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Tanaka Heavy Industries (田中重工業) | Tanaka Motors | (1985-1995 4th Generation Tanaka Aventus)


#78

The 2nd Generation Tanaka X-Series (1995-2005)



From left to right: Tanaka 300X, Tanaka 300X Turbo, Tanaka 300X Turbo Spec A, Tanaka 300X Turbo TR

This is the 2nd generation Tanaka X-Series. Compared to its predecessor, the design of this newer generation is rounder and smoother. No sharp angles, no sudden angles, all just smooth and round. Being a GT car, the wheelbase was kept long, now approximately 0.1 m longer than its predecessor.


Tanaka 300X shown

The design was also made to appeal to younger audiences. A small diffuser and a lip kit made this car look edgy. A small wing was an element important in the design of the 2nd generation X-Series. As it is important, the third brake light was also placed there. Power is also increased to satisfy the customer’s need for speed and power. The chassis is 15% stiffer than its predecessor to compensate for its increased size and weight. People loved its design and especially its driving characteristics, which is now even sportier. Tanaka is focusing more on sportiness in this generation. There is no luxury version like its previous generation, and all versions came standard with a manual (only the 300X, 300X Turbo and 300X Turbo Spec A was available with an optional 4-speed computer-controlled automatic transmission). Especially in its TR form, the Tanaka X-Series became an icon of the late 90s and early 2000s, appearing in many movies and games such as the Need For Speed series, Forza series, GT Sport and more…


The V30MPEFI A1 T engine in the Tanaka 300X Turbo shown

When Tanaka stopped producing Inline 6 engines (last used in the 1st generation X-Series and the 4th generation Aventus), fans and enthusiasts were disappointed that they will not able to have the simplicity and the smoothness of an Inline 6. Although having a V8 in the X-Series was planned, they decided to use the V-Series V6 engine from the 1st generation Tanaka Atlantis. However, unlike its Atlantis engine counterpart, the ones used in the X-Series were stronger, more powerful and revs higher. The V6 was also more compact and lighter, which means that packaging is easier and the front-to-rear weight ratio was better. This also means that it leaves a huge amount of space for tuners and mechanics to work on the car. As a result, turbocharging was easier and the turbocharged version was introduce along side with its NA counterpart. The car was designed to be turbocharged unlike its predecessor which was introduced in 1985, only introduced the Turbocharged version in 1989, which was what it should’ve been from the day it was introduced.


Tanaka 300X shown

The Tanaka 300X was equipped with the V30MPEFI-B1 unit producing 221HP and 201 lb-ft of torque. It revs up to 7000PRM. It came standard with a 6-speed manual transmission combined with a mechanical LSD. The rims are 16-inch 5-spoke alloy rims wrapped around sport compund tires (also thicker than its predecessor). The brakes are solid disk brakes all around the car. It has a semi clad undertray. The interior was made of premium leather and was available with a premium CD as standard. The safety was advanced 90s. ESC was an option in 2000. Sunroof was standard across all versions of the X-Series. It can do 0-60mph in 6.66 seconds and has a top speed of 151mph.


Tanaka 300X Turbo shown

This is the 300X Turbo, the Turbocharged version of the 300X. It uses the V30MPEFI-A1 T unit producing literally 276HP and 265 lb-ft of torque. It is the same engine used in the 1st generation Tanaka Atlantis 2.0 TR. It also has a longer gear ratio to increase its top speed and reduce wheelspin. Other than that and extra turbo badging on the front grille and the trunk, nothing else have been changed. It can do 0-60mph in 6.07 seconds and has a top speed of 160mph.


Tanaka 300X Turbo Spec A shown

The 300X Turbo Spec A was the top-of-the-line model introduced in 1998. It was the top-of-the-line model until 2002 when the 300X Turbo TR was introduced. It uses the V30MPEFI-B1 T unit producing 323HP and 268 lb-ft of torque. The rev limiter was increased to 7700RPM and the exhaust system was more free-flowing and less restrictive. It has 17-inch magnesium rims, wider tires, vented disk brakes all around, a fully-clad undertray, sports interior, fog lights and a sportier suspension setup. It can do 0-60mph in 5.47 seconds and has a top speed of 174mph. This version was the heaviest of the bunch.


