With so much awesome motorsport coverage from the World Time Attack Challenge and our Super Lap Battle, among others, we thought it would be cool to throw it back for you with one of the greatest trialers in history—the HKS "Track Attack" Toyota Altezza.
For the noobies out there, HKS was formed in 1973 by Hiroyuki Hasagawa and Goichi Kitigawa—the H and K. The S stood for Sigma Auto, the company that backed the two partners on their business venture. This badass Toyota Altezza was featured on the front cover of our April 2001 issue. Even 14 years later, staring at these photos it looks as awesome today as it did back then. The car truly is timeless, but it wasn't cheap to build by any means, costing HKS around $300,000—an investment well worth it in our opinion, but unfortunately wasn't used to its fullest potential. The Altezza never saw much track time—in fact, it was retired after only one race. Its sole purpose, as its other codename TRB-01 suggests, was to break the track record at the legendary Tsukuba circuit in Japan, which it did in '01 with a 55.8-second lap. Since then, it serves more as a trophy for HKS and furthermore celebrates a time when passion took precedence over business.
But alas, we can still admire and respect its roots and engineering. This isn't your ordinary widebody nowadays with a few bolt-on fender flares and lips. The original Altezza bodylines are long gone and the two rear doors have dissolved into the custom-made carbon-fiber body panels and flares. The only remaining resemblance of any sort of Altezza is its headlights and taillights. The entire body has been built on top of a full tube frame chassis. Under the hood, HKS retained the 3S-GE powerplant, but to keep a 50/50 weight distribution, the motor was shoved deep well beyond the firewall. As you can imagine, internals such as camshafts, cam gears, pistons, and crankshafts were made by HKS as well as a massive GT3037S ball-bearing turbo. Basically everything the HKS engineers could build for the car was thrown into the mix, and although 600 hp may not sound like a dominant power figure in today's competitive environment, considering its weight reduction and diet of carbon fiber, it made for one hell of a time attack machine that we still remember today.