better by raising the top of them and pulling the front of the fender forward to give it a less extreme angle so it flows better. other wise a great car
Rotiforms, lowering springs, cat-back exhaust, rebranded calipers with OEM rotors (for advertising purposes), bolt-on fenders , Nitto Invo "comfort" tires (so much worse than the OEM Michelin Super Sports) and I'm supposed to be blown away or "love it or hate" as so eloquently put in this polarizing article. There is NOTHING unique about this car when BRZs and 240s are being modded in the same cheap "corner cutting" manner, I mean how cookie-cutter can you get. Yet all these JDM fanbois that have this need to claim they're "different" and "innovators" are jerking themselves off to this car. Let's get one thing straight you "wannabe JDM OG hipsters", Japan didn't invent shit. DOHC, turbocharged, direct-injection, rotary and fuel-injected engines (the latter two invented by Germans) have been around for ~100+ years. Hell Japan has yet to produce a naturally-aspirated engine that surpasses the COMPACT pushrod V8/V10 (LS7 is 440lbs, SRT V10 is 475lbs, 2JZ & RB26 weigh ~600lbs, VR38 weighs ~620lbs, same as the Shelby supercharged 5.8l with 660/630) in power to weight ratio, bang for the buck, low cylinder pressures, or fuel economy (won't happen with the STI/R35 gearing these torque-less high strung engines need to get them moving. Remember "the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long", just let the transmission do the work, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Oh and one last thing, the "ducktail" is not JDM AT ALL as suggested by Speedhunters (another attempt at seeming hipster with the typical rhetoric "oh we've been doing that since" BS!!). Porsche started that with the 73 Carrera RS, get your shit straight and stop kidding yourselves. I may own a domestic (C6Z) though I still hang with the import and Subaru crowd I grew up with but goddamn even they don't kid themselves the way these "JDM OGs" do. I'm glad there is none of this function vs form BS in the domestic world, it's put up or shut up and hit the track, whether it's the drag strip, road course, or auto-x event, and the domestic show/classic car guys don't kid themselves or make false claims. Believe me when I say I can appreciate the owner's desire with his car, it is his choice to do as he pleases with his ride and I highly respect that. It's these condescending wannabe "JDM OG" hipsters, fanbois, and "scene kids" that drool over anything with bags and Rotiforms that portray this car (in a polarizing manner) as an all-conquering representation of the best to come out of the "JDM scene" that I'm aiming my message at, or as Speedhunters would say, my two giant middle fingers.
You realize the stock factory 458 is lighter more powerful and better handling than a 69 Impala with 500whp? It would demolish then execute an impala on the track and the drag strip
@Larry Chen A 1969 Chevy Impala two door drop top convertible with a 455 big block engine and a super charger pushin over 500 horses will crush that ferrari lol that Ferrari wont even stand a chance lol hahahahahahahaha
@CollinMckinney id like to see that car go up against A 1969 Chevy Impala two door drop top convertible with a 455 big block engine and a super charger pushin over 500 horses will crush that ferrari lol that Ferrari wont even stand a chance lol hahahahahahahaha
Probably much worse than stock as there is almost no bump travel left not to mention they tossed out the best non R-compound street tire in the world, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, for the harder and inferior Nitto Invo , a show/touring car tire. The NT05 would've been more capable, but still inferior to the Michelins ultimate grip and precision despite being rated to last 50% longer with that new "black magic" compound that they confidently back with a 30k mile warranty (15k for rear tires if running a staggered setup). All in the name of being "JDM tight yo" lol I don't find anything that is simply slammed on Rotiforms, with a cat-back, REBRANDED oem calipers, GERMAN ducktail (I'm an American of Peruvian descent so no bias here, just setting the record straight) as a "shocking" execution.
@buffbunny more than u own.
@Octopus Well it may not be performance enhancing aero/parts, but it's still A LOT faster than my rx8.
@DOHC_LOL The push-rod engine is the most non efficient engine ever produced. Funny thing is at one point most Nascar qualifying engines had Honda rods and pistons lol. I for one am sick of seeing LS engines in everything just because its the cheapest thing out there. If you want to talk V8's then what about the Hyabusa derived one. At half the size it makes 500hp and quite a bit of torque. The best part its efficient and revs to the moon.
@DOHC_LOL It's a post on Speedhunters. It's about scene points, sponsorship and impressive photos for the kids. Investigation, good journalism, common sense? They have no place here.
I've been preaching this for years!!!! but they're still manipulating the young crowd in making them believe the hype.....time will come when this young crowd will finally bloom and move onto something concrete with ACTUAL facts.
Very well said.While I ponder terms such as "tuning culture" and the JDM vernacular ripe with its flat-biller hipster flare-loving fans I am notihng if not entertained with how easily they ascribe the word "tuner" to a guy with a box of sheet metal screws, some plastic, and a box of decals. Please don't think that "Whateverhisnameis-san" will leave any lasting "mark" on automotive history written by the likes of Shnitzer, Alpina, AMG, etc... RWB started a fad whose 15mins of fame is slowly winding down.These are only "cars" but the feelings they elicit and interest they peek - good or bad - is legitimate. If you love cars you'll listen to the critique every bit as much as the praise. Am I a "hater"? No, I just love cars.
