Toyota will finally resurrect the Supra in 2018

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HYPEBEAST/DesignBoom (by T.S. Fox):

Originally released as a Celica offshoot with 2000GT roots back in 1978, the Supra grew to become one of Toyota’s most beloved vehicles before it was unceremoniously discontinued back in 2002. Thankfully, Toyota righted that wrong in 2014, taking to the Detroit Auto Show to showcase the FT-1 — a Calty Design Research-crafted spiritual successor of sorts to the old fastback coupe and one that fans hoped signaled a sign of things to come for the much loved front-engine, rear-wheel drive setup. Now it looks like those Supra hopes may become a reality: Toyota has confirmed that it’s resurrecting the car for a return in just a few short years.

Said to build upon the aforementioned FT-1, the brand new Supra will be positioned above the 86 in the manufacturer’s lineup and will likely be decidedly more complex, powerful and high-tech than the rebadged Scion FR-S. And if the FT-1′s design language is any indication, the new and improved Supra will come with an aggressive, track-inspired exterior marked by airflow management systems and aerodynamic curves; it may even employ the FT-1′s sleek retractable rear wing for added downforce.

Stay tuned for updates on the Supra’s welcome return and mark your calendars: the fan-favorite Toyota returns to the road in 2018.

A very rare Lamborghini Sesto Elemento turns up in Hong Kong

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Getting your hands on a Lamborghini in general is no easy feat for most. Getting your hands on a Lamborghini that’s a one in 20 is near impossible. However this mission was a possibility for one lucky buyer in Hong Kong who managed to cop the very rare Lamborghini Sesto Elemento — a car originally conceptualized in 2011.

The car comes with a set of impressive specs, as to be expected from both the maker and its limited production run. The Sesto Elemento is encased in a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels, making the automobile something of a solid structure to say the least. The Sesto Elemento also boasts advanced glass-ceramic matrix tailpipes, as well a carbon-ceramic breaking system which adds to the overall ultra-lightness of the car that totals only 2,202 pounds.

As for power, this Lambo comes strong with a 5.2 liter V10 engine that’s naturally aspirated, and houses an impressive-for-its-weight 562 HP and 398 pound-feet of torque.

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Nissan builds an origami car to celebrate the fifth birthday of its Juke crossover

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RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

It’s been five years since Nissan launched its compact Juke SUV/crossover, and the company is celebrating with a very special fifth anniversary edition: a full-size origami model.

Oftentimes, auto manufacturers will mark the round-number birthdays of their best-sellers with a special paint color or extra badging. Nissan, though, instead enlisted English origami artist Owen Gildersleeve to make a paper Juke to commemorate the milestone.

▼ The regular/metallic juke

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Unfortunately, this special car is a one-off, so you won’t find one waiting in the inventory lot of your local Nissan dealer. But if we ever find ourselves in the market for a Juke, and if Nissan is offering “origami” as a factory option at that time, we’ll be tempted to check that box when placing our order.

Owen Gildersleeve website

Toyota’s Tonka-inspired 4Runner concept truck

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A Toyota 4Runner has received aftermarket modifications courtesy of Funrise Toy Corporation, manufacturer of Tonka toys.

Currently on display at SEMA, the playful concept is a life-sized re-creation of the famed children’s line of toys. The inspired concept is wrapped in Tonka decals, using colors signature to the company. Helping to ensure that the vehicle performs as menacingly as it looks is a heavily modified suspension that lifts it by 10 inches. Other features include 20-inch Ultra Motorsports Type 250 Colossus wheels, a reinforced undercarriage, a 4.0-liter V6 engine that puts out 270 HP and 278 lb-ft of torque, and Bulletproof Suspensions-built bumpers, side steps and ladders.

Visit the Toyota display booth at the 2015 SEMA show to see the 4Runner concept up close.

Subaru’s WRX STI S207, Japan-only and limited to just 400 units

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Japanese Subaru fans are in for a treat as the manufacturer has unveiled a special limited edition take on its WRX STI. Dubbed the WRX STI S207, the Japanese exclusive boasts a bevy of updates — the headline of which is a 2.0-liter turbo boxer engine.

Thanks to a new ECU and twin scroll ball bearing turbocharger, the new engine now offers 318 lb-ft of torque while a performance muffler and exhaust pipe have been added. Other tweaks include Bilstein front struts, rear dampers, and coil springs, as well as a mesh front grille, larger front under-spoiler, metallic side sill moldings, a new rear bumper, a Brembo braking system and an 11:1 steering-gear ratio. The design even employs a completely reworked instrument panel, engine switch, shift knob, and heated Recaro bucket seats while the Vehicle Dynamics Control and Active Torque have been tuned specifically for the model.

Limited to just 400 units, the WRX STI S207 will soon be available in “Crystal Black Silica,” “Crystal White Pearl,” “WR Blue Pearl” and “NBR Challenge Package Yellow.”

Mazda unveils the beautiful RX VISION Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show

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Mazda’s RX family could be welcoming a new member soon, as the Japanese auto marque has just debuted an RX-VISION Concept at the t. Bearing a striking aesthetic resemblance to Mazda’s acclaimed RX-7, the VISION’s elongated bonnet and squat rear are hallmarks that represent “a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car” according to Mazda.

However there is no word yet on Mazda’s plans to slate the RX-Vision Concept for mass production.

Cosplaying taxis with monster drivers to offer free rides to cosplayers in Shibuya (Tokyo) this Halloween

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

Halloween in Japan keeps getting bigger and better every year, with cosplayers coming out in droves to celebrate the world of costumes and make-believe. This time around, Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is joining the fun with a fleet of taxis dressed up in Halloween costumes, complete with “monster drivers” behind the wheel.

