The last time I saw this car was literally a year ago; and I can tell you, it looked nothing like this. Yes, this is the same FD chassis that PanSpeed commissioned last year at HKS Premium Day, except that this year the car has gone through quite a cosmetic transformation. Actually, you can see it’s previous reiteration here. Over the course of last year, the car was stripped of it’s exterior and fitted with an entirely new aero kit that PanSpeed has been developing. I know this is a bit late in the day, but I finally stopped fiddling with my new audio equipment that I got for the new Podcast long enough to get the article out.
When I approached the garage I struck up a conversation with one of the mechanics that was standing outside. He was making a post on Facebook and used the opportunity of having a foreigner around to check his English spelling. I had asked if there had been any testing on the kit before this day and he replied with a somewhat nervous head shake and – ‘no, this is first try’.
You can see right away that the new exterior bares little resemblance to the car’s old package. The bulky, somewhat complex front bumper that was on the car last year has been replaced with a smoothed out, more sleek appearing part sans any canards. A larger integrated carbon splitter is also an addition that balances the look, as well as provide a surface area larger than the old bumper’s splitter (even calling it a splitter would be a stretch).
The changes continue upward in the form of an entirely redesigned front fender. The raised louvers are gone in favor of a sunken set of vents whose tops are flush with the body line.
In the pits with the wheels off we can get a good look at where the air jacks are mounted in the front. Super convenient – I think if I wasn’t worried so much about added weight I would definitely look into getting them myself.
The FD has no trouble stopping with the massive Brembo BBK on all four corners.
A better look at the new fender.
The side skirt was redesigned to include more of a flat bottomed area the extends out past the door-line. One of my favorite features of the new design is where the flare of the rear fender meets the diffuser. You can see the flare is extended nearly all the way to the back of the rear bumper leaving nothing above it. Makes for a really cool profile.
A good look at the front end changes.
In place of the conventionally mounted GT wing of last year is the new chassis mounted variant. Some pretty crazy wing stands!
Better look at the assimilation of the rear fender.
The interior of the car didn’t change much. The gutted dash remains draped in carbon and the center console riddled with switches. Floor mounted pedals allow the driver’s foot to naturally mash the gas pedal into the firewall on Fuji’s massive front straight (I would only imagine).
Closer look at the Motec unit mounted to the steering wheel.
A gallery of anxious fans watch atop the garages as the FD ventures on track for a session of testing the new goods out. A hi-res shot of this will be available in the wallpaper section tonight as well.
As I watched lap after lap, I couldn’t help form an opinion of how much more toned down this version of the FD looks from last year. A part of it may be the graphics, or perhaps a lot of the ‘GT’ bulk has been slimmed down.
Much of the GT width is gone, and with it brings a more ‘streetable’ look to the FD.
Behind the wheel of the car once again, Kota Sasaki was able to garner third place in it’s class (lightweight 2wd) with an impressive 1’45.146 fast lap. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to beat out the 2014 time of 1’44.983. Being just a few tenths shy however, I can only imagine that they’ll make up the time with a bit more testing.
2 tenths slower, but the car looks amazing. I would take that trade off any day…
Hope you enjoyed – have a good weekend everybody.