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Lamborghini Owners Meet at Yokohama

Nothing ignites the excitement of the automotive world like a gathering of exclusive supercars.  Such was the occasion on this bright sunny day where at least 50 Lamborghini owners brought their beloved raging bulls from across Japan to meet in Yokohama.

This event was co-hosted by Lamborghini Japan and Cornes, which was already mentioned in this blog during my test drive of the Aventador.

During this event they were offering exclusive test drives to some of the existing customers while the rest of crowd could enjoy seeing the 50 million yen supercar in action.
 
Few other new models were presented such as this new 2013 Gallardo LP550-2

But while dealers were busy trying to lure attention towards their products, all the crowd has gathered around the corner where the actual owners' meet was taking place.

And what a sight it was with all kinds of Lamborghinis from various generations, some customized such as this Aventador with beautiful polished 21 inch rims.  There simply is no better stance than this.

Entire history of Lamborghini was presented here with a very large number of Countach owners bringing their automotive icons to the event.

Nothing reminds us more about Lamborghini's exclusivity like the up-swinging doors. 

But just doors, loud engines and awesome form is not going to cut it, at least not to some Lamborghini owners, as the amount of custom work that has been done on various Lamborghini automobiles has not been seen on any other supercar.  My jaw dropped at Tokyo Auto Salon at the variety of Lamborghinis they have there, and what Liberty Works do in Nagoya is unrivaled.  This is where Japanese craftsmanship meets Italian passion.

It's hard to depict anything other than aesthetical upgrades in this event since most owners' cars were blocked off from general public, so I will leave it to my custom car show coverage to depict performance upgrades.

But aesthetics updates were anything but lacking, from the heavy red accent in the cabin

To  a race themed gun metallic/orange color pattern on the front spoiler.

Some cars however were completely insane, like this shiny bronze Murcielago.
Or this chrome coated Gallardo.
It was also sporting a logo for Frank Muller watches, which match the class of these cars.
This chrome coated Murcielago had the 50 year anniversary of Lamborghini logo.
Next to it was a stunningly beautiful matte black Gallardo. 
 
While on the other side, this flower arrangement themed Gallardo roadster, which I spotted in the past in central Tokyo.

It was an interesting experience seeing these heavily customized Lamborghinis during a normal day with license plates on them rather then at a crowded car show.

For some however, it may be questionable whether so much custom work is needed for Lamborghini, as a stock Aventador is no less exciting to look at than a chrome Gallardo.  But I guess you need to be a Lamborghini owner to understand the necessity to customize it, and since I am in no danger of becoming one, I will move on.

Move on to classic Lamborghinis that also showed in large numbers.

It's amazing how cleanly all of them are kept.  Not even a sign of aging or wear and tear on beautiful white leather in this 25th Anniversary Countach. 

Not far from it was a legendary Miura brought to the event by hypercar dealer Bingo Sports

Another beautiful white Countach was nearby with custom rims.
Next to it was heavily modified Diablo, with wide bodykit and modified headlights.  Hopefully I will see it again at a car show in the future to find out what's hiding underneath.
This rare Lamborghini Jalpa was also featured among the classics.  First time I've seen one in Japan, but unsurprisingly so as the "budget: Lamborghini of 1981 sold only 410 units worldwide in its 8 year span.

Overall, a very interesting turnout for the classic Lamborghinis.
So the question may be on everyone's mind: who owns these beautiful Lamborghinis?
Well, despite what the famous video may suggest,
It is people who work hard, doing a good deed for society, and claim the ultimate reward

Is there any better reward than a supercar that has exclusivity written all over it? To some, at least 50 people today, the answer is "no".

The turnout of the event was great.  Lamborghini owners take pride of their of their ownership and it was shown here in style.

Hopefully, the dealers got plenty of attention as well so we would get to see more of these on the streets.

Thanks for reading everybody, don't forget to follow, share and comment!
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Going Sideways at Record Braking Speed!

As we all know, records are set to be broken, as a tribute to that there is a Guinness Book of Records, which has a few pages allocated to automotive achievements. For a long time all automotive records were all about speed: top speed, acceleration, deceleration, etc.

Recently with all hype being around going sideways, straight line speed just doesn't cut it.  So after the longest drift record was set by the F10 BMW back in May 2013, the driver of Team ORLEN Championship team Kuba Przygonski said that he wanted to set the record of his own, and he had just the right car to do this: a 1100 horse power Toyota GT86.

Yes, 1100 horse power, that's 5 times of its stock variant, which is pretty tail happy on its own.  Needless to say, this car has probably put more miles going sideways than in a straight line.  So Mr. Przygonski decided to make a statement that straight line speed is yesterday's news and delivered an earth shattering mega-drift at whooping 217.973km/h earning himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records.  Well done, Mr. Przygonski, well done, little JDM monster.

