Gallery>>new D1gp Machines @ Tas

Tokyo Auto Salon has always been one of the best places to get the scoop on what's going on the D1 Grand Prix, and this year there were a few noteworthy D1 cars making their debut at TAS. Of course there were also the very popular D1 drift demo runs held outside, but I'll save that for a separate post. So what kind of new D1 machines could be seen on the floor at Auto Salon?

The Team Orange Evo 9 isn't a new car of course, but it will have a new driver for 2009. Since Kumakubo will be driving the new Evo X this year, he's handed his old car to Speedhunters contributor and 2008 D1 Street Legal Champion Naoto Suenaga. Hopefully Naoto will be able get better results in Kuma's proven machine than in his old two-door GC8 Subaru Impreza.

Naoto's brother Masao has a new sponsor for his RX7, and the car was shown at TAS with its new livery. The new sponsor is Mutiara Motors, a Malaysian importer of Japanese cars and parts. The new colors look pretty good, but I'll miss seeing the trademark RE Amemiya blue car out there. Besides the car seen here with the Amemiya Porsche nose, there was another street-going version that Masao was driving in the D1 exhibition.

One of the most anticipated debuts was Takahiro Ueno's BMW 3 Series Coupe, the car that will be replacing his iconic red Soarer. The car wasn't ready for the D1 demo run, but it was drawing a lot of attention in the T&E booth.

The engine of course is a 3.1L Toyota 2JZGTE. If you are wondering why he went with the Toyota powerplant instead of a BMW one, I'd say the amount of HKS used in the build is a big reason why. HKS supplied the pistons, rods, and the V-Cam kit just to name a few. Oh yeah, they also supplied the T51R turbo. Like a lot of D1 cars, the transmission is a 6 speed Holinger unit. 

The exterior is loaded with parts from T&E's Vertice Design series. The bumpers, side skirts, fenders, hood, trunk, doors, and canards are all from T&E. The roof has also been replaced with the carbon version from the M3. I don't think there's a stock body panel left on the car. The suspension pieces on the car are all from CROSS. The wheels are Ray's G2's in 19"x9.5J +20 all around.

I really like the car, but to be honest I was a bit disappointed with the graphics. I was expecting something that fits better with Ueno and T&E's "classy" image. Actually, it would have been cool to see this car in the same red livery as the Soarer. The current design is a bit generic in my opinion. What do you guys think?

Finally, the Ford Mustang that will be driven by 2008 D1 champion Daigo Saito.

The aero parts on the car are from Wisesquare's Behrman GT line. They include the front bumper and splitter, sideskirts, rear bumper and diffuser, the rear spoiler, and wide fenders all around. The engine set-up is still being worked on, but it will include a supercharged 5.0L V8 with nitrous.

Here's a better view of the rear fender design. The wheels on the car at TAS were Prodrives, but according to spec sheet, some blingin' 22's will also be used (for shows maybe?). Also, check out that cool carbon air scoop behind the window.

And the front fender view. Suspension-wise, the car is running Behrman-spec DG-5 coilovers. They still have a ways to go before the car is competition ready (the interior is still stock). Hopefully the finished version will be ready for the start of the D1 season in March.

-Mike Garrett



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I agree that the livery on Ueno's machine make it rather unremarkable.. if it were a single colour (or any colour for that matter, it's just black and white, right?) the car would stand out quite a bit more in my opinion.


Totally disappointed with Ueno's new BMW. It actually looks bad. I never thought I'd say that about a T&E car...


I'm gonna have to agree about the T&E BMW. I was also expecting the classic Vertex style graphics. But overall, I like the Widebody Vertice concept. Hopefully, it doesn't burn a hole in the pocket as bad as the 360 Vertice kit. I'm quite anxious to see how Daigo works it out in his Mustang.


With respect to the T&E BMW it looks good. But with better graphics and and better colors the carwould look better. But the Ray's G2's look pretty sweet. The Wisesquare's Behrman GT kit looks great on Saito's new Mustang. Better than the kit on Gitten's Falken mustang.


I love Saito's Mustang, and Ueno's BMW.

D1 is going to be cool to watch this year.


Thanks for posting this up Mike, I've been waiting all weekend for this post to show up. Got to say Saito's Mustang looked the best out of all the D1 cars at TAS, certainly the most unique since it is a Ford Mustang! Well hope to see the car compete successfully in D1 soon. As for Ueno's BMW, I couldn't agree more with you on the graphics. Thought he was going to keep the same graphics as the Soarer but I guess maybe this is a sign for things to change. Speaking of graphics, Masao's RX7 doesn't look too bad at all. Definitely something different from that blue Greddy/Thrust sponsor he was running with these several years. Also good to see Mutiara Motors (or M7) sponsoring him......


Please, Saito-san, get rid of that Mustang. And yeah, the livery is bland on Ueno's BMW. What happened to the MS-R graphics?


Hey Mike, whats the word on Ken Nomura´s GT-R?


Yessss!!! I've been waiting to see ueno's 3-series for the longest time! I'm sooo happy to see it finally! +1 for CROSS / JIC bits!