Tanaka 300X Turbo TR shown

This is perhaps one of the most recognizable and the ultimate version of the 2nd generation X-Series, the 300X Turbo TR. Introduced in 2002, it used to be a 300X Turbo Spec A which was tuned by TR. The result is one of the best Tanaka vehicle ever made. It is still RWD, however the car was very grippy. Wider and grippier sports compound tires were exclusively made by Dunlap for the 300X Turbo TR. The body kit is also new. It features a new front and rear bumpers, new diffuser, new lip, new sideskirts, carbon-fibre mirrors and a new carbon-fibre wing. A hood scoop was added as well to suck air into the engine. Extra TR badges were added (T made of carbon fibre and R coloured white to distinguish the letters). The engine is the V30MPEFI-C1 T unit produces 400HP and 355lb-ft of torque. The rev limiter was increased 8000RPM. The 300X Turbo TR also used a electronic LSD to send power where its needed precisely. The brakes are also larger, more downforce is produced from the wing, lip and diffuser, the rear seats are removed, some safety features were removed and sway bars are now semi-active. The suspension setup is now even sportier. All of this made the 300X Turbo TR go 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 179mph. This was also the lightest of the bunch weighing at 1452kg. Only 200 of these were ever made. 25 of these are in the US, 100 of these in all of Asia, 50 in all of Europe and another 25 are in Australia.


#79

Introducing the 2020 Tanaka Esquire (the 2nd generation)



Tanaka Esquire 3.5 L Executive shown

For the 2020 model year, the Esquire has been completely redesigned from the previous generation. It uses an extended version of the chassis of the upcoming 8th generation Tanaka Aventis and the already-released Ereteca. AWD is standard and the only engine options are the 3.0 litre V6 (3.0 G and 3.0 L) and the 3.5 litre V6 (3.5 L Executive). The Esquire is standard with a 7-seat configuration (middle-row are 2 captain chairs) with an optional 8-seat configuration. The front styling of the Esquire is inspired by the Ereteca. The overall design is both handsome, attractive and elegant.


Trims:


Tanaka Esquire 3.0 G shown

The 3.0 G is the base model of the Tanaka Esquire. It uses the L30DI-A1 Earthboost unit producing 302HP and 307lb-ft of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed computer-controlled torque converter automatic transmission. It has viscous LSDs on all models and AWD is standard. The rims are 20-inch tri-tone “symmetrical” double 5-spoke rims wrapped around hard-long life tires. All 4 corners have 2-piston vented brakes, active-comfort suspension and adaptive dampers. The interior is made of premium leather with piano black trimming and a premium infotainment system. Only the 2nd-row seating are provided with screens to watch anything either via bluetooth or the CD-player. The safety is advanced 10s. A single-sunroof is standard with twin-sunroofs being optional for this trim. It can do 26.6mpg. The starting price is $62900 (without mark-ups and additional options).


Tanaka Esquire 3.0 L shown

The 3.0 L have couple of changes from the 3.0 G which includes extra chrome on the front grille and rear bumper, a luxury infotainment system, another 2 extra screens for the 3rd row seating and an additional autopilot system. The twin-sunroof is standard in this trim. It can do 25.7 mpg. The starting price is $68200 (without mark-ups and additional options).



Tanaka Esquire 3.5 L Executive shown

The 3.5 L Executive is currently the top-of-the-line version (coming soon is a more luxurious version) of the Esquire. The changes include using the bigger L35D1-A1 Earthboost unit producing 367HP and 360lb-ft of torque, a 9-speed computer-controlled torque converter automatic transmission, 21-inch tri-tone “symmetrical” double 5-spoke rims, the interior now made of luxurious leather with wood trimming, and semi-active dampers. Unlike other trims, it has its own panoramic sunroof/moonroof. It can do 25.9 mpg. The starting price is $84300 (without mark-ups and additional options.)


The Tanaka Esquire will start to be on sale on the first of July for Japan and China and the mid of July for the rest of Asia. US and Europe can have the Esquire, but only through a special order from select dealerships.


#80

Wow! This is amazing, I love it


#81

The Ereteca was already tested by the Fleet Manager Magazine and received good critics. Our experts see a lead in the van market for Tanaka Heavy Industries. CMT is planning to give up their vans, as the customers switch either to SUVs or to Tanaka models.


#82

It’s almost as if you have a background in designing cars, man. They’re that good


#83

@Baskent Thank you!
@GetWrekt01 I started designing cars by drawing when I was really young. After that I started playing in the Kee version, although my design is horrible. Then, I started playing UE4. The freedom of the UE4 engine gives is immense. This is why I can design like this, although my first designs in UE4 are also not that great. I even took an entire year experimenting with different stuff until what I can do best right now. My best advice for you is to keep practicing and seek advice in the discord channel. Thank you!
@CMT Would you like to review some of our future models (such as the Aventis and more, but you’ll have to wait and stay tuned…)? Or would you like to review some our current models?


