If you're a subscriber who flips through Super Street for the pictures, then we commend you for reading this far. This JDM Rocket Bunny Mazda RX-8 is what happens when you keep pushing the envelope further, so far to the point where nothing matters anymore, and you just don't give a f*ck what others think.
Koichiro Hayashi of the Yoto Racing crew has a long history of street and competitive drifting under his belt and is also a passionate advocate of "cambered performance." That's funny because if you ask any automotive engineer or even a local backyard mechanic, they will tell you a vehicle of this stature will not perform correctly. But rules are meant to be broken, and authority is meant to be defied. The secret lies within the hub of the driveline (no pun intended) where the Machikado-R brand has been successfully brought up in the underground Japanese racing scene. Their suspension knuckles are designed, tested, and proven to exhibit insane amounts of camber—upward of negative 20 degrees while still enabling the vehicle to be driven aggressively.
Well, perhaps negative 20 degrees of camber is a bit too far-fetched for a competitive drift car. Regardless, Hayashi-san's Mazda RX-8 definitely breaks necks and drops jaws when you see it and its monster camber. Even people who don't know the first thing about cars will just sit and stare in disbelief. In our eyes, this is a brilliant marketing tactic deployed by Machikado-R. When the car broke the Internet in '13, photos of it spread across social media like wildfire as one of the most controversial vehicles of our time. But to Machikado-R, it showed what their products are capable of, that is, if you ever dare to defy automotive engineering and geometric suspension physics.
Hayashi-san didn't reveal much about the full specifications of his RX-8, reason being that it purposefully has very few mods. But the key ones implemented are the essential ones that create this much impact in terms of the exterior look of the car. The 326POWER Chakiriki Damper full-height adjustable suspension coilovers enable the vehicle to be pretty much dropped on its frame without affecting suspension stroke. The handmade Machikado-R knuckles are the main ingredient for fitting the impossibly wide SSR Formula Mesh under the TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny flares—retrofitted to fit from the Nissan 180SX line. Lastly, the most notable (and audible) modification is the straight-piped exhaust system.
We don't condone or encourage this type of extreme modification to any car's suspension. Even with reinforced suspension components, we would feel scared to death driving a car like Hayashi-san's car down the street. But what we can relate to is his undying love for the scene as well as balls to push the boundaries of what's acceptable...even if its 20 degrees too far.