Lunatic or Genius? Akira Nakai & the Cars of RAUH-Welt Begriff
Have you ever walked up to a Porsche 911 and yawned? Neither had we, until we saw our first RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB) Porsche 911 a few years ago. In the time since, the cars rolling out of the small workshop have taken the world by storm. The man behind them, Akira Nakai, is becoming a cult legend, one radically modified Porsche at a time. Here's what goes into his process of making some of the most insane interpretations of the 911 formula. http://vimeo.com/37040456 The Man
Nakai-san is the real deal. He made a name for himself in Japan's Toyota AE86 tuning scene, specifically as a member of the street-drifting group Rough World. He was one of the first to slam his AE86 and run excessive negative camber. He then took the look a step further by adding wide deep dish wheels mounted on aggressive spacers and wrapped in stretched rubber. The excessivley wide tires were housed inside of flared fenders, and the car was painted a menacing flat black; the Rough World look was born.
The concept for the name came from the unpolished and rough look of the cars. Over the course of the 90's, Nakai-san got involved with Porsches, and slowly began to apply the same Rough World look to his Porsche 930. The 911, like the AE86s before it, became very much an extention of Nakai-san himself. They embodied his take-it-or-leave-it, no bullshit attitude. As he continued to become more involed with European cars, he changed Rough World to a more German-sounding RAUH-Welt Begriff (Rough World Group). The rides he built weren't show cars or trailer queens, they were tough cars built to do battle on track. And most of customers do just that, several times a year, as part of the Idlers games held at the world famous Tsukuba race circuit.
What makes Nakai-san and the cars he crafts even more interesting is the mix of cultures and how they blend seamlessly in his shop. Obviously, there are the elements of German engineering, which is probably best represented in the cars themselves. Then, there is the presecence of American influence. RAUH-Welt is more hot rodder than a typical Japanese "tuner". The RWB "look" cannot be manufactured, bought, or mailed to you.
It's all done by hand through a time consuming process that takes several weeks with Nakai-san working well into the night, only to wake up a few hours later to do it all over again. Literally sweating and bleeding into the paint. The attention to detail and the absurdity of the look is undeniably Japanese. But the key to the look can't be found in a catalog. A customer doesn't just order the RAUH-Welt body kit, picks out some wheels and calls it a day. These are not rolling jigsaw puzzles.
Nakai-san starts with the wheels picking an agressive offset and spacer combination and then working the fender by hand until it looks perfect. It's an art, there's no exact science at work. He relies on his eyes so much that he has no idea how wide the fenders he makes are. The rivets used to bolt the fenders to the body are exactly the length of a pack of Winston cigarettes.
The flush look of the wheels, the extremely lowered stance, and the almost cartoonish body work, riding that fine line between gaudy and stunning, all began with Nakai-san's 930. It's the car that made the RWB look world famous. The name... well you can put two and two together.
The Stella Artois 930 is a no frills beast, the interior is completley stripped; wires and cooling lie exposed on the bare metal floor. Underneath the massive decklid is a built 3.8-liter flat-6 that retains the orginal carburetor setup. A fuel injection system would have made more power,more easily, but Nakai-san likes the challenge of tuning the carburetors, and of course the sound they make is raucous. The widened rear fenders house 18x12 SSR Professor SP1's wrapped in 295/670R Kumho Ecsta S700, upfront are more reasonable 18x11 wheels wrapped in 245/645R. For the uninitiated these are racing slicks. Grip is not an issue here.
This is one-of-five RAUH-Welt Begriff cars currently in the United States. Nakai flew over from Japan to build this car, like he does with every other RWB creation. Power comes from an FFTEC built turbocharged flat-6. On a low boost setting of 6 psi running E85, Pandora One makes 380 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Crank the boost up to 15 psi and horsepower shoots well into the 600 to 700 range.
All that power isn't for smack talking at car shows. Pandora One was specifically built to compete in the Redline Time Attack series and includes a custom built roll-cage. The wheels, a centerpiece of any RWB car, are custom made by Rotiform for RWB. Show up to your local Cars & Coffee in something like this and you'll probably get hit on by more guys than a supermodel at a stag party.
There's a lot that can be said about the Yves Piaget 993R by just looking at it. Its like a 993 GT2 on steroids and LSD. It's aberrant, but at the same time very striking and insanely cool. We're still looking for more info on this car...
Nakai-san has built a few convertibles over the years, and they stand in stark contrast to the typical RWB cars; they're more cruisers than track day scalpels. We still like them though, especially since they do without the massive rear spoiler. Plus, the lack of a roof really shows how low and wide these cars really care. The matte/satin finish is killer, making it look like a mash-up between Moby Dick and a tic tac.
Those kind of absurd comparisons are at the heart of Nakai-san's creations. They're not one or the other, they are a blend of countless influences and emotions that are channeled through one of the greatest sports cars of all time. Nothing is too sacriligious for RWB; it's automotive art and the Porsche 911 is the canvas.
Some people love them, even more hate them, but everybody has something to say about the RAUH-Welt Begriff cars. And that's how you know you've got something good. Let us know what your favorite (or least favorite) RWB cars are in the comments below.
Source: Speedhunters, Fatlace, Eurotuning, World Tuning Fans, 7tune.com, Hightop Fade, Finding JDM, VAD Wheels RWB-USA