#84

I’m not gonna lie, just going through your thread is giving me tons of ideas, designwise, and new stuff to play with(supercharging, twincharging and diesel engines).
You’re quite the example of practice makes perfect


#85

The all-new 2020 5th generation Tanaka X-Series in the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed


The all-new 5th generation had just been lauched in the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, check it out!


#86

The Production Version of the 2020 3rd Generation Tanaka Akuma Revealed!



Tanaka Akuma V8S on the left and the Tanaka Akuma V8R on the right

Since its debut of the concept in the 2019 Geneva International Auto Show, Tanaka went on continuing to improve the car both in looks, performance and affordability. The senior designer, Abura Nagasaki, is now happy with the new design. The new 2020 Tanaka Akuma is now greenlit for production with deliveries starting on late 2020.



Tanaka Akuma V8S shown

Appearance

The initial design that was revealed in the 2019 Geneva International Auto Show was a design proposal by a group of junior designers of Tanaka. Tanaka decided to use this minimalistic design initially in their prototype debut at Geneva as a blank canvas for improvements. The design received positive feedbacks. However, Abura felt that something was missing. Therefore, he redesigned the car to give a more aggressive look to it. The rear centre vent is enlarged to allow more cooling. The front is especialy redesigned. While some of the original headlight shape retained, the whole headlight unit is changed. LED DRLs are now flowing to the bottom of the bumper. The side vents, which used to be at the bottom of the headlights, are now surrounded with the LED DRLs. There is are new centre vents to direct air to parts of the car. In between those 2 grilles is a bar. The bar can be in an aluminium finish, body-coloured finish, satin grey finish and a carbon-fibre finish. Of course, the bubble roof is still there to make space for taller people and people who use helmets to track their cars. But now, there is a sunroof in between the bubbles. Overall, details have been added and tweaked. This makes the car very recognizable.


The bare chassis of the Tanaka Akuma V8R with all the suspension and drivetrain components…

Performance

Of course, the chassis and the drivetrain stays the same. A full-carbon-fibre body on a full carbon-fibre chassis with pushrod suspension all around 4 corners. AWD is standard with E-Diff. For the V8S, the Z47DI-A2 EarthBoost unit produces 658HP and 615lb-ft of torque while for the V8R, the Z47DI-B2 EarthBoost unit produces 716HP and 620lb-ft of torque. Efficiency is increased too.

Trim V8S V8R
Suspension Type (F/R) Pushrod/Pushrod -
Transmission 7-Speed DCT -
Differential Electronic LSD -
Tire type Dunlap Sport Compounds -
Tyre Size (F/R) 240/290 mm -
Wheelbase (m) 2.72 -
Engine Z47DI-A2 EarthBoost (DOHC 4.7 litre 32 Valve Direct-Injected Turbocharged V8) Z47DI-B2 EarthBoost (DOHC 4.7 litre 32 Valve Direct-Injected turbocharged V8)
Horsepower (HP) 658 716
Torque (lb-ft) 615 720
Fuel recommendation 95RON Unleaded Premium -
Top Speed (mph) 212 214
Acceleration (0-60mph) 2.5 Seconds -
Lateral G (around a 20m radius circle) 1.25 g’s 1.27 g’s
Curb Weight (kg) 1487 1476
Fuel Economy (US MPG) 27.0 26.0
Brakes Carbon Ceramic, 2 piston front & 2 piston rear -
Seating 2 seats -
Interior Premium leather with Aluminium trimming (carbon-fibre optional) -
Infotainment System Tanaka Premium HUD -
Traction Aids ABS+TC+ESC+LC -
Suspension (springs/dampers/sway bars) Active Sport/Semi-active/Passive -
Active Aero 3-stage Active Aero -
All-Wheel Drive Standard -
Base Price (without mark-ups, taxes and shipping costs) $202000 $221000

Note: (-) means the same as the left


Gallery





Stay tuned for the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show for a surprise!


#88

This is a co.pany thread…not a challenge.


#89

2020 8th Generation Tanaka Aventus Ready for Production

Perfect for Japanese VIPs...

