Build a winning show car once and consider yourself lucky. Build a winning show car two years in a row and you're James Lin, founder of Team hybrid, who's won backto- back Scion Tuner challenges, defeating three other teams in the invitation-only competition. This year's winning car was the latest addition to the Scion family, the xD, the all new replacement of the discontinued xA hatchback. imagine the hurdles involved in tuning a car when there aren't any commercially available parts. Another obstacle was the fact that Team hybrid is purely a car club and not a pro-level shop with a garage available 24/7 or warehouses full of inventory. But setbacks rarely stop winners, so James solved the problem by outsourcing the development of parts as one-off pieces and relying on loyal sponsors who were eager to jump aboard the proven winner's ship.
The foundation for the design process was Team hybrid's philosophy of building clean, innovative cars that can win at the race, street, track, or show. James attributes this multidisciplinary approach as the primary reason Team hybrid has become legendary in the tuning industry. "We couldn't build it too JDm, we couldn't build it too tricked out; we wanted to build it to withstand the test of time. We had to build it to appeal to how Scion markets its cars to their customers," said James regarding the strategy involved with assembling the xD. "We want the car to appeal to the mass market, not just one genre of the industry." he cites that he wants an overall winner, whether the car competes at import Showoff, which he feels is more performance-based, or at a hot import Nights event, which James thought was more about looks. A car that is the best of both worlds and can be best of class year-after-year is what James believes makes a Team hybrid-worthy vehicle.
Starting From The Outside In
Starting from the exterior, the team decided to call on house of Kolor to make over the stock paint job using Kandy Apple Green with Gold Pearl. James believed that green was a color that could not be beat. "Last year we went with the color gold, because we wanted to be number one...to win the gold trophy. This year, we went with green because green is the color of money... so this will be the money car." James had ings+1 fabricate the front and rear bumpers along with the side skirts specifically to Team hybrid's specifications for the xD. The Phoenix Yellow headlamps and Bentley Black taillights were supplied by DTm and car Fashion produced the xD's rear spoiler. According to James, the look of the car had to be clean and sleek, not venturing too far away from how Scion would design their cars. The original sketches of the car had flared fenders to house 20" wheels, but a decision was made to stick to more conventional fenders and use 19" wheels by AmE. Behind the wheels, JBT customized a set of the Big Brake Kit with painted calipers to match the rest of the body. Staying true to the multi-genre approach, the xD was fitted with Air Runner struts, lines, a compressor and tank to raise and lower the car at the flick of a switch.
Cars That Go Boom
The biggest attraction to the xD is the massive multimedia system by SoundStream. Four 15" subwoofers mounted upside down powered by the company's amps in a cREATiVE fiberglass enclosure engulf the rear hatch area. SoundStream's Tarantula-series components were fitted into the doors to cover the other end of the musical spectrum. While the primary goal was probably for maximum SPL (sound pressure level) boom, we felt the overall sound was a bit lacking. The bass was loud, but had neither low frequency depth nor definition. But for those who simply want to roll down the street setting off car alarms with bass, this will do it.
Cut. It. Out.
We asked James about the editing of the car and how the team knew where to say no to a few of the initial design sketches. James replied, "Any tuner, especially if you've been in the game long enough, especially in this type of competition where you have three-months and a budget and where they're going to audit you, you realize that time and money or availability of parts are going to be the deciding factors in what you can eventually put on a car...For some of us, we're used to taking our dandy-ol' time building a car, because we want to make sure it's the best thing out there. But we didn't have that kind of luxury this time. We had to balance time and budget. So if there's a part that takes three-months to get, we don't have the time to wait." hopefully James and Team hybrid will have more time and resources when they go for the three-peat at SEmA later this year.
Owner Scion, Built By Team Hybrid
Under The Hood Performance Solutions Spec Garrett Turbo (GT2730), intercooler, turbo manifold, intercooler piping, down pipe, waste gate, oil feed line, cat delete, jic magic titanium exhaust x2 (dual custom titanium exhaust relocated to center), intake filter, battery relocation kit; GReddy B.O.V; DTm custom Painted Engine cover, SUN Automobile hyper grounding kit, voltage kit, inazma eco kit, gauss kit; NRG hyper Pocket kit, ground support kit; hKS oil cap
Rollers AmE Shallen FX 19" Stagger wheels; BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2 215/35/19ZR
Stoppers JBT custom 4 piston Big Brake Kit
Hittin' Switches Air Runner custom air struts, lines, tank and compressor
Outside iNGS+1 front/rear bumper, side skirts; DTm custom head/tail lamps, shaved rear emblem; custom shaved & pulled fenders; car Fashion rear hatch spoiler; house of Kolor Kandy Apple Green with Gold Pearl paint
Inside Status Racing Ring carbon Kevlar seats; TAKATA Racing 4-point harnesses; NRG Racing carbon/leather steering wheel, steering hub, quick release, shift knob, e-brake carbon handle; DTm custom center & door console; SUN Automobile pedals; Glow Shift custom boost/oil temp/exhaust temp gauge, warning light; custom suede dash, gauge cluster, headliner, pillars, visors
I.C.E. SoundStream PcA4.520 4 channel Amp x1, PcA1000D Single channel Amp x5, SPL-X 15" Woofers x4, TRc.6N Tarantula component x2, SST6.5 Tarantula Speaker x2, Vcm-151 10.7" LcD ceiling monitor, Vcm-81D 8" LcD monitor with DVD Player, VccD-2 Bullet Style color camera x1, VSV-78 7" Wide Sun Visor monitor x2, VVB-2 Video Output Gain control x2; creative custom fiberglass sub/amp rack enclosure, custom acrylic amp rack
Props To the co-leaders, members and hybrid hunnyz, may our tradition continue making history.
Connect airrunner.co.jp; ame-wheels.com; bfgoodrichtires.com;glowshiftdirect.com;hillperformancesolutions.com; hksusa.com; houseofkolor.com; ings-net.com;soundstream.com; sunautomobile.com