A Movie Inspired JDM Evo
Lights, Camera, Action!

Have you ever wondered how different the tuning world we live in would be without the release of the 2001 blockbuster The Fast and the Furious?

Of course tuning and modifying has been around long before anyone knew who Brian O’Connor and Dominic Toretto were, but it was largely reserved for those already in the know about the culture. To say the tuning scene didn’t change (for good or bad) due to the release of the movie would be to admit you’ve been living under a rock since the early 2000s.

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Having spent most of my life in America, I can vividly remember the impact the franchise had on my life and in my community. What I never would have expected was that the same impact was felt in Japan. It’s somewhat odd; the Japanese car scene was part of the main focal points behind the movies, yet Japanese enthusiasts also look to Wild Speed (that’s what it was titled in Japan) for inspiration. So what gives?

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The more I interact with enthusiasts here in Japan, the more I hear about how the movies impacted their lives and approaches to customizing. Takeru-san and his Evo VII are a perfect example.

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Around 10 years ago Takeru was in the market for his first car. As a child he loved watching the Calsonic R32 GT-R destroy the JGTC touring car competition, but he was truly infatuated by the WRC (World Rally Championship). Thus, he turned his eyes away from the GT-R and started taking more of an interest in Japanese rally car platforms, the Subaru Impreza WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution being at the top of his list.

The Lancer Evo ultimately won out, thanks in part to the higher premium Imprezas of the STI variant carried. That same logic is also why he chose the Evo VII over the then brand new Evo X, a decision Takeru tells me he has never regretted.

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Over the next decade Takeru took inspiration from the WRC to transform his stock Evo VII, and getting more power out of the 2.0-liter 4G63T inline four is where he started.

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At the heart of the upgrade is a Tomei Arms M7960 turbocharger mounted on a Tomei manifold, with extra fueling capabilities coming courtesy of a high-flow Tomei pump and 650cc Tomei injectors.

Up front, the Evo’s original intercooler has given way to an oh-so-JDM ARC item, and at the back you’ll spot the outlet of a Tomei titanium exhaust system.

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All of this results in a conservative 400hp to all four tires. As he hasn’t delved into a forged build yet Takeru is happy with that power figure, but he has bigger plans for the future.

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Takeru next took aim at the suspension, and in this department Öhlins PCV coilovers provide adequate stiffness for circuit use while giving the car a functional ride height.

USJDM
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By now you’re probably wondering how the whole Fast and Furious theme ties into this Evo, especially with Takeru’s WRC-style aspirations.

One could look at the movies as a foreigner’s (American, I suppose) viewpoint on what JDM culture is. It’s that notion that attracts people like Takeru, and in this case made him want to build a WRC-inspired Evo VII that still had JDM flair to it. I know this can become rather confusing, so let’s call it a ‘USJDM’ for the time being.

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When it came to the exterior, Takeru threw the whole Voltex circuit version catalog at his Lancer, the aero upgrades including a front bumper, splitters, double canards, GT hood, rear bumper, diffuser, and over-fenders.

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Although they’re proudly made in Japan, RAYS Volk Racing TE37Vs are a wheel that have found their way onto many Stateside builds, hence why they’ve been used here, albeit in Mark II form. But wanting to be a little different Takeru has gone with a 18×12-inch wide -20 offset fitment featuring a mega 114mm rim depth, something that required the use of double over-fenders to ensure the fit was perfectly flush.

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I can’t possibly forget the Voltex Type 5 GT wing either. Perhaps it’s just JDM culture thing, though?

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The interior reveals a stripped out rear section and an 16-point Okuyama roll cage.

A Sparco Pro ADV driver’s seat, Defi gauges to relay engine vitals, and a Key!s Racing steering wheel are the other main highlights of the interior.

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It’s truly amazing how a movie franchise helped shaped the aftermarket and tuning culture not only outside of Japan, but inside it as well. In the process it’s really influenced individuals like Takeru – you can really see that in his Evo VII.

I look forward to seeing how far Takeru takes this long-term build, but in the meantime I’m interested to know how many of you guys were personally affected by Fast and Furious? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

The Cutting Room Floor
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54 comments

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1

Voltex kit, 18x12 -20 TE's, bolt in cage, didn't we do a article on proper harness installation?, "Stance Crew" sticker, low ride height....where's all this WRC stuff coming from?