Story (Japanese): http://carview.yahoo.co.jp/news/market/191996/


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Little Fun Around Town: Mini Cooper S Convertivble

A few days ago I had the opportunity to drive a 2012 Mini Cooper S Convertible, and not just drive, thanks Japanese parking and car sharing giant Times Co. Ltd I could have for a good 3 hours.

The Mini Cooper S came in nice "Iced Chocolate" brown metallic paint with two stripes on the hood surrounding the large hood scoop.

The S trim is known for the premium sports trim taking the compact Mini brand cars to the next level.  Power is increased to 184 horsepower, torque is impressive 260Nm thanks to turbocharged with overboost function 1.6 inline four engine.


Suspension is stiffened and optional 205/45R17 tires are fitted to give it sporty stance and improved handling.

I decided to take the highway and head to Yokohama for a cup of Hawaiian coffee and stop at famous Daikoku PA to take some photos of the car. Luckily, the congestion was very limited so I was able to enjoy the drive with the top down on this sunny September day. 

Usually, an advantage of having the roof tucked away means better visibility and feel of the car, however, the Mini folded roof was resting on top of the trunk instead of being inside and as a result was actually obstructing the rear view mirror, which is less than ideal when driving in the city.  


However the car felt firm and handled very well at highway speeds and around town.  Getting to Daikoku was a breeze and a lot of fun. It was a quiet day and I had plenty of time to look around and take photos of the car. 

The most distinctive feature of the S series is the stance and sports bumper with functional air vents.  The hood scoop, however is purely aesthetic.  

In the back it utilizes dual exhaust positioned in the center, which has a nice sound track in mid-range RPM. Down shifts are accompanied by distinctive sound track with nice burble on the over-run.

From the side the 17 inch wheels really stand out and give this car perfect stance and balance.  Surprisingly, ride quality is not compromised and is smooth and comfortable.

 The lights are HID with LED position and DRL's


This model also came with "Highgrade" package, which features aluminum trim on the dash, "Chromeline" interior option and comfortable heated leather seats. 
The moment you step inside it is obvious that his is not just some workhorse compact, it's a very refined and comfortable car.

There is also a back seat, but let's just call it symbolic.  There is zero leg room, it only exists to store whatever doesn't fit in the trunk, which is pretty much everything, because storage in the back is less than impressive. I am not disappointed in car's lack of practicality as it has a different purpose, and it is to entertain, to make driver feel good, comfortable and excited.

 There is plenty of attention to details such as this well done aluminum and leather trim on the dash,

and the sports multifunction leather steering wheel is just about right diameter and thickness, with gear shifting paddles for the six speed automatic transmission. I do wish, however, that they used a more conventional left - shift down, right - shift up, instead of push top to shift down and pull bottom to shift up method. 

This car also features a multifunction screen, which is very similar to BMW's i-drive, but lacks navigation, which is an option.


One significant omission in my view was the elbow rest, which I think is a must for any car this price range.  It available as option, but there is no excuse for not making it standard, especially in this trim.

Overall this car is a very nice place to be in as its interior trim not only surpasses all of the Japanese rivals, it is able to give some executive sedans on the market today the run for their money.

I was pleased with the Mini as it perfectly serves its purpose as a fun city or weekended getaway car. Good responsive handling, decent acceleration and classy comfortable interior make it a very capable vehicle.   

Mini Cooper S Convertible is available from Mini Japan starting at 3558000 yen. Highrade package is extra 300000 yen.
There are also enough options to make it more expensive than a sports trim 370z. What did I say about rivaling local premium cars?
Cost of Ownership:
 3/5
This compact car has a 1.6 engine with decent fuel economy, which puts it in a tax bracket as low as... well,  a Subaru WRX Sti, or Mitsubishi Evo X.  Which are also priced at about the same level.  The Mini does however have exceptional fuel economy and maintenance should be at a lower cost.
Practicality
 3/5
It's not made to be practical and it's not trying to be, however every cubic centimeter of space is utilized efficiently making the cabin feel spacious and useful.
Cabin Comfort
 4/5
For its class it has one of the best interior trims I have ever seen.  Ride quality is firm but excellent leather seats provide that extra cushion. Optional elbow rest is a must and I would have give it a 5 if this car was equipped with one.
Appeal
 2/5
It's a Mini, which doesn't really say much about the owner.  I personally do not favor this look, but it makes every effort to be stylish and modern while maintaining the classic look.
Fun Factor
 5/5
It's a fun city convertible and it does do a great job being that. 

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