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We've gone on Instagram and found the 10 coolest local car modification styles. Here's what they are all about and how you can steal their style.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice


During this Circuit Breaker period, do you find yourself spending more time online? I sure did, and with hours of Instagram scrolling (erm… yep, I only do it during my lunch time, I swear), I found some of the coolest-looking modified Japanese cars here!

Since I'm always deeply interested in car modification culture, I figured, why not dive deeper and find out just what each modification style is about, and how we can replicate it, and create something similar with our own cars? So, here's the 10 coolest-looking Japanese car modifications in Singapore.

1. Stance - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 Wagon (@evo_wagonist)

Apparently, this stanced-out Evo Wagon is actually on a 'static' setup, its ride height is fixed!
Stance… what's that you ask? To the average guy, stance is a noun used to describe how someone stands. In car culture, the meaning is not that different - it describes how a car 'sits' on the road.

A 'stance' car places a huge focus on the car's ride height and wheel fitment (how inside, or outside the wheel is). One popular style is to get the wheels to 'sit flush'. This is achieved by a lowered ride height to reduce the wheels gap from the top of the wheel arches, combined with a specially picked wheel with the perfect specifications (diameter, width and offset) as well as more than a fair bit of negative camber.

To get the perfect stance is never an easy task. It requires plenty of research, trial and error, as well as money spent. If you want to go for such a style, be prepared to invest in a set of adjustable coilovers or air suspension setup, as well as the various adjustable undercarriage components such as camber arms and the perfect set of wheel and tyres (many stance cars run stretched tyres to achieve the ultimate 'flushed' look - be careful not to go overboard, it can be dangerous). Oh remember to watch out for those humps eh.

2. Full livery race car style - Honda Civic Type R (spotted on @getwyser)

A well-designed livery sure makes a car stand out from the rest - it looks like a race car, ready to go!
Whether it is an F1 car, a NASCAR or a rally car, they all share one similarity - all race cars are plastered with sponsors and designs that make them look simply eye-catching!

Let's face it, how many of us want to be a race car driver after watching some videos of race cars blasting down the track! I know I've fantasised being a race car driver, or owning a race car at some (many) points of my life. Well, for starters, you can modify your street car to perform better, and closer to these specialised track weapons. But to get the full package, you will have to go for a full livery, so you can have a car that looks as fast as it really is!

Stickers and wraps are generally legal here, as long as they do not contain expletives or cigarette brands (sorry, no Marlboro and Rothmans logos allowed on your race-inspired car) - race car inspired liveries are allowed! You'll just have to decide on what design to go for.

3. Race car replica style- Datsun 510 Coupe SSS (spotted on @jdm_addict)

Hot Wheels collectors might recognise this as one of the most sought after castings
Let's take the race car look a step further, well, some cars that you can get your hands on are actually models that has been used in actual race series. Should you get your hands on one such car, why not transform it into a race car replica?

While some might not know, we have a Datsun 510 Coupe, also known as the Bluebird SSS on our roads. This one is also fully dressed in the legendary BRE livery (well, this one is dressed up to look specifically like the Hot Wheels diecast toy replica of the BRE Datsun 510). We also have a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 3 here (as seen in the banner photo above) that is decked out in the rally livery in its heydays.

Getting your hands on some of these cars might not be that easy, but hey, no worries, you can also go for more current cars that see some action in actual race series such as the Honda Civic Type R, the Hyundai i30 N and others. It's always interesting to spot a race car replica on the road!

4. Track-orientated style - Honda Civic Type R (@kungfupanda_333)

With purpose, comes style, cars prepared for track duty naturally have this fierce and aggressive demeanour
In recent years, track driving has become a popular activity for car enthusiasts. Instead of driving like a maniac on the streets, drivers take their car to the track, such as Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia to practice their driving in a safer, controlled environment.
As such, track-orientated car builds started to become a common sight around here.

These are cars that have been tweaked with performance in mind. And as what some might say, form follows function, hence, these cars tends to have an iconic style - aggressive.

To be very honest, building a proper track-orientated car would cost quite a fair bit, considering all the performance enhancement aspects. However, if you just love the style, you can look into coilovers to give your car that functionally low ride height, wide and 'meaty' performance tyres as well as some aero add-ons.

5. Full time-attack car build - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 (@rzer.sg)

Probably the fastest street car to lap Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, this is definitely one of the coolest!
Well, this one might not be easily replicable. While such cars are few and far between on the roads here (modifications to create a competitive time-attack car aren't really that street-friendly), we do have a couple of all-out time-attack cars in Singapore.

In order to set the fastest record around a racetrack, such cars are built to the limits, maximising their potential. As such not only are most of them unlikely to be road-legal, they also tend to be unsuitable for daily mundane usage - much like how driving an F1 car on the road will make little to no sense.