2

I agree with you Brandon: I'm not critiquing the car, but I can't see any WRC influence with regards to the modifications carried out to it! The only possible comparison is roll cage and, as you say, no WRCar would run a dash-dodging cage.

3

'We' didn't do an article on proper harness installation.... What's wrong with a bolt-in cage in a street car? Why are you picking on the voltex kit? As for the WRC stuff, it's a 400hp evo.....

Where's a pic of your car? Come on, put one up.

4

Actually, Speedhunters in fact DID have a pretty in depth article about harness safety titled 'Think You Know Everything About Racing Harnesses?'...which this EVO is a prime example of what NOT to do when installing a harness.

You fail miserably at understanding what I was commenting about, and/or have reading comprehension issues. I explained that this article keeps referencing this build as having inspiration from WRC cars...which it doesn't at all. Which is why I brought up the bolt in cage. No WRC car would have a cage like that, they wouldn't have a front section that looks wayyy too close to where the front passengers would sit instead of simply cutting into the dash and installing the fron bars....LIIIIIIIKE a WRC car....

Voltex makes amazing aero...not picking on it...however falls into me asking how a Voltex kit is related to WRC? How is this kit related to WRC? I'm not hating on the car, it's rad...it just has nothing to do with rallye.

400hp is cool. I have that in my KA-T S13....even have dyno sheets, I can post tagged pics tomorrow if you want? Even has a welded in 6-point cage and proper harness placement.....But...what do you drive?

5

I think the WRC thing comes from the actual generation. If you google WRC 2018 pictures, you'll see many aero parts that looks like just what we have on this EVO. Now, it's not the same compared to the EVO from the nineties, which I think of first when I read this article. It's more like Time Attack cars going street legal/WRC. Looks cool and aggressive, but not for everyone I guess.

6

I guess there were 2 instances where the article directly states that it's WRC inspired..... Fair point. It does also say that it's 'Movie Inspired' in the title, and makes no secret of the F&F inspiration, so take that into consideration when bagging on the 'stance' mods.

As for what I drive, I've got and evo 7.

7

How does a 400hp evo with stretched tired relate to act at all? And yes speedhunters did do an article on proper harness installation

8

'better car' required to just ask why its 'wrc'?

9

Just once, I'd like to see a car-themed movie or TV series that DIDN'T portray car enthusiasts as either criminals - truck hijackers, car thieves, bank job wheel men, you name it - or bottom-feeding thugs with no command of the language.

That's the thing I hated about FF - the heroes of the story were actual criminal scum.

Seriously, why are movie car guys always lowlife shitbags out vicitmizing somebody?

You can make the moral or intellectual case that a hero character drives like a maniac because traffic laws are arguably written for lowest-common-denominator slobs with no depth perception, but stealing cars is an actual crime - has a victim and everything.

Why can't we get some press for - AT WORST - speeding and reckless driving, because those things are fun - not because we're "trying to pay the rent doing the only thing we've ever been good at?"

10

It is just a movie, please... get a life!!!!

11

Born to race

12

I think there is some less famous than Fast & Furious, i can't recall new released to compete with FF but I can name the old series the Knight Rider (did not watch the new version) and Herbie with the last version having a girl "driving".

13
Donkey Kicker Deluxe

Just once, I'd like to see a car-themed movie or TV series that DIDN'T portray car enthusiasts as either criminals - truck hijackers, car thieves, bank job wheel men, you name it - or bottom-feeding thugs with no command of the language.



I couldn't agree with you more!

The irony of Gone in Sixty Seconds is HILARIOUS!!!
We'll all line up to see a movie like that JUST to see the cars. Yet, in reality, there are no people car enthusiasts HATE more the DAMN THIEVES!!!

Seeing Eleanor get thrashed probably wouldn't be half as amusing if you saw the poor guy who sunk his life into that car. He'd be devastated by the loss only to get a low-balled check from the insurance company.

Most of us would be THAT guy.
Just too funny.

14

Initial D?
:)

15

Never actually seen it but yeah, oversight on my part.

16

Well, there was a TV series called Fastlane, about some 'deep undercover' cops with access to a garage ("the Candy Store" haha) full of awesome cars and bikes. But they drove pretty recklessly in their work.

