Tuning an RX-7 is akin to modding your RC drift car. There is simply so much out there that you are literally spoiled for choice. However, when Pro Shop Fukuoh decided to take the whole Time Attack thing seriously, replicating what others had previously done was simply off the cards. They wanted a car that performed well but also stood out in a paddock full of demo cars. Easier said than done! You will find, however, that Tani Fukuoh accomplished his goal rather well--in the process creating some of the most unique FD3S aero parts out there.
With Suzuka Circuit only a stone's throw away it's not surprising that almost every tuning shop in the Mie-ken region has become specialized in track racing. With Time Attack probably as popular as it's ever been, customers who enjoy the weekend excursion at the track want well-sorted cars, lots of tuning parts choices, and bulletproof reliability. It's pushed garages like Pro Shop Fukuoh to strive for excellence and this fire-red FD is the combination of all their expertise. It's a beautifully put together car, boasting the sort of attention to detail that would shame far more well-known shops into the weeds. It's very obvious that Fukuoh-san is the kind of guy who likes to do things well or not at all.
When Fukuoh-san approached this project, he started with the chassis. The donor FD was an unmolested but very well used car, put under the knife in the massive Fukuoh workshop that also doubles up as a very competent body shop. With the ability to do everything in-house, no job was left undone. The chassis was stripped, straightened out, and then seam welded before being prepped for paint. For a clean look, the same red that would be used on the exterior was applied on the inside too, and joined with the contrasting black bolt-in rollcage. More stiffening came in the way of a rear Cusco carbon strut brace and chassis bars as well as a thin custom strut bar for the front, which adds just the right amount of rigidity--not too much as it would have a negative impact on the handling. With Pro Shop Fukuoh being an HKS "Pro Dealer", pretty much every available part for the FD was thrown at the build, starting with a set of adjustable HKS Hiper Max dampers and an HKS six-pot brake upgrade.
The engine was the next big project and, with years of experience fettling with the 13B, Fukuoh-san knew exactly what would be needed for great times out on the track. So after taking the base motor apart he created his own special bridge ports and sealed up the engine with special WPC-treated apex seals and 8.5:1 compression rotors. Four 1,000cc/min. HKS injectors were deemed necessary to quench the unavoidable thirst for hi-oku (high-octane), kept topped up thanks to a pair of in-tank HKS pumps. With the basic engine completed, it was fitted back into the chassis, the braided fuel lines laid down, and the rest of the ancillaries fitted. This included the HKS T04Z blower, a trusted and proven turbo in Japan that continues to be the number-one choice for both street and track applications. The turbo kit includes a stainless steel exhaust manifold and front pipe; both used along with a custom big bore titanium exhaust that Fukuoh fabricated in-house. The HKS intercooler fitment followed next, arranged in a V-mount layout to make best use of the airflow coming in from the front grille. To keep restrictions and pressure drops to a minimum, Fukuoh created his own end tanks and large diameter piping, with the intake ending up in a custom elbow that promotes better flow and larger volume. A custom radiator was then added along with an air separator system to avoid any sort of overheating issues, something 13Bs are notorious for. Additional cooling comes from the HKS oil coolers mounted within the bumper. On Fukuoh's own chassis dyno and with a custom mapped F-Con V Pro the 13B managed 513 hp at 7,800 rpm with a very usable midrange torque peaking at 5,500 rpm. These are all great numbers on paper, but as Fukuoh specifies, it's the always present response and explosive acceleration that makes it such a well-focused Time Attack car. These qualities are a direct result of the special bridge porting that was done prior to the engine's build. On the transmission side of things the stock gearbox has given way to an HKS six-speed sequential for tenths-shaving machine-gun upshifts. An HKS twin-plate clutch and ATS two-way carbon LSD complete the upgrades to what is a pretty bulletproof driveline. With the running chassis and all mechanical components ready to go, it was then a matter of coming up with visibly suitable exterior to complete the car.
