Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Amuse Carbon R

The Amuse Carbon R sits somewhere between cult legend and forgotten curio. Built in 2004 by Japanese tuning outfit Amuse, the project started out as an effort to make a hardcore, lightweight road car, but they got a bit carried away and ended up developing a full-race machine. An obsessive program of weight saving gave the Carbon R a kerb weight of around 1100kg - 400kg less than standard - achieved by replacing all of the steel bodywork with carbon-fibre and stripping pretty much everything out from the interior.

A dramatic way to save weight was to junk half of the complex 4WD system, sending all of the power through just the rear wheels. Speaking of power, the RB26DETT engine featured uprated pistons and cams, larger turbos, lots of custom pipework, a huge intercooler and re-profiled front bodywork to maximise cooling efficiency, allowing the Carbon R to produce 520bhp. Protruding from the rear diffuser is a huge straight-through titanium exhaust. The wheels are lightweight Rays items, the windows are made of Lexan, even the standard fuel tank has been replaced with an ultra-light race fuel cell. In short, it's an animal.

Its trump card was showing the J-tuner establishment that the tunnel-vision approach of chasing ever-larger power figures isn't the only way to achieve greater performance. Sometimes it's necessary to apply some more Lotus-like thinking, and just remove a few of the heavy bits...

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