Every year during Tokyo Auto Salon week, one of the many assignments that I’m given is to roam the halls of the Makuhari Messe in search of cars that deserve more than a single picture and caption.
As long as the variety is present, I usually try to mix it up a bit, and TAS 2020 did not fail to deliver. So I’ll start with an interesting one from R31 House.
Over the past few years, Shibata-san has been bringing the heat with a wide variety of projects, like his Monster Truck-inspired Suzuki Jimny
Being the R31 king, you can be sure that at least one example will be on display, although this is the same R31 GTS-R that was displayed last year. It has 1,000 horsepower though, so R31 House can show it as often as they like as far as I’m concerned.
Shibata knew that he would need to do something special if he wanted to really stand out this year, but was well aware it couldn’t be with a Supra build.
At first, the Infiniti Q60 seems like an interesting platform to be turned into a pro-spec drift car, but the lengths Shibata-san has gone to in order to bring this build up to the stage it’s at is quite remarkable.
For starters, the Q60 was never sold on the Japanese domestic market, so he had to import one from the US. Shibata-san ended up buying a 2017 Q60, as originally fitted with a Mercedes-derived turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It obviously doesn’t have that powerplant now though.
Back on home soil, one of the first things he did was bin the four-banger in favor of an R35 GT-Rs heart – the VR38DETT. Clearly, this is still a work in progress, but Shibata-san says he’s aiming for 1,000 horsepower in order to be competitive in the pro ranks of the Japanese D1 Grand Prix series.
The interior is also still under construction, and as you may have already noticed, it’s been converted from left to right-hand drive so as not to add any extra complication for the car’s Japanese driver.
The fattened-up body comes courtesy of Rocket Bunny, and 18-inch 57xtreme wheels from RAYS’ Gram Lights catalog complete the exterior changes.
You can always count on R31 House to bring something out of the box to Tokyo Auto Salon, and once again Shibata-san and his team did just that with this Infiniti. I really can’t wait to see and hear it in action this year.