As global emission restrictions tighten and the average vehicle owner becomes more conscious about the affect their purchases have on the environment, the car manufacturers are steering well away from high powered, mass produced, rear wheel drives and sports cars. It’s true that The Subaru BRZ, the Toyota 86, Nisans 370 and the 35 skyline all contradict the previous statement however comparative to the ten year old equivalent the performance car owners options are now very limited.
Honda walked away after the S2000, the Nissan 32, 33 & 34 Skyline dominated the performance car scene and still does for now, sharing that space with its Silvia counterparts. Toyota answered with Supra and Mitsubishi and Subaru fought out the 4WD market with the Evolution and WRX. This meant the modified car owner had as smorgasbord of options for a blank canvas and hours of forum reading and stupid questions to follow when it came to choosing modifications.
Whilst it’s too early to say what affect the lack of performance car production will have on the scene, we’re confident it will never die. Its an evolving organism and has been since cars were invented. However there are a few things that performance workshops are aware of and if they are clued up on business will have began making the changes necessary to survive in the coming years.
We are no authority or experts on this but based on what we know we predict a few things in the future.
1. The future of rear wheel drive Motorsport may be questionable. Doubtful that the adrenalin and excitement that drifting invokes will ever fade however there will come a day where every S chassis on the earth is bent or butchered and finding good rear wheel drives as a starting platform will become rare and expensive. (The original 86 is a prime example of this, gone are the days of getting an 86 in any condition for under $10K). This in itself will probably boost the cost of the sport forcing most amature enthusiasts out. Add to this that Commodore and Falcon are as good as gone.
2. Power upgrades for vehicles currently getting produced. Companies are already producing the supercharger and turbo kits for the current 86 model and other such vehicles but its unlikely these engines will every produce the figures that RB and SR engines make with bolt on mods and the average backyard mechanic involved.
3.V8s. We are already seeing this a lot. LS1 engines are going cheap as there are heaps of them in wrecking yards after P platers steal their fathers SS and prove to the world why P plate restrictions were a good idea. We are seeing lots of old Silvia and even Skylines packing a 5.7Lt and even a few LS2 engines of late as the cost of these engines keep plummeting. Performance shops for the next five years will do well to specialise in V8 conversions in rear wheel drives. Bang for buck is great with torque and power high for minimal dollars spent.
4. The FWD scene we believe will boom again. Mid to late nineties saw every Adidas wearing twit from Penrith to Palm Beach don a set of fluffy dice around the rear vision mirror of their Honda CRX and head for the nearest fast food outlet. The Front wheel drive scene never died but definitely shrunk at the same rate that the cost of a Nissan Skyline dropped. With tasteful looking front wheel drives on the market (except for Hondas Type R Civic, what were they thinking) we believe the front wheel drive scene is on the rise again. The Mazda 3 and 6 make for great platforms as well as the Honda Accord Euro and even the new Hyundai stuff. In ten years time most P plate enthusiasts who will not be allowed to drive high powered cars will probably be the drive behind the improved FWD scene.
The true test of our predictions will be time.