I am confused, alarmed, saddened, and a little aroused. More after the break.
This might be a repost for being a month old, but I just discovered this piece of provocative art. With 575 HP going to the rear wheels, fender spoilers, and a rear wing that makes the Superbird blush, this is easily the fastest track RWB ever built. The wheels are custom bespoke reversed rims and the interior is... nonexistent.
I suggest you listen to something highly offensive while you peruse Speedhunter's gallery/article of the build here.
What surprises me most is the fact that with each passing improvement of the Rough-Style, Akira seems to be able to one-up himself without destroying the intention. It speaks to the purity of what he is building: its only beautiful if it works, it only works if it is beautiful. Now that such style has become popular (Rocket Bunny, anyone?) things like the fender wings and ongoing battle of insane spoilers has proven Akira's shop as not a fad or niche group: he builds serious performance machines that serve a greater purpose than just speed or looks.
"I want to be remembered as having "worked" right up until the end."
"I won't be quitting smoking either."
In the tuning world, RWB's leader (and that is the best term for Akira Nakia's job title) is a sort of carpenter-turned-prophet turning a profit from his car-pandering lust. He doesn't most of his work by hand, and even if he was only a decent mechanic and fabricator, he is without doubt a brilliant sociologist (whether he knows it or not) and has used his intuition for style and vision to not just create cars that appeal on an emotional level, but create his own personal self-image in a way that enthralls people with his style. It makes him more than just a mechanic or a builder, it makes him a sort of warrior-poet to be idolized.
I love that. I love the pretense, the influence and grandeur. We need more people like that, more Stirling Moss, more Jim Clark, more Smokey Nagata, more Colin Chapman, more Paul Newman, and more Keiichi Tsuchiya. In stories, fiction, we characterize heroes as flawed, but aspiration protagonists setting out to complete a goal against forces that beset them. At the end of the day, aren't people like Akira Nakai heroes too?
He's done something I would have thought impossible six years ago: he's made Porsche-owning about speed, style, and soul. He's taken some (but left just a little) of the pretentiousness out of the brand. That's because his cars are serious, but just a little silly. Just silly enough to make a kid smile or turn a cold dentist into a cartoon character in rage. That's because cars in general are expensive, serious machines. But they are also just a little bit silly.
So bring on the triple-tier wings, because RWB's PR has won me over. That is because their PR is Akira Nakai himself, and that's the best form of advertising.