@DOHC_LOL ... so i guess that means you like it?
@DOHC_LOL "et all these JDM fanbois that have this need to claim they're "different" and "innovators" are jerking themselves off to this car."
so fucking true!!!bullseye!!!!
@DOHC_LOL Lol, youre such a dork. It gets no more hipster than someone who writes a wall of text expressing their butt hurtness over people who like Japanese tuning culture. Maybe you should go back to Jalopnik and cast your vote to bring the El Camino back.
It's just a car. Why are you so angry?
@DOHC_LOL Japan will never build a "compact pushrod v8" because they believe pushrods are outdated. Also comparing aluminium v8's with cast iron straight-6ses isn't really fair is it? :p
@denmaartes How do you know that when you don't even know the damn price? Lol
Please feel free to read my reply to "westhave" and then tell me the pushrod V8/V10 is outdated. Both DOHC and OHV only convert ~25% of available air into useable torque. The only design more efficient is diesel power. Horsepower/displacement is ricer rhetoric that is of relavence on street cars or even sanctioned motorsports for that matter, especially it appears you've thrown size, weight, fuel effiecency (super tight gearing to make up for the lack of torque and narrow powerband), and endurance for HPDE (hotter IATs with boost and reduced valvetrain durability ie more lift lift, more revs, faster piston speeds in stroker engines, more lateral piston movements, and less oil control with a wide ring-gap that comes with a stroker and/or boosted engine). Hell my C6Z gets twice the fuel mileage on the highway then I got in my old stage 2 STI in the city.
@JDMized@big_chris1981 Why are you guys even here? There's a shitload of websites on the internet that I think suck *cough -motormavens- cough -canibeat- cough*, and you know what? I don't even VISIT them, let alone take the time out my day to comment on them.
Fact of the matter is, you douchebags LOVE this site. You guys both appear to be unhappy souls who crave whatever attention someone will give them, good or bad. It's one thing to not like the car, that's perfectly fine. The problem I have is that you idiots want to dismiss the opinions of everyone who disagrees with you.
@JDMized I think the thing youre missing is, no one cares about what you dont like.
@JB Funny because I dont know who or what Shnitzer or Alpina is, nor do I care. But I do know about RWB. What is it with people like you that get so butt hurt over Japanese tuning culture? My guess is you have something that you think is so cool, Shnitzer, Alpina, I guess, and then you get butt hurt when other people dont know or care about it and prefer something like RWB. And I have to wonder what kind of person you have to be to get hurt over people not caring about what you think is cool. You come off as rather pathetic.
@wheatgod @DOHC_LOL pretty sure "Japanese Tuning Culture" normal involves some for of tuning? Sticking a body kit on and a loud exhaust is more cosmetic modification. Which is a shame. If there was some form of tuning going on then this could be really awesome. I guess it takes balls to cut up a Ferraris bodywork...pity they didn't have enough to breathe on the engine too.
Japan can believe whatever they want, it is their choice to be "appear" exclusively different. I was being generous in mentioning the 2JZ because it is one of two JDM engines (the other being the Rotary) that can actually compete with the LS pushrod V8 (ford's DOHC 5.0l is larger and weighs 444lbs, 4lbs heavier than the 7.0l LS7) once anything and everything is on the table (boost, nitrous, race gas, etc.) as I saw at WCF imports vs domestics at MIR yesterday. Japan has no naturally-aspirated engines to speak of (Europe can to some extent) that can even remotely achieve the OVERALL package the "base" LS3 or even the heavier Ford 5.0l, nevermind the NEW LT1 "base" engine offer, nevermind the SRT V10 and the LS7 (or it's upcoming replacement with DI, VVT, and DOD). The ONLY engine that manages the HP and weight numbers is the Lexus LFA 4.8l V10 which is "supposed" to weigh just under what their conventional 3.5l V6 weighs at 163kgs (360 lbs). Whether that includes accessories and the flywheel I don't know but nevertheless it will still achieve one hell of a power to weight ratio, especially compared to the heavy 523lb 5.0l V10 in the E60 M5. Of course, like the M5, it also unfortunately doesn't deliver the whole package which also includes performance/dollar, fuel efficiency, and expected service life. Trust me when I say I want to see Honda build a street version of the HSV-10 with that magnificent V10 they built, rather than that NSX "hybrid", but they just won't. Or perhaps that V10 or even just a V8 in the upcoming NSX. Could you imagine, an oversquare Honda V10 or V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft? The NSX would be a 458 killer with an exhaust note that would just sound glorious. But they won't, hell the NSX won't even be RWD (don't even get me started on AWD or the R35 GTR). So now I ask you, considering the LFA V10 is dead, how is the pushrod V8/10 dead when they continue to win manufacturer's titles in ALMS, Rolex sports car series, etc. (C6R, the old AND New Viper, Prototype classes) as well as countless wins at the 24 hours of Le Man racing with the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Aston Martin? Hell the fact that even Nissan uses a VK series based V8 in the GTR for Super GT (formerly JGTC) says a lot and is further concrete proof that the proven formula for a winning sports car has always been and will continiue to be naturally-aspirated power driven by the rear wheels. Just for shits and giggles take a look at the top 10 lap times at Laguna Seca, this country's most technical track, and tell me the pushrod engine is outdated (not in WW2 and modern piston-engine aircraft that's for sure, power/weight, fuel efficiency, and reliability is their holy grail). These laps were all performed by the great Randy Pobst with the same procedure (warmup lap, hot lap, followed by two cool down laps). They're also great to watch on Youtube as he provides a lot of feedback. http://www.motortrend.com/features/laguna_lap/
Come to think of it I got less highway MPGs on the highway in the STI than what I now average in the Z. Ahhh the luxury of super wide ratios and a numerically low final-drive ratio that a wide powerband and healthy mid-range provide.
