For whatever reason, there seems to be a real lack of GVB demo cars in Japan. Look around the paddocks of any lap battle or meet and you’re unlikely to find many. The GRB is still fairly new and that could explain the lack of interest. I suspect the real reason has something to do with the GT-R. As far as AWD platforms are concerned, the R35 is king and will probably remain as such. Japan has also seen a growing interest in European tuning and that’s definitely had an impact on the domestics.
Despite this, HKS Kansai Service has been involved with Imprezas since the beginning and they’ve not stopped with the latest iteration.
I’ve been hunting this car down for ages. It first came to my attention at Hyper Meeting a couple years ago.
All the usual areas have been upgraded with the latest and greatest from HKS. Kansai Service also produces their own original parts, including my all time favorite rear diffuser and the carbon intake box above.
As with all the HKS demo cars, Yokohama has taken care of the wheels and tires: 19×8.5 Advan RZ-DF’s and Neova AD08’s.
You may have noticed, I’ve avoided a rather obvious problem from the first photo. It’s a problem that has been plaguing all HKS Kansai Service demo cars, in recent years.
The global economy is still bad, I’m preaching to the choir. It’s had a major effect on the Japanese aftermarket industry, I’m still preaching. This has caused a lot of companies to cut costs on manufacturing, including moving production to places like mainland China. Some say despite being made in China, the quality hasn’t changed. Others would disagree. You may be wondering where I’m going with this and what it has to do with the HKS Kansai Service GVB.
The bad economy and cheaper manufacturing processes, have opened the floodgates for a slew of knockoff brands. Many of which are slowly eating away at the Japanese aftermarket industry, forcing shops to close their doors. The ones that are still weathering the storm, have had to reduce their line up of products. This could be another reason why we see so few GVB Impreza demo cars. It’s just too expensive to create new parts for every make and model that are released. Brands like Seibon have flourished in this climate, made their way to Japan and hopped into bed with companies like Rays Engineering. If you know anything about Rays, then you know they basically run the industry. This is a big reason why we’ve been seeing Seibon products, on HKS Kansai Service demo cars. It’s certainly not because Seibon has ever created something original and of quality. Money talks and you may be reminded of a certain Seibon Edition of the Volk TE37, from a few years ago.
Of course, I don’t know the entire story and that’s why I can’t really go any further with it. The most important thing to note is, where else are you going to get this kind of in depth coverage? Only on A Class can a car feature turn into a rant about the industry.
Photos courtesy of Yokohama.