Press Release


Aug. 19, 2015

TOYO TIRES: Video of Dynamic Drifting Dual Goes Global on YouTube

Osaka, Japan – August 19, 2015 – In its latest expression of brand spirit, TOYO TIRE & RUBBER CO., LTD. (Takuji Yamamoto, president) has unveiled YouTube video ‘Surprising the world’.


In this latest video, two Audi R8 “super cars” are equipped with Toyo Tires’ flagship brand, the PROXES, ultra-high performance tires, as the two automobiles cover a vast amount of land in a massive dual that brings out the tires’ full potential. With the Audi R8s’ exhaust note blaring out at acceleration, the drifts unfurling at high speed and the smoke-curling, too-close-for-comfort doughnuts, the word “surprise” certainly comes to mind – it’s certainly a wall-to-wall performance that will exceed the expectations of any car enthusiast.

The video embodies everything that the company strives for in setting itself apart from the competition, says Yoshiyuki Morikuni, Branding Team Leader for Toyo Tires:

With creations that, on the foundation of our unique technological innovations, look to give us an edge over others, we’ll always be pursuing optimal performance. This is a video that expresses the “spirit” of what we provide as a brand – that being new values and surprises not found elsewhere. ‘Surprising the world’ is loaded with such strong feelings. The video packs a punch, so I really hope that people enjoy it.

‘Surprising the world’ is the second in a series of globally targeted video content from the Japanese tire manufacturer – the successor to the November 2014 release of ‘AC Milan vs Super car by TOYO TIRES’, which recorded more than 7.5 million total views online.


■The Drivers
Appointed for the sake of capturing the live action of a masterful driving performance and the punch that it packs were Masato Kawabata and Akinori Utsumi, marquee drivers of Team TOYO TIRES DRIFT. The perfect combination of the two drivers and their flamboyant techniques served to heighten the level of perfection with the video.

Masato Kawabata
Participating in Japan’s national pro drifting championship, the D1 Grand Prix (D1GP), since 2002, Kawabata joined Team TOYO TIRES DRIFT in 2007. He promptly went on that year to win his first series championship – a feat that he repeated in 2013. Having swept up a host of awards, since last season Kawabata has been partaking in the first Nissan GT-R in the history of the D1GP. Kawabata this season is currently leading the pack again in first place.


Akinori Utsumi
Participating in the D1GP since 2001, Utsumi joined Team TOYO TIRES DRIFT in 2011. Within two years of his move to Team TOYO TIRES DRIFT, Utsumi finished with a personal best of fifth position in the 2013 season rankings. While excelling at approach angles and keep high speeds through corners, Utsumi’s aggressive drifting style belies a colorful talker and popular character.


With Toyo Tires’ promotional video, ‘GT-R Drift on Turnpike HAKONE by TOYO TIRES’, Kawabata’s GT-R produced a legendary hill climb run. With footage captured from a variety of angles with GoPro cameras, the video showcases Kawabata’s incredible arsenal of handle skills and footwork coordination. The video also picks up the roar of the GT-R’s tires as Kawabata moves from straights into curves, and it does a wonderful job of picking up the contrast between the white smoke and the black tire marks that are left by drifts on the mountain pass of beautiful Hakone.

GT-R Drift on Turnpike HAKONE by TOYO TIRES

■Information about the vehicle used in ‘Surprising the world’
・Tires: PROXES T1 Sport
・Car: Audi R8
・Filming location: Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka Prefecture (Japan)


■About Toyo Tires
Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for 70 years.

The company offers a complete selection of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model, including light trucks, SUVs, high performance cars, luxury vehicles and commercial trucks. Consumer product lines include the popular Open Country tires for light trucks and SUVs, Proxes ultra-high performance tires, Versado tires for luxury passenger cars, and the value line of Extensa passenger car tires. Many of the tires are built in the United States at the company’s state-of-the-art factory in Bartow County, Georgia.

Title:‘Surprising the world’
URL YouTube:  Length 90 seconds
Producer:Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd.

Hyogo Head office Telephone: +81-72-789-9100 Facsimile: +81-72-773-3272
Tokyo office Telephone: +81-3-5822-6621 Facsimile: +81-3-3865-2240