If you’re going to do something out of the ordinary, you’d better do it properly. This is precisely the kind of mindset that Trial had when they embarked on their most extreme MR-S based project yet. Located in the outskirts of Osaka City, a five-minute walk from neighboring garage Auto Select, Trial is without a doubt, one of the biggest tuning shops we have come across in Japan. They offer top notch tuning services for pretty much any car you care to show up in, and while they specialize mostly in GT-Rs, Evos and Supras, they always have a very healthy interest in Toyota’s Celica and MR2, developing plenty of aftermarket parts for the two platforms. Even after Toyota discontinued the ZZW30 MR-S, Makihara-san, owner of Trial, still wanted to build one of these little mid-ship coupes. All he needed was time and a lot of carbon-fiber, but you can no doubt tell that those two key elements were just what this project needed.
Carbon-fiber: we love it, and if you’re like us, have had it in some form on your car, too. At Trial, to say they have a carbon fetish would be a compliment and they decked this project with a full carbon widebody conversion. Each piece on the Trial Try-Force aero kit has been shaped and created in house, inspired somewhat from the official Super GT race car that (up until a couple of years ago) was entered in the GT300 class. Aside from the doors and side mirrors, every body panel has been replaced with carbon pieces and also treated with glossy, transparent red (or clear coat); the result is a heavy visual impact. The Try-Force kit features plenty of aggressive air intakes and outlets, as well as functional aerodynamic pieces, like the front spoiler, side skits and rear diffuser. In an effort to change the look of the car even more, a carbon hardtop was dropped on top and a carbon GT wing bolted to the rear trunk lid. To fill the wider fenders, 17” Volk TE37SLs with a 10" wide dish were fitted on with grippy Dunlop Star Spec Z1 tires.
Opening the lightweight carbon engine cover at the back end reveals a well constructed engine bay with the custom-painted 1ZZ engine cover barely visible under the TRD strut and firewall brace. Trial has been experimenting with various configurations on the 1.8L, but an exhaust and intake did little to raise power up from stock (it’s 140hp, in case you were wondering). A low-boosting A’PEXi turbo pumped it up to 220hp, but the engine was changed a third time, this final setup with a HKS GT supercharger. With custom Trial cams, horsepower increased another 20 but low/midrange power saw the most improvement, a total of 184lb-ft. The HKS blower is mounted low under the engine and is fed by a custom induction pipe and HKS SPF sponge filter. It’s run at such low boost that it doesn’t require any form of cooling, meaning the compressor outlet is plumbed directly onto a bigger Trial throttle body without passing through an intercooler. The Trial stainless exhaust manifold connects up to a custom titanium exhaust system that exits with two pipes on each side of the number plate recess on the carbon bumper. The lack of a cat boosts power but at the same time makes it one loud-ass 1ZZ!
Seeing how this newfound performance has really made the car quite fast, a brake upgrade became very necessary, so the front slide-type factory calipers were shown its way to the trash and replaced with a pair of ORC 4-pot calipers and larger discs. Inside, the passenger seat was removed altogether while the driver’s side has a Recaro SP-GT2 replacement and Takata harness. Four A’PEXi gauges have been custom mounted in the glove box, and are easily accessed for consultation although the dash-mounted Power FC Commander displays more than enough useful information.
Development for this project and the W30 chassis continues onward for Trial. Next, they want to increase power again with an upgraded supercharger pulley. The mission for the ultimate MR-S is far from over, but clearly within reach.
Toyota MR-S (W30)
Hometown Osaka, Japan
Occupation tuning some of Osaka’s wildest cars
Power 240 hp; 184lb-ft
Engine Trial stainless steel exhaust manifold, camshafts, custom titanium exhaust system, custom aluminum piping, throttle body, aluminum pulley kit, oil cooler and custom painted engine cover; HKS GT supercharger kit and SPF foam filter; TRD engine bushings
Drivetrain ORC single-plate clutch and flywheel; ATS LSD
Engine Management A'PEXi Power FC; HKS EVC boost controller
Footwork & Chassis A'PEXi N1 coilovers; TRD rear strut brace
Brakes Ogura Racing 4-pot front calipers and 2-piece slotted discs; Dixel brake pads
Wheels & Tires 17x10" +36 front/+18 rear Volk Racing TE37SL wheels; Dunlop Z1 Star Spec 255/40R17
Exterior Trial Try-Force carbon front bumper, wide carbon front fenders, carbon hood, carbon headlight covers, side skirts, carbon hard top, rear carbon fenders, carbon rear bumper and carbon rear lights cover; Trial carbon GT-wing
Interior Trial edition Recaro SP-GT2 Red Falcon bucket seats; Takata racing harnesses; Trial edition SR IV Wild Car MOMO steering wheel; A'PEXi boost/oil pressure/oil temp/exhaust temp gauges
WWW apexi-usa.com; mackinindustries.com (Volk Racing); trial.co.jp