There was also Born 2 Race's sequel, Born to Race: Fast Track, that was about the kids going to racing school to learn teamwork, etc and compete for a sponsorship. Been a while since I've watched it, but there was still at least one street racing scene... can't remember the context, it may have been one of those 'you need to stop and take it to the track' scenarios.

17

You're the only person I've come across to also mention Fastlane.

Series was cancelled on a damn cliffhanger.

18

Fastlane was corny as hell, but I still loved it!

19

Fastlane was entertaining and had a decent enough cast for the time it was out. At least the cars in that show were actual Shelby Cobras and Saleens instead of a 10 speed FWD eclipse with neon under glow.

...

20

Oh, how could I forget the classic, American Graffiti. About the American cultural institution of weekend cruising. There was some drag racing, but it wasn't shown in too bad a light.

Two Lane Blacktop was similarly non-violent as well, come to think of it. A couple guys in a sleeper of a '55 Chevy seeing the country and using street racing to fund their travels.

21
Donkey Kicker Deluxe

American Graffiti remains the best car movie to date.

Primarily because it had real characters not caricatures.
Also, it was directed and written by an actual car guy.

Best car chase/scene is probably still Bullitt...too bad the rest of the movie is a bore.
Real cars, real driving, real sound...no CG.

22

Oh and two lane is great and I think same Tri Five in both IIRC

23

Back in the early 1990s, my friends and I would hop over to the asian bookstores and pour over copies of OPTION2 magazine at all the cool cars roaming the small streets of Japan. Long before The Fast & The Furious was even a concept, tuners in Japan were modding R32s, Supras, EVOs, Civics and Imprezas to extremes. The tuning scene owes everything to those early innovators, companies like HKS, Mugen and GReddy who invested everything into the aftermarket.

24
Donkey Kicker Deluxe

A lot of people were into that stuff.

The scene was primed for those movies...

Their release was like an all-you-can-eat McDonalds popping up in a third world country offering free food.

Anyone old enough to remember knows that back in those days you'd be hard-pressed to see a burnout in a car commercial.

25

I just loved being really young and not knowing the make/model of the cars on the screen. Everything looked new and exciting to me.

26
Matthew Everingham

Crazy hot!

27

Double overfenders! I hope this is the new trend! JK.

Sweet car but I fail to see the F&F influence or WRC. Looks about as far from rally as one car could get.

28

I read that and a voice in my head was like "yo dawg, yo so wide we put flares on your flares"

29

First time I saw and fell in love with the evo and after test driving one in 06' I told myself I would get one and now I'm driving X looking for a IX

30

I was personally affected by Fast and Furious putting price-hikes on cars I wanted...
Namely GTR, pricing absolutely ruined lol.

31
Donkey Kicker Deluxe

I was personally affected by Fast and Furious putting price-hikes on cars I wanted...
Namely GTR, pricing absolutely ruined lol.



Au contraire, sir...

Had it not been for The Fast and the Furious, my diamond-plate floorpan would've never been properly fastened with Loctite.

Always gotta be ready for those five-minute, quarter mile runs.

32

Oh, I almost forgot.

Love the deep-dish rims, the ride height and even the color.

33
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

From the list of engine parts listed, I'm guessing it is pretty much loaded with Tomei stuff? Those TE37V Mk. IIs look interesting on this car.

34

This "track inspired" stance car theme needs to end now. Great tire fitment. Lol

35

Wicked set of wheels.

I don't see the WRC inspiration other than the basic platform but it is an awesome car.

36

The "tuning scene" definitely went to shit after that movie came out. No question about that.

It's a pretty long winded explanation that I don't have the energy to type, but that movie took probably the biggest shit it could have taken on the automotive industry hahaha. Between that and drifting I think the collective IQ of enthusiasts has taken a 10 point dive :P

37
Donkey Kicker Deluxe

Those movies are GARBAGE. Every car enthusiast has seen them because they're the most readily available, theatrically-released, representations of our community. Not all of their impact is good, however. They've led to profiling of enthusiasts by police and worse!

It's not that much different than people flocking to see a Madea movie! It's not that they're actually any GOOD, but they satisfy an underrepresented market segment.