The monsters and their vehicles will be helping fellow ogres and ghouls by offering free rides to people in costume in the Shibuya area on October 29 and 31. What’s more, the unusual vans promise to be so spacious, they’ll accommodate any type of outfit you’re wearing!

The event, called “Ride on Halloween by Nissan”, will feature three “costumed” vehicles: an orange Jack-o-Lantern, a purple-and-green Frankenstein (‘Frankenstein’s Monster’ for the purists), and a pale-brown, bandaged Mummy.

▼ They may be monsters, but they’re Japanese taxi-driving monsters, so they’ll all be wearing white gloves.

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The promotion is designed to showcase the spacious nature of Nissan’s NV200 taxi, which has been ferrying people around New York and London for several years and will finally be making its debut in Japan as part of the preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

▼ New York marked the debut of the NV200 taxi with a #HAILYES interactive marketing campaign in 2013.

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In Japan, they’re using Halloween to highlight the roomy interior of the new taxis, by offering the free rides to cosplayers to show how a van ride can be superior to a sedan ride, especially when you and your clothes take up a extra space. The driver of each vehicle will also take part in the dress-up!

You can catch a ride at three as-yet-unannounced designated pick-up and drop-off points in the Shibuya area, which is one of the main hubs for Halloween celebrations every year.

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The taxis will run between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on 29 and 31 October. The organisers have pointed out that free rides are limited only to those in costume and rides cannot be guaranteed, so if you really want to step inside the cosplaying vehicles, you might want to try your luck before the night of Halloween, when there’s less chance of monsters lurking about.

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The pick-up and drop-off points will be announced soon, so be sure to check out the official campaign website for updates!

Toyota’s S-FR entry-level sportscar concept makes its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show

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Toyota has steadily built a reputation for producing reliable cars at an affordable price and judging by this early preview, its latest entry-level sportscar concept seems to be no exception. Set to premier at the end of the month at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the S-FR is a lightweight model that provides an agile and responsive drive at a fairly low cost.
Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, a simple interior outfitted with all the essentials, and a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, there was a rumor that a cheaper alternative to the GT86 was in the works and this new concept could very well be on the market by 2018.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Tokyo Motor Show.
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Lexus creates a fully drivable “origami inspired” cardboard car

To celebrate the skills of its craftspeople, Lexus has created a full-size, drivable cardboard replica of its IS sedan using 1,700 sheets of precision-cut cardboard. Each 10mm thick, the cardboard sheets had to be glued together by hand in sequence with a water-based wood glue, taking 10 minutes to set every time.

The project was carried out by LaserCut Works and Scales and Models using a digital 3D model of the sedan provided by Lexus, and took a total of three months to assemble. The cardboard replica was then mounted atop a steel and aluminum frame with an attached electric motor, thus allowing the car to be driven.

Seven cool things set to happen in Japan during 2015

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RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you should always wash your hands after going to the bathroom. If there’re two things we know, though, the second is that you’ll never get anywhere in life being fixated on the past. So while 2014 was a pretty good year for us, we’re already looking to the year ahead, which is already promising seven cool happenings for Japan in 2015.

1. Opening of the new Shinkansen line

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Japan may have a reasonably priced overnight bus network and well-maintained highways, but there’s no denying that the quickest and most convenient way to get around the country is the Shinkansen. Currently, you can travel by bullet train from Tokyo to Nagano, but the new Hokuriku Line will allow travelers to extend their Shinkansen trips from Nagano all the way to coastal Kanazawa. So starting March 14, you’ll be able to zip on over to the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture in record time to enjoy its historic Kenrokuen Garden, delicious seafood, and, provided you’ve still got some yen left over, golden handicrafts.

2. First flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet

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If tertiary travel is too tedious for your rarified tastes, there’s also the maiden voyage of the MRJ coming up in 2015. Jointly developed by Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Fuji Heavy Industries (parent company of automaker Subaru), the MRJ is scheduled to take to the air for the first time this spring. Airlines won’t be receiving their own until 2017, but nonetheless, the upcoming test flight is a major step towards Japan’s first domestically produced airliner since the financial failure of Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing’s YS-11, which was discontinued over four decades ago.

3. Osaka’s Dotonbori Canal becomes a pool

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If you’ve spent much time looking at photos of Japanese cityscapes, odds are you’ve seen Dotonbori, Osaka’s neon-lit entertainment district that straddles the Dotonbori Canal. After years of revelers diving into the water after victories by the local Hanshin Tigers baseball team, someone decided they may as well make part of the canal into an outdoor pool, which is just what’s scheduled to happen to a one-kilometer (0.62-mile) section of it for four weeks in August of 2015.

4. The next, and possibly final, Evangelion movie

Creator Hideaki Anno has never been particularly decisive about putting a period on his masterwork, as evidenced by how Eva’s cash-strapped TV finale has already been followed by a half-dozen movies. Signs point to a late 2015 release for the fourth Rebuild of Evangelion theatrical feature, though, which has been billed as the culmination of 20 years’ worth of groundbreaking animation (those of you who can’t wait until the end of the year can whet your appetite with a teaser-style Eva short film right here).

5. So long, SIM locks!

Like topknots and the feudal system, SIM locks are set to become a thing of the past in Japan starting this May.

6. The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II

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2015 is also a good time to stop and take a moment to appreciate that Japan can get excited about developments in consumer electronics because it’s a country at peace, as it has been for the last 70 years.

7. Prince William visiting Japan

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Another thing that wouldn’t have been happening during open war between the U.K. and Japan, Prince William is scheduled to visit the country as part of a trip through Asia in late February.