The motorsport that is drifting certainly revolves around the aspect of style; the more recognizable the vehicle, the better. That is why you often see drift cars adorned in very bright colors and loud, eye-catching liveries. Drifting has become such a popular motorsport throughout the world that new drift builds are constantly being debuted. With so many professional drifters and drift cars nowadays, the way the vehicle looks is nearly as important as how it slides. Even back in the days when drifting was based solely in Japan, there were always cars that set out to peacock. Drifting has always been about style and grace. The motorsport itself is judged on how you slide your car and the style in which you can get your car swinging down the course. Horsepower and tire smoke are definitely important, but if no one can recognize the car that is consumed in that cloud of haze, the driver and/or tuning company that built that car has ultimately failed. Drifters and companies that assemble these builds put these cars together as promotional tools to either represent themselves or the products they sell—consider them moving billboards, if you will. The best forms of advertisement are the ones you remember, and when it comes to drifting, these cars have to be seen and made identifiable around the world.
The great thing about building a drift car is that it’s literally an open book—there is no “correct” way of doing it. While show cars are limited to the trends that are popular during a given time, drift cars are best when they have that “outside of the box” feel. Style matters over everything in drifting and the flamboyant and avant-garde shine on. The driver may be doing all the work behind the wheel, but the machines that they operate usually steal the spotlight.
Ryo Yoshinaga is no stranger to this concept. Not only does he build drift cars for a living, but his company, Garage R-Y-O, also produces its own line of products, and has a graphic design service for full-car liveries. Judging by his previous shop demo cars, Ryo is well-versed in grabbing your attention. Ask anyone who knows him and they will tell you right away that he is not the best drifter. The man can sure build the hell out of a car but he usually saves his most important builds for more accomplished drivers. Garage R-Y-O has assembled a FD3S RX-7 for D1 driver, Tsutomu Akihito in the past and recently campaigned an S14 drift car piloted by Ryuji Miki. Both of those builds had two things in common: both were extremely wide, and both were a graphical assault on the eyes. For Garage R-Y-O’s latest endeavor, he went with a more subtle approach. The new drift car would still have that wide stance that R-Y-O was known for, but he would do away with the full body wrap. Instead, the car’s aesthetics would rely more on the aero and the custom bright metallic pink tone. Nothing says “stare at me while I slide” more than a car dressed in pink. If the pink coat of paint isn’t loud enough, the window tint and company logos represented on the S13 chassis are pink as well.
When we first spotted this Silvia at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon event, we knew that we had to get this car into our publication. Admittedly, the pink was cool, but the color wasn’t what sold us on Ryo’s S13—it was everything else. The whole car was just a kick in the pants. It screamed for attention and it definitely got ours. The 20 year-old Silvia coupe had a completely new appeal about it thanks to facial reconstructive surgery performed by Spirit Rei. The mouth and nose of the Silvia are much more angular and sharp now to match the eyes, which are transplants from a Japanese-specific RB1 Honda Odyssey. Headlight conversions, especially from different vehicle makes, haven’t been cool in over a decade or so, but when the end result looks this good, an exception can be certainly be made. The rest of the body parts, with the exception of the OEM doors, are also a part of the Spirit Rei package. The front fenders and rear quarter panels were already widened variations from Spirit Rei, but Ryo massaged them and gave them an additional 15cm of width overall. The space freed up by the custom fenders was more than enough to house an aggressive, staggered set of 17-inch Volk Racing TE37Vs.
Ryo’s Silvia wouldn’t be a true drift car if it didn’t make a reasonable amount of horsepower and scream bloody murder as it slid down the track. Under the fiberglass Spirit Rei hood is a built 2.1-liter SR20DET. The guts of the turbocharged engine have been renovated with a host of Tomei components while the turbo and supplementary pieces have all been upgraded by Trust/GReddy. Assistance with power delivery comes via a Cusco limited-slip differential and Garage R-Y-O produced clutch. The suspension sees a similar treatment of self-produced R-Y-O products in the form of coilovers mated to Espelir springs along with custom knuckle arms for maximum turning angle.
The Garage R-Y-O “Odyvia” has undoubtedly made a statement in the looks-department, but it still remains to be seen how well it will perform in a professional drifting environment. We heard rumors recently that Ryo plans to have a female drifter pilot this car in the near future. Whatever happens, we wish the best for Ryo-san. He has built quite the reputation for himself and his tuning shop over the years with his exploits in the Japanese drifting world. It’s only fitting that this pink Odyvia serve as the new face (pun intended) of Garage R-Y-O.