This particular track car is the pride of Singapore, built with the some of the best components you can find in the market, complete with a plethora of custom modifications, to achieve one of the fastest lap time at Sepang International Circuit - 2.10.968 (any lap time below 2.30 is considered respectable for a street car!)

To be frank, building something of such style and calibre wouldn't be an easy task, but hey, it surely is one of the top modified Japanese car in Singapore, it definitely deserves a spot in this list!

6. VIP  'Bippu' style - Mercedes Benz S-Class 300SEL (spotted on @fwdnasg)

Oh you bet it's legit - think being decked out in those fancy streetwear is cool, wait till you see this ride
VIP style, also known as Bippu, is a Japanese modification style, where luxury cars are customised to sit lower, complete with wider wheels and fancy bodykits. Yes, this is a style that is closely related to Stance cars as explained earlier.

It is said that VIP style has its roots in the Japanese Yakuza, where they travel in Japanese cars modified to parallel the expensive limousines, in order to avoid detection by the police. These are usually large black sedans, with deep-dish rims and 'flush' wheel fitment with low ride height.

Being an old Mercedes S-Class, this particular example isn't a Japanese car, but it sure has an authentic Japanese Bippu style of modification. Trust me when I say it turns heads, I was there when the driver cruised into that particular Cars and Kopi car meet in impeccable style.

Want to have your own Bippu-style car? Well, first get a big Japanese sedan, lower it on some coilovers, give it plenty of negative camber and some fitting rims and tyres and you will be almost there.

7. Itasha - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (@edutorque)

Nothing screams Japanese as much as anime and manga - in this case, Hatsune Miku adorns this Evo's exterior
You can't mention Japanese culture without someone asking if you are into anime. And when you merge anime with cars, what you get is an Itasha.

Itasha literally translates to 'painful car', it refers to cars that are plastered with images of characters from anime, manga or video games. As for why it is named as such, well some says that it is because they are painful to look at…

The design of such cars usually involves striking colour schemes that gives them the impression of a fancy race car. In fact, Itashas, has often been featured in actual races, one such being the Good Smile Racing team which predominantly uses liveries designed around the images of Hatsune Miku (a popular character representing a Vocaloid software).

Yes, we do have Itashas here as well! Here’s EduTorque's Mitsubishi Evolution X that has been wrapped in a livery featuring Hatsune Miku as well. Are you an anime or manga fan? Do consider decorating in this style!

8. Clean, refined build - Honda Civic EG Hatchback (@benangwj)

With just a modified front bumper and lip, as well as lowered on a cool set of wheels, this Civic looks sharp and attractive
In many occasions, less can actually be more, and this is especially true when it comes to cars. Simple, understated car modifications are widely appreciated, be it on Japanese cars or European cars(cue the OEM+ styles).

Instead of going crazy with all sorts of modifications, you can keep the exterior of your car subtle, as some might say, a nice set of rims can make a car look totally different. In fact, I'm also an advocate of such a style - my own car only has an additional front lip, a lowered ride height as well as an aftermarket set of wheels. This is a style that is not only easy, but also doesn't have to be expensive to replicate.

What do you say, is clean and simple your cup of tea?

9. Off-road build - Suzuki Jimny (@myjimnymylife8081)

The owner definitely knows how to make the already attractive Jimny, even better-looking!
How can we leave out off-road builds when it comes to car modifications! Unlike the modifications to make a car go faster, off-road builds are cars that have been modified with traversing on terrain apart from tarmac in mind.

Road tyres are no good on mud and other loose surfaces, hence off-road orientated cars are often equipped with blocky off-road tyres. In order to clear treacherous terrains, these cars usually also have a lifted suspension setup for increased ground clearance.

Featured here is the current Suzuki Jimny, if you have been following us, you would have known our love for these mighty, cheerful little off-roaders. This one has been equipped with off-road tyres and retro-esque features that fit the Jimny perfectly!

Do you have an SUV or a car that is perfect for off-roading? Why not take it up a notch and go all-out with that off-road build!

10. Pop-culture inspired build - Daihatsu Hijet (@mysteryvan1991)

Scooby dooby doo! Look, its The Mystery Machine!
Pop-culture makes up a huge part of our lives. How many times have you watched a movie and fantasised being the main character, or at least, to drive the car that he's driving?

The Toyota Corolla AE86 in Initial D, the Datsun 240Z in the Wangan Midnight Manga, the Toyota Supra and Nissan Skyline featured in The Fast and The Furious series are just some of the cars from pop-culture that I would like to own in real life, which comes straight to mind.

Perhaps you could be interested in something different? Maybe Batman's Batmobile? Or in the case of this example, someone actually built the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo in Singapore! Apparently, he also has Mr. Bean's Mini Cooper as well. If you can have a car featured in your favourite show, which would you like to have?

Which style do you like the most? Share with us in the comments section!

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