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Unconventional Masters: Here's Why RWB Porsches Turn Heads Everywhere

Delve deeper beyond the Japanese tuner's crazy aesthetics to uncover the engineering genius behind RWB's wild creations

by Amrit Balraj on July 5, 2024, 08:30

In the world of custom Porsches, everyone has heard of RWB and Akira Nakai. The renowned Japanese tuner has been modifying 911 with dramatic fender flares, exposed rivets, and double wings, since the late 90s. Before he established RWB he was the leader of a wild drift crew, aptly named Rough World. Rough World drifters mainly altered and raced with the legendary Toyota AE86, making changes inspired by widebody endurance racecars. However, Akira always had an eye for Porsches and got to work on several while working at a body shop during the ’90s. One day as luck would have it a very damaged Porsche 930 came into the shop, and Akira was able to strike a deal with the owner. This midnight blue Porsche became his first muse, which he cut up extensively to reduce weight, upgraded the engine, and installed the first version of his iconic wide-body kit. He named his first car after his favorite beer- Stella Artois.

  • RWB stands for Rauh-Welt Begriff, which is German for Rough World Belief
  • Akira Nakai’s first time working on a project outside Japan was a collaboration with Hoonigan
  • Besides Porsches, RWB has also developed widebody kits for Mercedes Benz, and the Volkswagen Beetle (modern and vintage)
  • RWB has been represented in many video games including Need For Speed (NFS) and CSR Racing

History Of The Company

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Nestled in Chiba prefecture, just outside Tokyo’s bustling center, lies Rauh-Welt Begriff, or RWB. The name is a literal translation of "Rough World Belief" which he changed after his first Porsche build. After Stella Artois, he steadily gained a reputation and completed several builds with his signature flair. He was gaining a cult following in the underground car modification scene in Japan. It was during this time that he perfected his art mainly building air-cooled 911s. His first project outside Japan came when he collaborated with Brian Scotto of Hoonigan. Brian invited Akira to work on his 1991 911 Turbo. The result was a captivating transformation of his white 911, which was aptly named the RWB Hoonigan.

The car sits a cool inch and a half closer to the ground thanks to lowered springs. To account for the drop, the fenders were subtly reshaped to hug the new stance. For a more aggressive look, the owner opted for RWB’s signature bolt-on fender extensions. These weren’t just stuck on though –Nakai-san himself meticulously adjusted them for a flawless fit. This was the beginning of the RWB U.S. Arm, which slowly gained popularity as more people sought out Akira’s expertise, and his gorgeous creations grew in number.

What Goes Into Building A RWB Porsche?

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The extra wide fenders and aggressive stance might suggest a complicated build process, but for potential RWB owners, it’s quite straightforward. Once the kit and parts are ordered via the online shop or authorized partners, comes the real wait. With a booming backlog of projects, it can take over a year before Akira can come to the client location and impart his magic touch. But once he does arrive it just takes him 48 hours to complete a build, provided that there is a steady supply of cigarettes and Mexican CocaCola, which are preferred to be on-premise but not mandatory.

The process is low-tech with Akira cutting up the base car free hand after measuring and taping. His skill have only grown after 100s of cars he has worked on and his work often draws large crowds who just prefer to stand around and watch him work. What are some of his more famous creations?

  • RWB Champagne - A ’Maritime Blue’ 964 Carrera 4 coupé which was built in Champagne, France, hence the name

  • RWB Victoria - A ’Amarnath Violet’ 1994 993 Carrera 2 with gold accents with an upgraded V-8 engine (done by owner) which made more than 525 horsepower

  • RWB Porsche 964 "Khloe"- This one featured vintage Apple Computers livery as a tribute from Bob Garretson’s Kremer 935 K3 racecar from 1980.

  • RWB Medusa - A Guards red 1995 911 Carrera 2 which features race-inspired bumpers adds a track-ready look, while a rear fender wing and the imposing Champion rear wing.

  • RWB Beetle Targa - One of the rare non-Porsche builds, this one is a vintage Beetle

The wide body kit consists of new front and rear bumpers, side rocker panels, and the signature extra-wide fenders for both axles. You can also choose between a GT2 or 3.8-style wing to complete the aggressive look. For those seeking a more comprehensive transformation, RWB offers additional options. A package with SSR wheels and high-performance tires (265/35-18 front and your choice of 315 or 295/35-18 rear) is available for $5,500.

For enhanced handling, an Aragosta suspension system can be added for another $5,500. And if the included wing isn’t showy enough, a show-stopping Champion wing can be yours for $1,300. Widebody kit costs $24,000 (plus shipping) on their website - which is designed to fit 930, 964 & 993 Porsches currently. Good things take time and Akira Nakai has spent close to 20 years now perfecting his craft, making RWB one of the most respected brands when it comes to custom creations.

Amrit Balraj

Amrit Balraj

Features Writer Read full bio