Upgrading is a common milestone in life. Sometimes it’s for financial reasons; we stick it out in the taupe (yes, taupe) Camry for a couple years because it means money in the bank toward a clean WRX. Other times, it’s simply because we want to tackle new and attractive challenges. Toshiki Yoshioka of Hiroshima, Japan is all too familiar with the concept of a new challenge—his is this 592whp Lexus SC430.
On the D1 Grand Prix drift scene, Yoshioka is infamous as one of the diehards in the AE86 camp. His red Levin coupe became one of the most highly developed examples in the world, winning in both the D1GP and the Formula D series. Using a 20-valve 4AGE engine, Yoshioka’s Levin pushed more than 300 whp without aid from a turbo or supercharger. Still, Yoshioka regularly knocked out 500hp monsters during tsuiso twin-drift competition. And now, he’s knocking on the 600 hp club’s door with this Lexus drift machine.
Yoshioka began his build from the ground up and was all business about the racecar’s drifting capabilities. He started out by stripping down the chassis and focused on making it stiffer and stronger. The frame received extra spot welds before Yoshioka’s drifting crew, Team Droo-p, fabricated a custom roll cage. The bare metal was bathed in neutral light gray paint before the interior trimmings were installed.
A pair of fiery red Recaro buckets and requisite Takata safety harnesses hold Yoshioka in place, along with one very lucky occasional passenger. Keen attention was paid to reduce as much weight from the SC430’s luxury-minded design, which shows through all aspects of the build. The dashboard, center console and pedals are all custom Droo-p items and the doors are made of lightweight carbon fiber. Longtime sponsor Works Bell provided the steering wheel, quick release, and paddle shifter assembly, which seem lifted right out of a Super GT racecar.
The steering wheel-mounted paddles aren’t used to shift gears like they would on most other cars, rather to activate the nitrous oxide system on the Lexus. But Yoshioka does have a powertrain taking cues straight from Japan’s famous GT racing series. An Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission, lifted from a ’99 JGTC GT500-class Toyota Supra, uses an ORC clutch kit to interface with a fully built 3S-GT engine—the same power unit used by the GT500 Supras back in those days.
Built by Prime Garage, the 3S-GT was given a bump in displacement from 2.0 liters to 2.2 liters and a compression setting of 8.5:1 with a JUN Auto stroker kit. The cylinder head was also ported before being filled with 272-degree Toda Racing camshafts and HKS cam gears. From there, custom engine mounts were fabricated to hold the motor in place and other bits were manufactured to fit. A custom top-mount exhaust manifold holds a single HKS GT3240 turbocharger, which exits into a custom Droo-p exhaust system. No doubt, it’s loud as hell.
The air intake, intercooler piping, intake plenum and fuel system are all fully custom. The ARC radiator and intercooler are custom V-mounted in the nose and fit with one-off aluminum ducting. The fuel injectors are monstrous 1,000cc/min units and the 3S-GT is precision controlled with a custom-tuned HKS F-Con V Pro stand-alone unit. Also on this Lexus rest no less than three other fluid coolers—one each for the transmission, fuel, and engine oil. As you can tell from the JGTC heritage, no expense has been spared on this car. All the parts were chosen with functionality, not Craigslist, in mind.
The immediately striking bodywork is no exception. Lexus vehicles are designed to exude understated elegance—the defining mark of a luxury car. The SC430 stands apart in the lineup, as a two-door sports coupe that’s more Porsche than Camry. Accenting his drift car’s presence, Yoshioka added a body kit from infamous Toyota tuner Tom’s. Originally designed by Tom’s for the SC50, a special edition celebrating their Super GT success, the body kit mildly accents the Lexus without destroying its looks. Dropped on top of 19-inch Gram Lights 57 Accelerate Pro wheels and massive Project Mu brakes, this SC430 manages to look both mean and modern at the same time. Part of that is due to the lowered stance, which is kept in control by tuned DG5 coilovers. Although the swaybars remain factory stock, Team Droo-p has fabricated custom suspension arms and harder bushings throughout. Set up to maximize the grip from the Yokohama Advan Neova tires, suspension is key to Yoshioka being able to transfer his hachi-derived driving style to the heavier and more powerful SC430.
Following up one of the most famous Hachi-Roku builds in D1GP history was bound to be a difficult task, but Yoshioka has struck back in a big way. If there are any zip ties to be found on this machine, those plastic strands have surely been to Le Mans and back. Twice. Yoshioka himself told us, “I think you should not be choice of this car for use race because spend a lot of money team owner said”. That may be true, but when you’ve got 592 hp at 8,200 rpm, 434 lb-ft of torque at 5,600 rpm, a chance to be D1GP champion, and the ability to hook some of the smokiest slides around, the only thing on your mind will be “more throttle”. We think Hachi owners will approve in this case.
Behind The Build
Scaring the crap out of 2nr staffers during press ride-alongs
“see you at arcade infinity!”
’07 Lexus SC430
Engine 3S-GT engine (built by Prime Garage); JUN Auto 2.2-liter stroker kit; ported cylinder head; TODA Racing 272-degree intake and exhaust camshafts; HKS valve springs, cam gears, GT3240 turbocharger, blow-off valve, wastegate, boost controller, 1000 cc/min fuel injectors, F-Con V Pro ECU; ARC oil pan, oil cooler, custom V-mount intercooler, radiator; NGK spark plugs; NOS dry nitrous oxide system; Samco radiator hoses; custom Droo-p plug wires, fuel pressure regulator, fuel rail, transmission cooler, intake plenum, air intake, intercooler piping, ducting, throttle body, exhaust manifold, exhaust system
Drivetrain 1999 JGTC Supra Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission; ORC twin-plate clutch, flywheel; ATS carbon two-way LSD
Suspension D1GP-spec DG5 coilovers; Espelir springs; Droo-p custom suspension arms, bushings
Wheels/Tires Gram Lights 57 Accelerate Pro wheels: 19x9.5 +22 offset (front), 19x10 +10 offset (rear); Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tires: 255/30-19 (front), 265/30-19 (rear)
Brakes Project Mu four-piston big brake kit
Exterior Tom’s SC50 body kit, prototype dry carbon hood; Gram Lights rear wing; Vertex T&E canards; K’s FRP Factory carbon doors; Droo-p custom FRP headlight covers; custom paint, graphics
Interior Recaro bucket seats; Takata safety harnesses; Works Bell steering wheel, quick release, paddle shifters; hydraulic handbrake; HKS gauges; digital dash display; Droo-p custom dashboard, center console, pedals, roll cage
Gratitude Yokohama, T&E Vertex, Works Bell, Yamasa, Rays Enginering, ATS, Tom’s, DG5, Four Technos, Red Line Oil, Project Mu, ORC, Espelir