Because there was once a post from Killrob that the car using this body that was built in older versions of the game are cocked up, I might as well redesign this to fit more in line with my design language in this version of the game…



From left to right: Tanaka Aventus 5.0 G, 5.0 L and 5.0 L Executive. From now on, our newly revealed cars will be displayed at the main entrance/lobby of Tanaka’s design studio.

The Tanaka Aventus has always been our full-size luxury sedan since its debut in 1975. This has always been one of the go to luxury sedans for Japanese and probably whole of Asia. The Aventus entered the US market in the mid-80s (During its 4th generation, 1985-1995) and the European market (During its 5th generation, 1995-2005). Since then, this is now its 8th generation of the Aventus. Its 1st design was revealed at the 2019 North American Auto Show. But then the designers kept tweaking the design until its final design, which is down below.



Appearance

Following Tanaka’s rebirth of the brand to be more upscale and more exciting, Tanaka made the Aventus more sporty, but also more elegant than its original design. The grille now follows the new design language, which has 6 sides. This make the grille more pronounced. The LED lights are tweaked to fit the design language as well as being more effective. The side are also tweaked so that it has more details and also fit the design language. Like the recently revealed Aventis, the roof and part of its trunk is black to make it more cotemporary from its glaring contrast with bright colours. Like the X-Series, it also have black trimming cutting through the C-Pillar. The taillights are unique to the Aventus. The rear bottom fascia is also similar to the Aventis. The wheels we have selected to be put on the Aventus blends in well with the whole design of the car. The higher trim level you go, the more chrome trimming you get.


Interior

Step inside the new Aventus and you can see almost everything covered in very high-quality leather sourced from Italy. The rest are covered in your desired choice of trimming (be it wood, artworks behind glass, engraved signatures, etc) You can really see the quality of the leather as there are virtually no blemishes in there. In fact, the entire seats were made in the Tanaka luxury upholstery division in Italy. The seats are 30-way adjustable, both for the front and back. As expected, the seats are heated and ventilated, and also have massaging functions. Our iPad Pro-sized infotainment system is the most luxurious and most technologically advanced ever from Tanaka. They are very sensitive to the touch (sensitivity of touch adjusted by phone companies) to the level of smartphones. Our gauge cluster is also fully digital and fully configured. In the centre like always, a clock is in there. Not just any clock, but But the real party is in the back seats. With its 3.1m wheelbase, legroom is virtually endless. There is also a leg holder in case of you want to sleep in your Aventus in long journeys. For the 5.0 G and 5.0 L, there are 3 rear seats (the centre can be pulled down to reveal a tablet to control things you need). For the 5.0 L Executive, there are 2 rear seats only (the 2 seats are divided by a panel continuing from the front to back. Not only does it has the tablets, but also some storage space. But most importantly, a fridge at the back, or what we call the “Cool Room”. The bottles of champagne or wine can be put there together with 2 wine glasses or whiskey glasses (comes with an adapter to secure the glasses in place). If not, there is also an adaptor to secure either whiskey bottles, beer can or bottle and even a water bottle). And no, they are not optional, they are standard on the 5.0 L Executive unlike other manufacturers. Luxury obvioulsy means bussiness here.


The bare chassis of the Tanaka Aventus 5.0 L Executive with all the suspension and drivetrain components…

Engineering

The chassis is made of glued aluminium (will share the same chassis as the upcoming Crezta) and the whole body is made of aluminium to save weight. Its aerodynamic and elegant hatchback design makes the Aventus achieve a total drag coefficient of only 0.232 cd. Its wheelbase was extended to 3.1m. The engine is the F50DI-C1 EarthBoost unit (a 5.0 litre twin-turbocharged Direct-Injected DOHC V8) producing 414HP and 641lb-ft of torque to pull all that weight effortlessly. This 9-speed Torque-Converter Automatic is Tanaka’s most advanced yet. Of course, AWD is standard like usual. And of course, all safety feautures including autopilot that exists right now is standard on the Aventus.