The Fast and the Furious series is the film equivalent of Lance Armstrong. So great and glorious...with all the fanfare, but really just a SCAM.
As much good as he's done with his foundation, etc...imagine how much good someone who wasn't a CHEATER would've done!!!

Then, imagine how much a GOOD series of car films would've done.

38
Donkey Kicker Deluxe

Oh, and for the record...

This guy's EVO is better than ANY of the cars featured in those movies.
Yeah, even the Charger with the fake blower sticking out of the hood.

39

Liked how it looks except the bolt in cage. Desevers a welded cage Over over fenders look cool

40

keyboard warriors just enjoy the article and the car. at the end of the day the important thing is that it makes the owner happy not you

41

The car is nice and all but I can't see how this Evo is actually movie inspired? The article states that Tekaru wanted to build a WRC influenced Evo with 'JDM flair'. I fail to see how that relates to any movie at all. Did he actually say he was influenced by JDM cars in the US? And you've used a bit of journalistic licence to link the US JDM scene - itself linked the Fast & Furious franchise - to tie that in with the movie?

Opening this article I was expecting something resembling the Evo from Tokyo Drift, or at least a similar part used somewhere, but his car looks like nothing out the Fast & Furious franchise.

Ron I think you could have written this without the movie-related guff and it would've been fine. With it, and the title, it almost feels a bit click-bait-ish. Hopefully this comes across as constructive criticism and not an attack on your work.

42

Cant say that Fast and Furious had a huge impact other than it made everything more readily available for me! I remember a few years before it came out, my dad had a a vauxhall calibra in an ice blue with cream leather seats, when he bought it and picked me up from school i suddenly became hooked on cars being different and it grew from there.
Nice evo VII that you just don nott see many of here in blighty.. unless i am hidden under a rock... the colour is also a big yes from the British judge!

43

Very very nicely done!

44

I find only the interior is somewhat WRC inspired.
For me I would not be into cars right now if it weren't for The Fast and The Furious movies. Specifically 2 Fast 2 Furious, Brian and his R34 GTR is got me hooked. I have been in love with the GTR since.

45
Charles William Montgomery III

F&F got me into cars and influenced my career choice after high school. Been a gearhead since that movie came out.

46

I can definitely say the early F&F movies got me into the entire import scene, then slowly gravitated more towards drift then later time attack builds, a boosted stanced minitruck eventually led to an Evo 8

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47

The car is sweet (bolt in cage and dodgy harness mounting excluded) But the multiple mentions of WRC and F&TF when in reality the car fits neither make me think the writer was struggling for a theme for the story and jumped on the first couple of things they thought of.

48

If its tells ‘Time attack inspiration’ i’ll understand. But WRC?

49

All I see is a time attack build with stance wheels. Nothing about wrc.

50

seeing this i want to play NFS now XD

51

......Why is the F&F being put up on a pedestal? I was a senior in high school when it came out and it made my car buddies and I cringe. So cheesey and even we thought the cars were tacky (a term used before "rice" came about), and this was back in 2001! We all drove Preludes, CRX's, 300z's and RX-7's that we worked our asses off to buy with crappy part time jobs. I would like to think we were the young gearheads of our generation that this movie was directed at.
Really the only shockingly cool part of the movie was the rotary engine CG in Vin Diesels FD. The rest was garbage, but Hollywood always ruins a good thing.

It may have inspired and exposed the hotrod culture to a much younger audience ( which I am grateful for) but it doesn't deserve the praise that has mustered up over the years.

Regardless this Evo does have character. Lots of $$$ on that body.

52
c0sm0n0p0litca 01

Exactly. Paul Walker died and became some kind of icon which is actually insane looking back now as he had very little to do with the industry itself. Time goes on and things get stranger my friend. This is just the beginning...

53

I feel this is everything I saw in the mid-to-late 2000's (2006-20009). JDM Tuner and such, featured every aero'd, JDM-esque EVO and Subaru. splashed with a show and go and sticker'd the hell out that I fail to see the significance of this particular build. I think its nice but, the mild (by today's standard) style and power makes it difficult to identify the novelty in it. maybe I've been around the block too long. sadly this is my second favourite platform car (because of The Fast & The Furious, mainly..).

54

I've seen better evos, but this is pretty good

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