I wish I had lots of money. Not necessarily Bill Gates money, because that could get you into a lot of trouble with the IRS, or reunite you with a lot of "friends" you haven't heard from since you were on Pediasure. I mean the kind of disposable income that some manufacturers seem to have when it comes to building their shop cars. With that kind of cash, I would buy 1,000 RC cars, or perhaps open up a comic book store. I don't know, maybe even invest in one of those money-making schemes you see advertised on TV by guys wearing sports coats covered in question marks.
While sitting in my house minding my own business, Nads came over for a couple of protein shakes and told me about a hot drag car from HKS that was coming to America in search of a bride and some worthy U.S. competition. I said, "Cool...when is it going to run?" Nads then hung his head, took a swig of Boost, and told me that HKS had planned to campaign the Supra in the hotly contested Pro-V8 class of the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series, but unfortunately that class was canceled at the end of last year's season. So, needless to say, HKS has spent a wad of yen that could have been used to build me another one-trick pony. Following on the heels of its HKS Track Attack Altezza (which was built to break the circuit record at the Tsukuba circuit in Japan and was never driven again) and the HKS-Tuned Evo VII (which was designed solely to break the lap record at Tsukuba), the HKS Drag Supra has sadly made only a few passes and now has to be retired. While there is the possibility of a few exhibition runs this year, it would have been nice to see the Supra go head-to-head with, say, a V-8-powered Scranton or Paisley.
It's too bad; this car had a lot of potential. Running a problem-free 7.277-second quarter-mile at Japan's Highland Drag Raceway in 2001, this bad-ass black Supra was ready to battle with the best of them, and that was using only 1,164 of the 1,455 hp the engine is capable of putting out. Power comes from the Lexus LS and SC430/Toyota Celsior-based 3UZ-FE V-8. Of course, this isn't Doctor Wilson's Lexus motor-this baby's been given the works. The 4.3L motor is stuffed with a full run of the HKS catalog, from the bumpsticks, which are HKS SPL units, down to the spark plugs. HKS also provided the H-shaped connecting rods and the billet crankshaft to help pull everything together on the bottom end. Now, these few minor pieces alone wouldn't be responsible for the 1,220hp increase over the stock motor's capabilities.
That's a feat reserved for the big twin GT3540R turbos, which feed 28 psi of boost through the SPL intercooler and piping. The intercooler is a special design featuring a long core path to keep from having to use miles and miles of piping while still providing adequate cooling. The sound from all this fury travels down the HKS SPL exhaust manifolds and out the HKS home-brewed titanium SPL exhaust pumping out into the air. Custom panels in the engine bay keep everything looking spotless and purty. The electronics system is typical off-the-shelf HKS fair in the form of a F-Con V Pro main computer and EVC Pro boost controller to keep track of the dual wastegates.
Now, all these horses would be useless if you have to push the car down the 1,320, right? HKS made sure that the power the motor puts out gets laid to the track by using a Ram 8-inch clutch connected to a Liberty five-speed air shifter. All of this spins the 15x15-inch Weld Racing rims shod with 17-inch-wide Goodyear slicks to make the smoke while a pair of 4.5-inch-wide skinnies mounted on 15x5-inch Weld wheels steer the car down the track. The interior is as neat as the engine bay, free of any clutter such as labels, wires, and burger wrappers. Almost every interior panel is made of sheetmetal and impeccably finished. There is a carbon-fiber race seat surrounded by rollcage tubing, a steering wheel, and three gauges. That's all. The computers handle any other functions the driver might have to worry about, like where to find Market Street, while the pit crew reads the telemetry after each pass. There are no distractions for driver Tetsuya Kawasaki to worry about except for going fast and getting to the end of the track in one piece.
HKS likes to show off. They build single-purpose cars, even if they are never run more than once. This philosophy certainly proves that on a whim, they can put a vehicle together, decimate the competition, and then sneak off into the night like a Ninja, never to be heard from again. It also shows that someone over in the Japan home office has some deep pockets, and I need to get to know them very well.
Fast FactsOwner HKS RacingDriver Tetsuya KawasakiRide '01 Toyota SupraHometown Japan, baby!
Daily Grind Building some of the world's greatest cars, just for kicks
Under the Hood 4.3L 8-cylinder (Toyota 3UZ-FE); Bore x stroke: 88x82.5; Compression: 9.8:1; HKS GT3540R ball-bearing turbo (x2) with HKS wastegates, pistons, SPL camshaft, SPL intercooler and piping, H-shaped connecting rods, billet-type crankshaft intake manifolds, exhaust manifold, titanium exhaust piping, and Super Fire Racing Pro spark plugs; Toyota OE 2JZ-GTE valves; ATI crank damper pulley; RAM 8-inch clutch; Liberty five-speed air shifter, HKS F-Con V Pro main computer, and EVC Pro boost controller
Stiff Stuff Lamb springs, Koni electronic control-type shocks
Rollers 15x5 (front), 15x15 (rear) Weld Racing wheels with 15x4.5 (front), 15x17 (rear) Goodyear Racing slicks
Stoppers Mark Williams brakes < /br>< /br>Outside Custom Composite bodywork
Inside Carbon-fiber racing seat, a trio of really important gauges, and some mysterious gold and black boxes