It's been a while since I last updated on my car. A lot has been going on these past few weeks.
Bought "Goose," a 2011 Lexus CT 200h hatchback hybrid from Vista Lexus one week after the unfortunate earthquake in Japan; March 12, 2011. Color is Starfire Pearl.
Have had "Goose" for 7 months now and lovin' it!
First mod was tinting. I believe it's tinted 17% in back, 35% in front.
Then I swapped the stubby antenna with a VG sharkfin antenna.
Then I swapped out all interior and exterior lighting with cool white LEDs.
Next were the VIP items.
VIP Style refers to the modification of Japanese luxury automobiles to make them more fashionable and more luxurious. VIP Style are typically large, expensive, rear-wheel drive sedans, though automotive enthusiasts use other cars like minivans and Kei cars. Once associated with the yakuza, VIP Style modifications now are a subset of automotive modification.
VIP Style modifications and history have often been linked to the Yakuza. It is claimed that VIP Style came to be due to the risk of gangsters riding around in high-profile European sedans like the Mercedes S-Class or the BMW 7 Series. Such cars brought increased attention from police and rival gangs. By using JDM cars with modifications associated with the creation of limousines, gangsters could avoid detection by the police and rival gangs.
Now, I know my CT isn't necessarily a large, expensive, luxurious rear-wheel drive sedan, and I kinda had two options to go in terms of styling my car. I could go the sporty route and for lack of a better term, "rice it out," or I could go the classy route and VIP style it. The CT may look sporty and fast and aggressive, but in reality, the drivetrain is tuned for efficiency and eco-friendliness, so I decided to go VIP styling.
Some of the basic elements of VIP styling from what I've learned from various club members and at various car meets is:
First and foremost, it's all about the details. Luxury is all about details in styling, quality of materials, etc.
A VIP car should look aggressive and the stance should be low, slammed, if possible. I'm taking baby steps on this since this CT IS my daily driver. I currently have it dropped slightly on springs for now. Air Runner air suspensions would probably be my next move.
A body kit is essential to making the car look lowered and more aggressive. I will tackle this after I get my air suspension on cuz it wouldn't make sense to drive around with a body kit that could come off at a moment's notice without being able to dodge obstacles.
Wheels are supposed to be big, with a HUGE lip, wide enough to fit a dollar bill. I had to compromise here as well. I don't really have a lip on my wheels, but it's been hard finding a good company to custom make wheels that are light (so they don't go against the eco-friendliness philosophy of the CT) and look somewhat aggressive AND fit my 5x100 bolt wheel pattern. My wheels are custom Rennen 19" Monolicht Forged m8 mesh concave wheels, so I hope that's good enough for now.
More interior styling stuff. Probably change out and reupholster the leather in the seats to make it more luxurious. Will probably add some pillows and other nice little touches.
Definitely gonna custom built my own VIP center console in the rear (There are no cupholders or center armrest! >_<). Garson makes a VIP center console for the LS and GS that I will model off of. I will attempt to source some bamboo to enhance the whole eco-friendly vibe of this car.
Underbody lighting kit. Tastefully, of course.
Air Runner air suspension. SO I CAN GO ALL DOWN!
Body kit...from who knows where.
Maybe replace the VG sharkfin antenna with a more aggressive sharkfin antenna from Beat Sonic.
Here are some pics so far:
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2011 Lexus CT 200h - Starfire Pearl, premium trim
2010 Lexus RX450h AWD - Obsidian
honestly I dont think your even close to "VIP". I also dont think there are too many people daily driving a VIP'd car. I know a guy who does with his g35 but one hes always buying tires and he works for a bodyshop as a painter. so whenever something happens which it does every couple weeks, he can just fix it. Your car does look great, its a practical great, which is why I have to agree that the knot things look a little out of place. I think though to be considered a little tiny bit vip your going to have to have stretched tires and rolled fenders with mabye an inch rim gap :/
Well. I know for sure the CT will not pass as a VIP platform, but I do like VIP styling.
I think daily driving does play a slight factor. A true VIP car will be so low that it would be impractical to drive anywhere, right? I definitely can't pull that off if I have a 46 mile one-way commute to work. Lol.
Regardless, still lots of work to be done. I do understand my car will never pass as VIP, but I am going for VIP styling though.
If you're happy with it -- that's all that matters. I think it's fine. VIP'd? Hmmmm. As you stated in the first post:
"Some of the basic elements of VIP styling from what I've learned from various club members and at various car meets is:
First and foremost, it's all about the details. Luxury is all about details in styling, quality of materials, etc."
So, with that in mind "VIP" stying is sort of up to what your"VIP Style" is going to look like. Keep it up! It will be interesting to see how you improve the quality of the vehicle with your mods. I would be interested in knowing (as you add your upgrades) to know iif (and how) it impacts the fuel efficiency of "Goose".
Matt, the rims look great, but not "VIP" as mentioned above. You can definitely get some wheels w/ a lip for this car. Some honest feedback? Not a fan of the huge pretzel or the other item hanging in the front (is that the fusa?), nor do I follow the VIP scene, but it seems like it's the Japanese version of fuzzy dice here in the US. Also, thinking if you're going for a certain look, wouldn't you want to lose the nursing plate frames? Just seems to take away from the car IMO.
i like your car the way it is. the vip accessories doesnt appeal to me, on any car. do you have your school tassel? i think hanging that from your mirror is a lot more meaningful than junction pretzel, and bath and beyond shower curtain tassels.
keep up the good work. i'll try to make it to friday night meet just to check out your ride.
Nexus 5 wrapped in green carbon fiber