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Creating one of the world's most hated Porsches
By Matthew Hansen • 05/08/2016
Latest 'RWB' video lands and is well worth a watch
The words Rauh-Welt Begriff mean different things to different people. To a large number, they're a meaningless jumble of vowels and consonants — but to those familiar with Akira Nakai's Japanese Porsche tuning house, 'RWB' is either cause for dropped jaws or cause for hatred.
And if you're German, Rauh-Welt Begriff literally translates to 'Rough World Concept'.
Each RWB Porsche built carries a similar requisite list of visual mods. Cars are slammed to the floor, flared guards are bolted on, and a duck or GT2-style rear wing is tacked to the bootlid. Though that sounds quite simple on paper, the RWB brand carries a huge amount of cultural coin. Part of that comes down to the viral popularity of the cars, but part of it can also be attributed to the globe-trotting Akira Nakai.
The quiet Nakai travels the world, installing each RWB kit personally on site; each car typically taking him within two to three days. Topping it off each car is named; in the case of the green number above, ‘Prince’ is its name-o. That's Prince of Philadelphia, not the late Prince of musical fame.
But, there are a group loathe RWB; purists.
They hate the notion of a saw being taken to each corner of innocent, perfect-from-the-factory 964s and 993s. They hate the hype and buzz that hugs every new creation. And most of all, they hate the supposed destruction of any form of usability or practicality.
But a lot of what you see is actually very usable in a circuit environment. Plenty of RWB owners take their machines to tracks,
But the point goes a bit deeper than that. Is there a problem with engineering a car to look gorgeous at the cost of functionality? Furthermore, is there a problem with someone you'll never meet on the other side of the world doing it to a car that you'll never see in the flesh?
Well, no and no. It kind of reminds me of that episode of Top Gear, where they asked whether a car could possibly be seen as 'art'. The episode went on to be weak and forgettable, but they were onto something in raising the question. Cars are what you construe them to be; they can be a tool for travelling to and from work, or a source of driving excitement, or — as in this case — they can be something incredible to stare at on a Sunday morning.