Specs:

Trim 5.0 G 5.0 L 5.0 L Executive
Suspension Type (F/R) Double-wishbone/Multi-link - -
Transmission 9-Speed Automatic Torque-converter - -
Tire type Tyrelli Medium Compounds - -
Tyre Size (F/R) 220/220 mm - -
Wheelbase (m) 3.10 - -
Engine F50DI-C1 EarthBoost (DOHC 5.0 litre 32 Valve Direct-Injected Turbocharged V8) - -
Horsepower (HP) 414 - -
Torque (lb-ft) 641 - -
Fuel recommendation 95RON Unleaded Premium -
Top Speed (mph) 192 - -
Acceleration (0-60mph) 5.34 Seconds 5.34 Seconds 5.22
Curb Weight (kg) 2246 2250 2210
Fuel Economy (US MPG) 23.6 23.6 23.9
Brakes Vented Disks, 2 piston front & 2 piston rear -
Seating 5 seats - 4 seats
Interior Luxurious high-quality leather with piano black trimming (Wood optional) Luxurious high-quality leather with wood trimming Hand-made ultra-luxurious high-quality leather with wood trimming
Infotainment System Tanaka Luxury Infotainment Tanaka Luxury HUD -
Traction Aids ABS+TC+ESC - -
Suspension (springs/dampers/sway bars) Active Comfort/Semi-active/Passive - -
All-Wheel Drive Standard - -
Sunroof 2-Piece - Full Panoramic
Base Price (without mark-ups, taxes and shipping costs) $96400 $99900 $128000

Note: (-) means the same as the left
(20% Discount applies if you previously purchase a Tanaka vehicle brand new from the dealership)


Gallery





All test drives are welcome! PM me any time.


CSR114 - A Vision of Luxury
#90

Would like a “test drive” just to see this design closer, it looks really nice! I love that grille!


#91

I can’t describe how aweseom these cars look, and not to even mention how reasonable the prices are considering the internals. Amazing aesthetics, powerful and luxorious! The perfect combo


#92

1987-1995 4th Generation Tanaka Aventis



From left to right: Tanaka Aventis 2.0 B, 2.0 G, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR and 2.0 SR Turbo

With the Aventis nameplate being less popular do to the ugly, underperforming, outdated, hilariously unreliable and dissapointing 3rd Generation, it is then very clear that a replacement was needed. So, the engineers design a bigger, more comfortable and a more fuel efficient Aventis. With Japan’s economy rising at this point, the engineers have less worry about budget restrains and in 1987, the world was introduced to the 4th generation Aventis. The main difference at this point is that it is no longer RWD, the Aventis is now a FWD-only car. The engineers also developed 2 new engines for the Aventis, the EH-Series (SOHC all cast-iron I4) and the ES-Series (DOHC all cast-iron I4). The first focusing on fuel economy and the latter focusing on performance. The car was also less boxy then its predecessor. This also increases fuel economy drastically. Engineers also paid extra attention to reliability. Together with the conservative, but attractive looks, these improvements then, made this car back to the top.


Pre-Facelift (1987-1990)


Tanaka Aventis 1.8 B shown

The 1.8 B is the base model. It uses the EH18MPEFI-A1 unit producing 104HP and 106lb-ft of torque. It is equipped with a 5-speed manual with open diffs, 14-inch steelies with hudcap wrapped by a hard long-life tyres, solid disk brakes on the front and drum brakes in the rear, standard cloth seats with a basic AM/FM radio and an 8-track tape player and normal hydraulic power steering system. It can do 27.9mpg. Back then, its MSRP was $16600.


Tanaka Aventis 1.8 G shown

The 1.8 G is the mid-range model. Still uses the same engine. The only differences are the variable hydraulic power steering ststem, increased safety features, additional fog lights in the bumper, a standard 8-track tape player (a standard cassette player is optional) and an optional 4-speed torque converter automatic transmission. It can do 26.8mpg. Its original MSRP was $18400.


Tanaka Aventis 2.0 S shown

The 1.8 S is a sportier version of the 1.8 G. It uses the EH20MPEFI-B1 unit producing 126HP and 123lb-ft of torque. The 1.8 G’s 14-inch alloy rims were replaced by this wider 15-inch 5-spoke alloy rims wrapped by medium-compound tyres. Still same interior equipment from the 1.8 G. There is now a plastic front lip to make the car look sportier and reduce lift. The suspension is also stiffer and lower. Its rear drum brakes were replaced by solid disk ones. A viscous differential were installed. 0-60mph happens in 9.19 seconds and it has a top speed of 126mph. Its original MSRP was $19800. This is an affordable way to have fun.