I'm not to say im disappointed with the BMW but another color would be breat and the wheel fitment does't go along with the bodykit, it should have stretched rubber ower deep dished rim's. + I think the under lighting makes the car look not as low as it probably is.


masao's new livery is sexxxy!


I love the Ueno's BMW 3 Series Coupe. What, a 3.1L Toyota 2JZGTE on it damn. and the Ray's G2's look good in 19"x9.5J +20


But will be dificult to drive that mustang in Ebisu or another Circuit for Saigo.

And the BMW's Ueno is very cool but I want to se that cars in action before that I will be able to make a real critic.

And the RE FD of Masao looks very bad with the new color I mean the Blue FD is one of the most famous car in drifting around the world.


thats it, im officially bored with d1!


i too would have loved to see uenos bmw done up like the soarer.... and i was hoping for daigos stang to have some wild aero or something to give it a japanese feel... both drivers old rides were much nicer imo


Really pleased for Naoto Suenaga, I always felt sorry for him as Tanaka and Hiraoka were both given new GDB Imprezas and Suenaga was always left with the old GC. What are Tanaka and Hiraoka going to be driving next season? It seems that Kumakubo wants the team to move from Impreza's to Evo's.

Ueno's BMW is fugly, really dissapointed with the appearance of that car.

I personally quite like Saito's Mustang, hopefully he'll do well in it and adapt to the left hand drive platform.


Daigo's mustang is pretty much what i would expect from a j-builder, except no unreasonably large wing, kudos. The vynl is pretty whack; hello kitty style flowers and sprinkles mixed with american muscle racing stripe? wtf?? A tiger on his rear window scoop... animal stickers on a high performance machine? maybe that's his style or whatever but he might as well be putting tasmian devil mudflaps on that thing, Also, That backwards-mirror-image-txt vynl that people do is ridiculous. Are you and ambulance in my rear veiw mirror? Kit: front bumper, different and pretty cool. Front fenders, gaudy. Whats with the wanna-be-amg-sl65/911-turn-single-style vents behind the front wheels? does putting two of them there make it your own design then??? see illustration ( ; Unfortunatly, the only thing cool about that car is the wheels. Nice design with the body color on the inside. I'm psyched that theres and american car in D1, but i'll still clown their style.


PS.Guess Vaughn only had to beat them twice before they realized the performance and style of the mustang.


Disappointing that they are using a Toyota engine in a BMW, that kind of takes it from being unique in D1 to being meh. I still really like seeing BMW getting into drifting though and I like the simple colours on it, much better than flashy pink and neon green or orange like the rest.

That, just looks like it crashed into the accessory aisle at "Pep Boys" and what's with the FWD offset wheels?


Gay Andy

Stop being gay

The tiger = Swift springs... and honestly I think its a cool retro looking logo

You will see that on some of the other drift speed cars.

And D1 if anything made a lot of tweaks to make JR a 2 time champion, those guys love them. And since JR is a USA driver and probably picks loyalty to FD or D1 it was probably best they got there own mustang driver. No hate between D1 and JR.

Anyway, my question is why is a so cal based company like drift speed sponsoring so many Japanese D1 dudes? Some sort of marketing strategy, if so I don't comprehend.


its mutiara!! not muriata motors(mutiara means pearl)

and its malaysian not malasyian. god your people.....


I'm not feelin' the look of the vertex BMW. the graphics kill it for me.



My mistake. Guess the lack of sleep was getting to me!


Masao Suenaga sponsored by a Malaysian import dealer? What's next? Chinese knock-off shit plastered all over D1 cars? HUGE there are not enough good companies in Japan willing to fork out some dough for some kickass driver....$$$ talks and D1 turned in a circus.

Let's not comment on Daigo's decision to use the Mustang. Among all the cars out there, the Mustang it's just garbage.

I do like Ueno's BMW though. I like it quite a bit actually. I could care less about the graphic. It's a race car for god sake, not a fruit-cake-fanboy-JDM shit. It has to perform well more than anything. That is something Takahiro Ueno needs, since he often fails to qualify in the best 8.

I'm sure the M3 is its early stage of R&D. It needs a front splitter, a rear diffuser, and other aero bits.

I'm sure Ueno and the Team T&E's will work the bug out as the season starts.


Be a little more open mided people. i always thought it would be interesting to see the D1GP drivers pilot cars other than their own. it brings up a new variety in drifting that has yet to be seen in japan. Honestly i think its COOL!



In some ways I agree with you, but although D1 cars may be modified like race cars, drifting is still about "impact" first and foremost. That's why Daigo is using a Mustang and also why Ueno is using a BMW instead of a Silvia or something "easier" to drift.


i dont know why mutiara motor dont want to sponsor tengku djan . I think he is good drifter winning von Gitten before in his AE86 at D1 all star . Ueno , good choice for choosing the bmw but Saito you pick a wrong choice. Lastly, I LOVE JDM


It honestly seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was at Fuji Speedway covering the final round of the 2008 D1GP season, but it's already late March and the 2009 D1 Grand Prix season will begin this weekend at Ebisu Circuit. You can expect