In 2015, RJ de Vera of Meguiar's and I came together to create an award at SEMA that was different from all the others, which generally cater to American muscle and million-dollar hot rods. The Super Street SEMA Ultimate Award presented by Meguiar's was born as a way to recognize young and talented tuners and car builders within our community. The criteria for the award is based on factors such as style, execution, cleanliness, attention to detail, and overall wow factor. Cars should follow a clear theme and make use of high-quality parts that flow well together. This isn't an award to flex on how much money a person has spent, how much horsepower a car can make, or how many Instagram followers are on their nuts. Rather it's a special award dedicated to our fellow enthusiasts who sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears into modifying a project car that pushes the envelope and represents our community at the highest level.
2019 marked our fifth annual Super Street SEMA Ultimate Award, and interestingly enough all three builders followed a performance-oriented theme. And for the first time ever, we have a back-to-back winner with Best of Show going to Kenji Sumino and the team at GReddy Performance for their 2020 Toyota Supra turned drift monster. If you remember from last year, Kenji's gorgeous Pandem FC RX-7 took the crown. This year, it was no mystery it was Year of the Supra at SEMA, and Kenji's A90 build was the farthest developed example, making every enthusiast appreciate the new Supra whether you loved the car or not.
KS: Unlike the street version with many piggyback and reflash options available for this platform already, we installed MoTeC M142 full standalone ECU for the full race setup. The biggest challenge was that MoTeC didn't have any firmware for the A90 yet, so we had to reverse engineer all the CAN messages to make the MoTeC read all the sensors and other electronics.
SS: Why keep the B58? Why not swap to a 2JZ like what everyone wants to see and what you've done with the 86 before?
KS: 2JZ swap has been done in Japan already and why waste the newer technology and put in such old school engine in a brand-new car? If we put 2J in it, might as well keep the 86... From what we found so far, the B58 seems to be pretty strong engine. We will start to see big power being made by this B58 engine. Yes, factory-spec B58 engine is not as pretty, but I think we showed people how nice we can make the A90 engine compartment look. Pretty damn nice.
SS: Pound for pound, how will the Supra perform against the 86 in a drift environment?
KS: A90 Supra seems to be much better all-around and would definitely be a better platform for drifting and grip racing.
SS: Will there be any parts available to the public that GReddy is developing as a product of this Supra?
KS: Yes, we are working on many parts for both race and street.
SS: What will be the endgame for this particular car? A precursor to what we might see for Ken Gushi's Formula DRIFT car next year?
KS: Just have to wait and see!
RJ's Last Word: "Kenji and his team are the first two-time Best of Show winners of this award. They had the only fully built A90 Supra at the show which had a fully built B58 that had already been on the dyno and was ready to be put through drift testing, which is happening this week. It was definitely the most complete A90 of the show! Sam and I are still amazed at how much work was accomplished considering how new the Supra is."
As a winner in this year's Super Street SEMA Ultimate Award presented by Meguiar's, Kenji receives a one-of-a-kind trophy helmet painted by Patrick Briand (@pbkreation) and a crushproof and weather resistant car care case from Pelican Cases customized with Super Street and Meguiar's logos.
Special thank you to Renz Dimaandal, Samuel Rojas and Jonathan Carrasco for the media support.