* no relavence
* stroker and/or boosted engines) out the window.
@wheatgod How is saying you don't like something "trollish"? You really are dumb. You just abuse anyone that disagrees with you. As I said, grow up.
@Simply P @JDMized @big_chris1981 Because there is some stuff that I do like...and again, I'm free to comment. I agreed with someone else's point of view and now I should leave? Right.
I'm not dismissing anything, I'm saying I disagree.
As I said, I don't think this car is "tuned", but hey, maybe that's just my view as a European, rather than an American?
Over here "Tuning" tends to be what people say has been done to the cars at Gatebil, engine work, suspension work, chassis and brake work. Sticking a bodykit on and doing other cosmetic stuff is more "modifying". You could maybe call this semantics, but I'd argue there's a difference.
Either way, the aggressive posts in response from some of the other users here are way out of line.
Grow up gentlemen.
@Mike @wheatgod Minus the trolling on a site that features things I dont like.
Sincerely Captain Not-so-obvious
@wheatgod says the man who is chastising another man on the internet for what amounts to an opinion.
sincerly Captain Obvious
@DOHC_LOL @big_chris1981 Cool, so I guess this means youll stop trolling the Speedhunter comment sections? I mean you wouldnt be one of those people that goes around looking up stuff they dont like just so they can troll in the comments section right? Like, this site has stuff I like on it, I wouldnt waste my time looking up stuff I dont like, that would be kind of weird. Well have fun over on Camaro Life or where ever you came from.
@big_chris1981 Uh, cool, Ill be looking forward to more of your JDM "scene kid", what ever else you call them butthurt troll comments on other articles. Or, you know, you could stop being a tool.
Hey my mistake @big_chris1981 that last comment was for wheatgod. It looked like I directed that at you on my phone but yeah I'm also done this feeding this female troll, as one would think based of the passive aggresive undercurrent ("see a therapist" "I'm amused you think this an argument").
Wow that escalated quickly. I'm done with feeding the troll. I don't like the car and I think the write up is nonsense.
@DOHC_LOL Lol, what in the hell are you talking about? No one cares that youre butt hurt over japanese tuning, or ducktails or "scene kids". Maybe you should be talking to a therapist and not a comment sections of a website.
Sure you're arguing, you're just arguing semantics and subjective matter, albeit in a passive aggresive manner. As for me, I'm merely stating facts. What I can't stand are hypocrites that front and kid themselves which is why these JDM fanbois that get butt-hurt when someone sets the record straight in their attempt to claim "oh we started this" and "we were doing that before" and "the most JDM touch of all, the ducktail", I mean what a crock of shit. Your right on one thing though, and it's that this is the way it is, it's all about "scene points" if you ask me. I mean how low can the standard get? The "checklist" now seems to simply consist of Rocket-bunny kit and/or vinyl wrap, Rotiforms and bags. Oh well I ain't "bout' this life" anyway, I just happened to have one of my best friends message this article on Facebook after me and a couple of my friends at a local weekly car meet were having one of our very entertaining (full of trolling and baiting lol) passionate, but thorough import/domestics debates (WCF at MIR was this past weekend). The way the car scene is headed, I guess this just means less "scene kids" attending and more seat time and sessions available at the track for us real car guys.
@wheatgod I guess what @DOHC_LOL and I are both trying to say it, that sticking a body kit on, no matter how extreme, isn't really tuning.
If the strength of your argument is that because there is no dictionary definition "Japanese Tuning Culture" then you believe we are both wrong then that's what you think.
But what's gone on here is not tuning. Nothing has been tuned. They just stuck a huge expensive bodykit on a hugely expensive car.
I don't think there's anything groundbreaking about that irrespective of who does it, how deep their pockets are or how much sponsor arse they kiss.
But that's my opinion. You don't have to share it, you don't have to like it, you don't even need to try and change it. And if you're determined to argue against it, at least argue, constructively.
@DOHC_LOLwhilst over here in Europe, lots of us are running around in sub 2 litre motors -
Big fun to be had in a 1600cc vw polo gti. :)
As good as your arguments are, I think they're probably wasted on some of the other people in this thread.
As one of my old bosses used to say: "Never try and teach a pig to dance, you'll waste your time and anger the pig".