Browsing: Features

Good looks, turbocharged power, low weight, excellent handling, and a distinct sound, Mazda’s FD RX-7 of the 1990s had it all. The car’s unique power plant and timeless looks turned it into an iconic representation of the rise of import performance, making it a highly sought after platform among all of the automotive community. Fujita Yoshiharu and his Fujita Engineering FEED Racing Program team have long appreciated the importance and performance potential of the FD platform, so they decided to search for an example to call their own. This build would turn into the team’s testing platform for new engineering…

Few car design concepts divide an audience more than the wagon. Some see wagons as nothing more than family cars and grocery getters, while others consider them a uniquely sporty aesthetic. More recently, wagons and hatchbacks have evolved into a somewhat popular design for a niche audience, but there are still plenty who refuse to call anything with added cargo volume a performance car. Either way, the sight of an R34 front end on a station wagon at the drag strip is enough for anyone to have to double-take. Text by Cameron Parsons // Photos by Rob Shaw Little more…

Inspired by high horsepower rally machines of the 1980s and early 1990s, the battle between the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru WRX STI carried on for over a full decade. Both platforms kicked off in the early 1990s, sporting turbocharged four-cylinder engines sending nearly 300 horsepower through an AWD drivetrain. When one model raised the performance bar, the other would bite back with another round of updates. The battle raged on through the cars’ introductions to the United States until 2015, when Mitsubishi was forced to pull the plug on the EVO brand. Although the EVO name came to its…

Although we as enthusiasts appreciate and enjoy the power capabilities of the acclaimed 2JZ-GTE platform, we also can’t deny that high horsepower JZA80 Supras are a dime a dozen. Pristine builds don’t seem to turn heads anymore unless the car cranks out more than 1,200whp. Even then, few make the effort to turn that power into anything but a quarter-mile burnout. Ken Miyazaki of Japan took a different approach with his 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo. Instead of aspiring to the many dyno queens in existence, he outfitted his JZA80 to turn fast laps on a road course. Text by Cameron…

There are few examples of the States getting a better version of a vehicle platform than the rest of the world. However, the first-generation (1G) and second-generation (2G) DSMs are an exception to the rule. While only FWD versions were available in Japan, AWD versions were available in the States. A cooperative effort between Chrysler and Mitsubishi produced the Eagle Talon TSi AWD, the Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX and Plymouth Laser RS Turbo AWDs. These legendary DSMs would not only introduce the States to the capabilities of turbocharged four-cylinders, but also to the extreme merits and challenges of an all-wheel-drive configuration.…

If you haven’t heard of HKS, Daigo Saito and Nobuteru “NOB” Taniguchi, then you must be very new to the import performance scene. HKS has been Japan’s premiere full-line performance parts manufacturer since the 1970s. Today, HKS has reestablished a US presence and we expect big things in the coming years. Daigo Saito is the D1GP and Formula D championship driver that we followed in our DSPORT Full Lock video series the season that he took the championship. He’s well known for his aggressive driving style and big-power drift machines. He is also the proprietor of Fat Five Racing, a…

Producing big horsepower at higher elevations may seem like magic, but it’s actually a matter of making best use of the amount of oxygen that is available. Since the oxygen density is reduced at elevation, improvements and adjustments must be made in order for significant horsepower to be produced reliably. To many people living at higher elevations, producing high-horsepower builds can be both a challenge and an adventure. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Happenstance Fan When Jeremy Hepburn started car shopping, he wasn’t totally sure what he wanted. Just out of high school, he was drawn to the NSX,…

When drifting began, the pioneers of the sport favored several real wheels drive platforms for power, weight distribution and handling traits. Nissan’s Silvia platform proved itself on the touge of Japan as well as in drifting competitions around the world. With the turbocharged SR20DET engine capable of producing over 400 horsepower with bolt-on parts and tuning, the affordable S-chassis made its way to the top of various podiums through the mid 2000’s. But in the USA, the Formula Drift Pro Championship started to get the attention of domestic manufacturers, and soon Dodge Vipers, Ford Mustangs and Chevy Camaros joined the…

Behind the wide fenders and glossy paint is more than your average show car. Andrew Dryden of Orange County, California, has inadvertently constructed a powerful and eye-catching 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo and this project is proof that dreams do come true. You see, Andrew is only 19 years old, juggling school and work. However, his passion for road racing and Toyotas drove him to build an MR2 that could crush the competition not only on the racetrack but in the aesthetics department as well. Andrew is well aware of the quality products available for imports in the states and wasted…

Once upon a time, Honda built serious performance automobiles. Although drag-racing enthusiasts didn’t embrace the Acura NSX or Honda S2000 in great numbers, both machines provided worry-free driving enjoyment and possessed the DNA to serve as weekend racers. Hong Kong native and owner of PFabrications, Pang Cheung, knew from the beginning of his project that he wanted to build a badass rear-wheel-drive Honda. Since Honda has dedicated itself to pandering solely to suburban mothers and commute warriors, Pang was left with few options. He settled on an AP1 S2000 and set his mind on creating the “cleanest S2000 with the…

Roll racing isn’t real racing. It’s a glorified street race that lacks the sophistication of a race with proper start/finish equipment. In 2003, the Texas Mile event showed us an alternative to traditional 1/8th mile and 1/4-mile acceleration contests. The standing mile was created to give vehicles a competitive venue where there was enough pavement to safely measure top speeds. But for organizers, finding an accessible strip of pavement over a mile long proved to be a challenge. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Larry Chen From Rolling to Standing Traction had always been a challenge for streetcars, which…

It is 3:00AM. There is no one in sight and the roads are completely empty. Far in the distance there is a faint flicker of white light coming towards you. It is hard to make out what the light is, but the sound waves from an angry exhaust system pierce the night’s sky. Text by Robert Choo // Photos by Michael Ferrara The gold car blows by and the sound waves push you back and within a few moments the car is already too small to see in the far off distance. Piloting any car at over 200 MPH takes…

There’s no greater sense of nostalgia than to recapture a moment from a fond memory. For Kazumasa Hirota, it was an opportunity to relive the experience of owning his first car, a 1970 Datsun Sunny B110 GX. He purchased this Sunny in 1996 for only 150,000 Yen (approximately US$1400 at the time). Admittedly, it was in poor condition and in need of restoration. Hirota reminisced, “I chose the Sunny not only because it was my first car, but I also remember seeing them at Fuji Speedway in the minor touring car racing series. They were really fast and an inspiration…

Sony and Ericsson. Apple and Intel. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. Former rivals turned staunch allies have formed some of the most powerful collaborations in the world. When determination and a competitive spirit drive two competing companies, it’s no wonder that their combined strength grows exponentially when they form a partnership. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Forging An Alliance Anthony Le and Doug Jenkins of Power Pros were bitter opponents at the track and anywhere else they interacted since the infancy of import racing. Every encounter was a test to see whose latest upgrades made more power. As time passed,…

Some champions never rest. While capturing a D1 Grand Prix and a Formula Drift Asia championship would be enough to satisfy nearly anyone’s competitive nature, Daigo Saito isn’t nearly anyone. After winning the 2008 D1 Grand Prix championship in Japan and the Formula Drift Asia series in 2011, Daigo set his sights on the Formula Drift series in the States. While no one questioned that Daigo was a capable driver, no one predicted that he would take home a Formula D championship in his rookie year. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Michael Ferrara Bridging The Gap To compete…

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