Tanaka Aventis 2.0 SR (on the left) and Tanaka Aventis 2.0 SR Turbo (on the right) shown

In 1988, the SR and the SR Turbo was released. The engine used in both versions of the SR was a DOHC version of the EH-Series engines, dubbed the ES-Series. Both of them were added plastic side skirts and a rear bumper lip. In the 2.0 SR, the ES20MPEFI-A1 unit produces 154HP and 127lb-ft of torque. This drastic increase in power mainly comes from the VVT-I system in the engine. In the 2.0 SR Turbo, the ES20MPEFI-A1 T unit produces 197HP and 163lb-ft of torque. For both versions, the alloy rims are now replaced with wider 15-inch magnesium mesh rims wrapped by sport-compound tyres. The brakes are vented. The standard 8 track tape player is now replaced by a standard cassette player which was optional on other trims. The suspension setup are stiffer and they are also slightly lowered further. The bench rear seats were replaced by 2 individual seats. The 2.0 SR can do 25.6mpg, 0-60mph in 7.86 seconds and has a top speed of 131mph. The 2.0 SR Turbo can do 27.3mpg, 0-60mph in 6.66 seconds and has a top speed of 143mph. A way to distinguish the SR from the SR Turbo is that the latter has a hood scoop and black trimming.



Tanaka Aventis 1.8 W shown

The 1.8 W was introduced in 1989. It was basically a wagon version of the Aventis 1.8 G. It has a higher ride height and a slighly stiffer rear spring to prevent the wheels from scraping the underfender of the Aventis in full load capacity. This is considered by many the predecessor of the Ascent. Optional extras includes a standard cassette player, a tow hitch and a roof rack. Its original MSRP was $18400.


Facelift (1991-1995)

Summary

Of all proposed facelifted version of the Aventis from the Community Redesign Centre, I chose this version. Of course, I changed things like the rear fascia and the plastic bottom section. Thank you @Mad_Cat for the original proposal!


Top: 1991 Tanaka Aventis 1.8 B (left), 1991 Tanaka Aventis 1.8 G (right)
Bottom: 1991 Tanaka Aventis 2.0 S (left), 1991 Tanaka Aventis 2.0 SR (right)



1991 Tanaka Aventis 2.0 SR Turbo shown

The facelift was introduced for the 1991 model year. Visual changes includes a completely new front fascia, a completely new rear fascia, new rim designs, new body trimming and a spoiler (for 2.0 S, 2.0 SR and 2.0 SR Turbo versions.)
For mechanical changes, the EH-Series engines received a VVT system. This adds more power and fuel economy. For the EH18MPEFI-A2 engines (from the 2.0 B and the 2.0 G), the pistons are now low friction casts. This engine now makes 105HP and 108lb-ft of torque. For the EH20MPEFI-A2 engines (from the 2.0 S), the engine now makes 132HP and 125lb-ft of torque. For the ES20MPEFI-A2 engines (found in the 2.0 SR), it makes 158HP and 129lb-ft of torque. For the ES20MPEFI-A2 T engines (found in the 2.0 SR Turbo), it makes 200HP and 167lb-ft of torque.
For interiors, cassette players are now standard (no longer optional). For the 2.0 SR and 2.0 SR Turbo, the are now 5 seaters instead of 4 seaters in previous model years. All of these combined makes the Aventis faster and better fuel economy than ever, until the next generation.


#93

Hokuto vs. Tanaka time.


#94

Please do not forget to state the exact engine output for the trim in question.

Anyway, if Hokuto could enter the fourth-gen Levara in the early Super Touring era of the BTCC, why shouldn’t Tanaka do the same with its fourth-gen Aventis? It would make for a thrilling rivalry!


#95

They Just keep on getting better…


#96

The 1996-1999 Tanaka TR2


Tanaka TR2 shown

The 1996 Tanaka TR2, the Japanese poster car of the 90s. People remember this car because everything about it is crazy. It has a crazy looking body kit, a low chassis-mounted wing and a massive centre scoop on the roof. It has a crazy acceleration for its time and even fast in today’s standards with only RWD. Only 200 were ever hand-built from 1996-1999 in the Tanabe Racing Factory, the same place where TR versions of Tanaka vehicles were assembled. This is especially special for Tanaka as it was an experimental supercar that would spark a whole new generation of the sporty Tanaka brand image, unlike the boringness of the previous decades.



You cannot talk about this car without its crazy bodywork. The car was equipped with pop-up headlights. The grille was to direct air to the radiator, which was in front of the car. There are 5 scoops directing air into the engine to cool it with the most effective being the one on the roof. You can instantly notice the massive vents behind the rear wheels and part of the rear fender. Then in between those 2 vents is a wing. It sits so low that it almost “blends” in with the silhouette of the TR2. A choice of only Tanabe Racing Midnight Purple, Metallica Black or Tanabe Racing Blue 1 were only available.

