RWB Porsche 964

The first time I listened about RWB Porsche, I was in France some years ago. I had seen images floating on the web prior to seeing one in person and always thought "that's a huge work and job!", but after seeing a couple of them, seeing videos of different variations, and reading about Akira Nakai (the founder/creator of RWB) this build has made its way to the top of my list of dream cars.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

There's a lot of controversy around these cars, much like most tuning scenes there are always going to be people that just hate the idea of taking a very well-engineered performance car and cutting the fenders, putting a wide-body, and lowering the car on some aggressive looking wheels.

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

Stanced cars get shitted on all the time by people. I personally wouldn't "stance" my car but I do have respect for people that want to enjoy their car and be creative with it. Yes, some builds go too far, but I don't think this is the case with RWBs. 

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

Some purists, like Jack from the Truth About Cars, argue that it's pretty much garbage to do this to a Porsche, especially with a limited supply of air cooled engines (see his take here). I see both sides of the coin, that of the purists and that of the tuners.

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

Honestly, I think Jack's fear of losing all air-cooled Porsches to Nakai's RWB is unrealistic. I think RWB tuning is desired by a small population of Porsche enthusiasts and owners. I don't have any data to back this up, unfortunately, but from an anecdotal standpoint I see more stock/original 993s and other Porsches than I do RWB modified ones. I only see RWB Porsches at shows or shops. I wish I had some stats on how many RWB 964s or 993s there are, but I would suspect that the percentage is really low given that Nakai works on every car himself, hardly scalable by any means.

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

I would argue the vast majority of Porsche owners probably don't want to go to that extreme of tuning for many reasons. First, not every Porsche owner wants to tune their car, they're perfectly happy with their car being stock, after all Porsche engineering is impressive right off the dealer lot. Second, if they do want to tune their cars it's probably not to the extreme of going with the RWB approach, perhaps new rims, ECU flash, or some other basic mods. With that said I don't think we'll ever come to a point where we rarely see the original air-cooled Porsches. In fact, I argue that it will be more likely we hardly see RWB Porsches in person, which is a different reality than seeing "many" of them online or in magazines. 

RWB Porsche 964 back

RWB Porsche 964 back

Now in regards to it being considered hideous, this just comes down to preference and you can't really argue on this. One person thinks a piece of art looks like shit while another considers it a master piece, you can't win a debate on what someone prefers. So with that said I'm going to move on from the controversy and go into what is RWB.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

What is RWB?

RWB stands for RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF which in German means "Rough World Concept". RWB started in the mid-to-late 1990s by Akira Nakai in Japan, and is still based in Japan.. He started tuning cars when he began driving them. Originally starting as "Rauh-Welt" he eventually started driving and tuning German cars and ended up as RAUH-Weld BEGRIFF. This video by Fatlace gives you a peek into who the man behind RWB is, kind of like a mini-documentary.