Though the shape and the sheer presence of Rauh-Welt’s vehicles are all inspired by old-world motorsport, their striking appearance is appreciated by more folks loitering in parking lots than racing fans sitting in grandstands. Not every one of Akira Nakai’s creations make it to the track, but this particular example, thankfully, does. There’s a level of track-oriented focus that takes precedence over cosmetic concerns here with Takayuki Matsumoto’s 993, and its combination of a supple suspension setup and a freakishly torquey motor make it easy to round Tsukuba Circuit in a very respectable time.
Nicknamed “Phoenix,” this burgundy track car sports a special powerplant from one of Japan’s best engine builders. Promodet, known for their turbocharged Porsche motors, supplied RWB with a robust 3.8-liter engine force-fed by a large Turbonetics snail. Its 800-odd horsepower is sent through a Hewland sequential gearbox to the 320-section rear tires.
Predictably, the traction is supreme, so it doesn’t squirm leaving Tsukuba’s many slow corners. It also covers the straights faster than most. These traits suit it well at Tsukuba, a slow track which tends to favor powerful all-wheel drives. Even with a slightly restrained approach, Matsumoto’s able to put in a very respectable time of 58.446.
There is some benefit offered by the complex, Voltex-designed aero kit. In addition to helping plant the car in Tsukuba’s two quick corners, it gives the car that striking, slightly vulgar shape that characterize all of Rauh-Welt Begriff’s products. Contrast the angular wings and splitters against the round, flowing shape of the 993, then throw in a set of glitzy gold stickers and four polished wheel lips, and you have that unique combination of classy and garish that makes everybody notice.