Performance is what this car focuses on. The chassis and the body was made entirely out of carbon-fibre. Utilizing the technology from the GCR-1 Group C racecar, it has pushrod suspension on the front and the back to make it an exceptionally good-handling. It uses the C-Series V8 englne, the same series of engines used for the Tanaka Biome (the full-size pickup truck) and the 5th generation Tanaka Aventus (full-size luxury sedan). However, it was turbocharged and was heavily modified to now make 623HP and 571lb-ft of torque. It was mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. It is standard with a mechanical LSD. Again, it is only RWD. The tires are Dunlap sport compound tires with P205/45R19 87(Y) at the front and P275/35R19 55(Y) at the rear. The rims were 19-inch Magnesium rims specially made by BPS. There are 2-piston vented disk brakes on all 4 corners. It has a downforce undertray to minimize drag coefficient while producng downforce. In fact with all these aero, the TR2 produces a total of 984kg of downforce (front and back). The interior was not luxurious. The seats were made of lightweight aluminium and the whole dashboard was made of carbon-fibre, only wrapped by leather with carbon-fibre trimmings. There were still 2 airbags though. It has an AM/FM radio with a standard casette player with only 4 speakers. The power steering was variable hydraulic. The dampers were semi-active and has semi-active sway bars, making it one of the most technologically advanced at the time. This allowed the TR2 to achieve 1.21g’s on a 20m radius skidpad, 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 204mph, which is not the fastest by any means, but still very fast even in today’s standards. This makes it the first production Japanese car to reach speeds of over 200mph. The car needs serious skill and rewards patience with a great cornering ability. Hence, the TR2 was nicknamed “The Purple Dragon”. As it was Tanaka’s first mid-engined supercar, it is one of the best Tanaka vehicle in history. This is what inspired Tanaka engineers to create the next supercar, the Akuma.


#97

1967-1970 Tanaka C20X

Tanaka’s first ever sports car…



1967 Tanaka C20X shown in Century Brown

The 1967-1970 Tanaka C20X is Tanaka’s first ever sports car. The money from selling the 1st generation Aventis was immediately put into developing Haruto Tanaka’s dream car. Inspired by cars from that era, the body was carefully sculpted. Tanaka took their A-Series SOHC I4 engine from the Aventis and grafted 2 more cylinders to make it an I6 engine. The new engine was called the LR-Series. Haruto Tanaka’s goal was to show what Japan, and most importantly, Tanaka Motors what they’re capable of, especially with Tanaka Motors only open for 2 years. The end result was this:


(Closed Pop-up headlights)


(Opened Pop-up headlight)

Originally unveiled in the 1966 Geneva Auto Show for the 1967 model year, it shooked the whole world. “How the hell did this 1-year old company started building sports cars?” a quote by one of the automotive journalist back when it was first unveiled. Haruto Tanaka was the head designer of this project. He wanted to design his very own car and show it to the world what the man was capable of. In the other hand, Takumi Sakeyama was in charge of the engine. The LR28DCOE-A1 unit produces 205HP and 192lb-ft of torque and it screams all the way up 6200RPM. It was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The rims are made 15-inch steelies with sports compound tires wrapped around the rims. The C20X has disk brakes on all 4 corners. The interior was made of leather. The seats were made of aluminium to save as much weight as possible. There was a single high-quality mono speaker and an AM radio. The C20X has hydraulic power steering as standard. Safety was kept standard to save weight. A subtle lip and the rear ducktail spoiler was added to reduce lift, with the latter also making the car look virtually “longer”. All this made the car accelerate from 0-60mph in 6.91 seconds, a top speed of 123mph and a max lateral g of 1.02 g’s. The C20X performed well in its time. It’s original price back when it was new in 1967 was $37100 (in 1967 money). And so, this made it one of Tanaka’s best car in history.


Only 300 were made with 50 imported to Europe and Australia, and 15 imported to America by a private exporter.

Throughout 1967-1970, the C20X was offered in 6 different colours. The colours offered were Pure White, Metallica Silver, Gloss Black, Dark Deep Blue, Mahogany and Century Brown.


