You saw it first in the preview I posted last week, and then in the past couple of days caught another glimpse of it on Manabu Orido’s Advan time attack (possibly) car. I’m talking about one of HKS’s main showpieces for Tokyo Auto Salon this year – an original widebody aero kit for the A90 Supra.
I couldn’t believe it when Saito-san of HKS called me last month to say that all their TAS show car were basically finished, and that Speedhunters could get first dibs on them. It was an opportunity we could never pass up.
We’ve all heard of the SEMA crunch, and I know first-hand about the TAS crunch too, but HKS are a big company that is very well organized. They plan far ahead of time, but never rush their R&D.
And this is the result, a multi-piece widebody conversion that launches at Tokyo Auto Salon with a retail price of $8,000. The optional carbon GT wing, complete with tilting metal wing stays that bolt onto the car’s frame behind the bumper, adds an extra $3,000.
You can see the various pieces that make up the puzzle in more detail above. In total, the kit adds 90mm to the A90’s width, finishing up with a nice deck lid spoiler extension.
Rather than trying to hide the bolts that secure the pieces, each sits in its own little recess. Another nice touch I noticed is that small strips of sealing rubber are added along the panel gaps for a perceived and noticeable bump in quality over some of the cheaper and more basic over-fender kits out there.
The widening on the rear fenders is quite pronounced, so to help the lines flow more naturally and smoothly over the entirety of the body, this little piece was added to the doors.
Under the warm December sun, the HKS Supra sat taut with its newfound wideness, almost resembling a SuperGT GT300 race car that’s yet to receive its livery.
As always, HKS’s close relationship with Yokohama has been put to good use here; the Supra is helping launch a new candy red color for the mold-formed Advan Racing R6 wheel.
It works out as a great contrast against the pearl white exterior, and behind those six inset spokes that allow for a glorious chunky lip, there’s a new offset that will work great with all A90 widebody conversions.
In my preview post, a few of you spotted the curious finish on the front lip, the roof, the mirrors and the lower rear section.
It’s meant to look like the cast graphite finish that you see on models from Lamborghini, the company that actually invented and patented the process. It is, however, just a simple wrap, done to provide a little contrast.
The aero kit is constructed from FRP, but real carbon fiber accents – like the dry carbon lip that is now fitted to Orido’s Advan Supra – may join the line-up in the future. HKS have in-house dry carbon capabilities so the potential is there; it really just depends on the demand.
The B58 engine sings through an HKS exhaust system, which takes the stock car’s evident crackle on overrun and with downshifts, and makes it more pronounced.
What you are seeing with this car is the very beginning of HKS’s road towards sculpting a first Supra demo machine for 2020.
The engine may be stock, but HKS has had the A90 in their hands for well over eight months now and are working on a few interesting upgrades for both power plants offered in Japan – the B58 3.0-liter turbo inline-six, and the B48 2.0-liter turbo inline-four as fitted to this car.
I just love the Japanese approach to it all. You have outfits in the US promising all sorts of power figures and bolting massive turbos to the B58, and then you have HKS, who are taking the conservative and true R&D approach to it all. They might be staying quiet for now, but you can bet the HKS engineers have stripped the motor down and are working on bits and pieces to perfect it.
That said, they are also well aware that most owners will stick to simple bolt-on upgrades, for a 100hp to 150hp boost. Still, it will be very interesting to see where they go with it.
There’s enough clearance inside the wheel arch liners to fit 20-inch wheels and tires without issue. On this car you’ll find Yokohama Advan Apex V601 tires in 255/35R20 (front) and 305/30R20 (rear).
Orido’s A90 I drove back in May last year ran HKS’s lowering kit that retains the car’s OEM active dampers, but introduces the ability to vary height thanks to threaded spring perches. This Supra, however, sports a prototype, fully height adjustable Hipermax coilover upgrade they’ve called TAS2020SPL.
The car is set pretty much as low as it will go, ready for the HKS display at TAS. That meant a ton of careful maneuvering to avoid excessive rubbing when applying steering lock.
Nobutero Taniguchi’s drift HKS A90 has the same kit, but with rear fender spoilers, similar to those you often see on RWB Porsches. These spoilers aren’t for sale, but I’m trying to convince HKS to have them an option as I’m sure there are a lot of people that would want them.
The cabin seems a little bigger after doing away with the stock, electrically adjustable seats.
In their place are reclinable Bride Low Max seats, which on top of looking damn good, weigh a lot less.
I look at this car with so much excitement. This is the break that the JDM aftermarket tuning scene has been waiting years for: A new turbocharged platform, sold globally, that comes with proper tuning potential.
And for that reason, I’m sure we’ll see close to 100 new Supras at Tokyo Auto Salon 2020.
Dino Dalle Carbonare