Aside from the RE-Amemiya AC987 rear end conversion, which replaces much of the rear including the whole taillight assembly-as well as the Scoot hood, everything else on the Fukuoh FD is original aero. The result it a refreshingly unique-looking RX-7 with an aggressive front end, styled around boosting both aerodynamic downforce and cooling performance. This is achieved thanks to a lip spoiler and undercover section as well as a pair of strategically placed carbon canards, while the front bumper openings provide the necessary air to the V-mounted intercooler and radiator. The hood vents help expel hot air from under the engine and orient it cleanly around the sides of the car. The front fenders, with their wild GT-like lower cut and louvered sections are one of the most visual aspects of the whole exterior, matched in girth to the over-fenders applied over the rear arches. To generate as much rear downforce as possible, the lower part of the RE-Amemiya bumper has been cut away, and replaced with a functional diffuser to help extract air from under the car and use it efficiently. This is mated with two side canards and the large Sard wing all joining forces to keep the FD's rear end planted at higher speeds. To help shed weight Fukuoh eliminated the heavy rear hatch and shaped one out of FRP with a Lexan window, a considerably lighter solution. The custom painted gold TE37's go rather well with the red body, and are fitted in 18x10.5 sizes all round. The chosen tires are currently the most popular tire size in Time Attack, 295/30R18. The rubber of choice being Hankook's sticky Ventus TD semi slicks. Swing the driver-side door open and you are met with the aforementioned bolt-in 'cage, its crossbars staying low and not intruding too much, making getting in and out of the Bride bucket seat a not so difficult maneuver. Simplicity is the name of the game here. Only the top part of the stock dash has been refitted after the back-to-bare chassis work that was done, and it's still running the stock dash instrumentation. The only additional gauges you will find are the two HKS temperature meters on the center console, one for oil and the other for water. All other auxiliary gadgetry has been neatly grouped underneath these, like the HKS F-Con V Pro ECU for easy access and the HKS EVC boost controller and AFK knock meter. All the driver really has to do is worry about his MOMO steering wheel, that white shift knob that actuates the sequential shifts on the HKS transmission, and the Wilwood brake bias adjuster--and setting fast times, of course!
The fastest lap this FD has managed at Fuji Speedway has been a 1'49'617, which is a superb result for a car that is actually still street registered. As Fukuoh says, he could attempt to go faster by going with slightly more power and creating a more extreme aero-focused body, but that would ruin the sweet spot the car is at right now. He prefers to fine-tune the setup, concentrating on suspension and pushing toward even faster times. After all, as he says, there is no need to create something that would be unreachable by the majority of their customers. Keeping it real, it seems, is the motto at Pro Shop Fukuoh.
Behind The Build
Pro Shop Fukuoh
1995 Mazda RX-7 (FD3S)
513 whp/398 lb-ft of torque
Engine Bridge-ported 13B; WPC apex seals; 8.5:1 compression rotors; HKS exhaust manifold, T04Z turbocharger, external wastegate, Super Power Flow intake, blow-off valve, V-mounted intercooler, twin fuel pumps, 1,000cc injectors, iridium racing spark plugs, oil cooler, oil filter, front pipe, and V-Con V Pro; Pro Shop Fukuoh titanium exhaust system, radiator, air separator, overflow tanks, pulleys, and aluminum intercooler piping; Sard fuel collector tank
Transmission HKS twin-plate clutch and six-speed sequential transmission; ATS two-way carbon LSD
Suspension & Brakes HKS Hiper Max adjustable dampers, 18kg/mm springs (front), 20kg/mm springs rear, six-pot front brake calipers and two-piece front rotors; Pro Shop Fukuoh custom one-piece front strut brace; Cusco rear carbon strut tower/chassis brace; Wilwood brake balance adjuster
Wheels/Tires Rays Engineering Volk Racing TE37 18x10.5 +22; 295/30R18 Hankook Ventus TD
Exterior Pro Shop Fukuoh aero front bumper, front splitter, diffuser, fixed headlight conversion, carnards, front fenders, rear canards, side skirts, rear overfenders, and rear hatch with lexan glass; Sard GT-Wing; RE-Amemiya AC987 rear bumper and taillight conversion and side mirrors; Scoot hood
Interior MOMO steering wheel; Bride bucket seat; Recaro low seat mount; HPI four-point harness; HKS water guage, oil gauge, Circuit Attack Counter, EVC Boost Controller, AFK knock display, and turbo timer; bolt-in 'cage