#98

1970-1990 Tanaka TJ-40 and TJ-20



1970 Tanaka TJ-40 shown

While Haruto spent his profits for the C20X, he wanted to gain money. So, he decided that he wanted a 4x4 off-roader. In 1968, the first prototype test mule was tested and in 1970, the world was introduced to the Tanaka TJ-40. The TJ-40 was Tanaka’s car to be officially imported to the US (meanwhile, the C20X is completely for the Japanese market, but some importers imported it to the US). The TJ-40 was sold alongside the 1st generation Aventis imported from Japan by private importers (and were modified to meet the US regulations by them) and was sold through both few Tanaka official dealership and the private importer’s dealership. The TJ-Series quickly gained fame by being a very capable off-roader.


Pre-Facelift (1970-1979)


1970 Tanaka TJ-40 shown

This is the TJ-40 Hardtop. It was powered by a purpose-built 4.0 litre OHV I6 (the SJ40MFI-A1) producing 123HP and 201lb-ft of torque and it revs only up 4200RPM, perfect for off-roading. The drivetrain is a 4x4 system with manual locking front, rear and transfer case. The tires were cross-ply off-road tires wrapping around the 14-inch steel rims. There were disk brakes on all 4 corners. There was an off-road undertray to protect the underbody of the car. The interior was not basic too as it was made of standard cloth seats with an AM radio. Hydraulic power steering was standard as well. Naturally, this was the go-to version of the TJ.


1973 Tanaka TJ-20 Hardtop shown

With the new 2nd generation Tanaka Aventis released in 1973, it featured a new I4 engine series, the B-Series. So Tanaka decided to make a more basic version of the TJ-40 using the B20MPFI-A1 engine producing 106HP and 116lb-ft of torque. Other than that, the only changes include a plastic side trim, a basic AM radio to replace the standard version and slighly less safety features. This version is the TJ-20 Hardtop.


1975 Tanaka TJ-40 Pick-Up shown

The TJ-40 Pick-Up is a combination of the TJ-40’s tough and reliable SJ40MFI-A1 engine while featuring the basic necessities of the TJ-20. Despite being a pick-up truck, it still retain’s the roof rack and the spare tire. Changes include a 3-speed manual transmission, slightly wider tires, and stiffer suspension for heavy duties. Some countries build their economy by using the TJ-40 Pick-Up to carry things in the back. As a result, the TJ-40 Pick-Up was a very important truck in building some countries’ economy. Because the TJ-40 Pick-Up is used as a work truck, it was built the same way (no visual facelifts) all the way up to 1992, with the only difference being that the SJ-Series engine was updated like the normal TJ-40 and a basic 8-track for 1980-1987 and a basic cassete player until 1990.


The First Facelift (1980-1986)


A USDM 1980 Tanaka TJ-40 Hardtop and a JDM 1980 Tanaka TJ-20 Hardtop shown

With the Aventis gaining foothold in the US market in 1973, Tanaka built a factory there. In 1980, the TJ-40 Hardtop and TJ-20 Hardtop received a facelift. The facelifted TJ-40 is not only built in Japan and other countries. but also the US. The changes for both models include new sealed beam headlights, new rim designs and an 8-track player to go along with their radio. For the TJ-40 alone, the engine was updated to the SJ40MFI-A2 now producing 125HP and 193lb-ft of torque while also reducing emissions to be in the US market. As for the TJ-20, the B20MFI-A2 engine was updated to make 108HP and 118lb-ft of torque. But it doesn’t pass emission testing because there was no catalytic converter. Tanaka doesn’t feel the need to sell the more basic TJ-20 in the US and so, they didn’t put a catalytic converter and just sold it in other countries.


The Second and Last Facelift (1987-1990)


A USDM 1987 Tanaka TJ-40 (the gray one) and a JDM 1987 Tanaka TJ-20 (the white one) shown

In 1986, demand and sales suddenly started plummeting. Tanaka were panicking. So, they released another facelift for the TJ-40 and TJ-20 Hardtop. The mechanical fuel injection of the SJ-Series I6 engine was replaced with a new multi-point fuel injection system. The TJ-40 now makes 150HP and 213lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the TJ-20 received the engine from the 4th generation Tanaka Aventis 2.0 S, the EH20MPEFI-B1 engine which produces 126HP and 123lb-ft of torque. The headlight was changed again and the bumpers are now chrome (only for the TJ-40). The rear bumper is now a full bumper bar. The USDM TJ-40 came with an additional third brake light from the US regulations. The TJ-40 now has standard cassette player to replace the 8-track player. But the slow sales showed that despite these improvements, the TJ-Series is a dinosaur and it was beyond saving. In 1990, Tanaka announced that the TJ-Series was discontinued worldwide.