PASMAG Feature: Daigo Saito’s 2012 Lexus SC430

Daigo Saito is one of the most decorated drift drivers in the world. After clinching the Formula D championship last October, Saito is now the only driver to claim both the D1GP and Formula D championships.

The car you see here is the Lexus SC430 Daigo built with his team in Japan before the season started. He then transported it to the U.S. to pursue the Formula D championship as a rookie. With a rumored 1,200 hp and nearly 1,000 lb-ft of torque, this car is anything short of amazing.

Daigo Saito in his Formula Drift competition car. Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Daigo Saito in his Formula Drift competition car. Photo credit: PASMAG.com

This drift car started as a standard Lexus SC430 before it was stripped to the bare shell and prepped by Saito and his team. The car received a Formula D-legal cage and a majority of the body panels were either replaced with Seibon Carbon pieces or trimmed down to the bare minimum in an effort to reduce the weight.

A pair of Bride seats and Prodrive harnesses keep the driver and passenger secured. All dash components were removed and replaced with carbon fiber blockoff plates. Replacing the center console is a custom carbon fiber switch panel that contains the Blitz boost controller, the push-start ignition, a gauge to monitor the bottle pressure on the Nitrous system in the trunk and switches for features like the wipers, electrical and other systems.

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Under the hood, the Lexus looks surprisingly empty. In an effort to prevent any car-to-car contact from disabling the vehicle, many components were moved to the trunk. The 2JZGTE motor, most commonly found in the twin turbo Toyota Supra, is stroked from the stock 3.0-liter to 3.4-litres via a Brian Crower stroker kit with internals including: a custom set of JE Pistons, BC pro series connecting rods, and BC 272 VVTI cams.

daigo pasmag3

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Looking under the trunk, all the luggage space is taken up by engine components. The custom fuel cell, KOYO oil cooler and radiator cooler and associated catch cans take up the majority of the room, with the 10 lb. nitrous bottle and associated bottle warmer taking up space on the passenger side of the trunk. On the driver side, the Odyssey battery and tie-down sit on the trunk floor and the AEM methanol injection pump is mounted on the shock tower. All sheet metal behind the rear shock towers was removed and reinforced with custom tubing (per the legalities of Formula D), helping to reduce weight and reinforce the area which contains many valuable systems of the car.

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Suspension is one of the most vital parts of a drift car and Saito decided to use components similar to what he ran on his past JZX Toyota Chaser chassis. All four corners contain DG5 coil-overs with custom-rated SWIFT springs, while all suspension arms are replaced with adjustable IKEYA Formula arms. Stopping power is handled by lightweight six-piston Wilwood calipers on the front, with four-piston calipers on each rear corner hooked up to the hydraulic hand brake.

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

Photo credit: PASMAG.com

In his inaugural season in Formula D, Saito took home two event wins, two additional podiums and a top-four finish on the way to the championship. Winning the championship as a rookie has never been achieved. If that’s not enough, Saito also won his second consecutive Formula D Asia title, competing in a similarly-built Lexus IS chassis. Can Saito become the first driver to repeat back-to-back championships since Tanner Foust? We can only wait and see.

Essentials

Vehicle: 2012 Lexus SC430
Driver: Diago Saito
Team: Achilles Radial Bridges Racing Drift Team
Engine: 3.4L 2JZ V6
Horsepower: 1,200 hp
Torque: 1,000 lb-ft

Engine Modifications

Garrett GTX-4294R turbocharger
Brain Crower (valvetrain, VVT-i camshaft, cam gears, 94 mm stroker crank, Pro Series connecting rods, head gasket,)
HKS (GT50 wastegate, V-Pro stand alone ECU)
Greddy (RZ 40 mm blow off valve, oil cooler adaptor, Profec boost controller)
Racepak multiplexor
HPS silicone hoses
K&N Air Intake
Blitz stainless mesh air filter
Dual Bosch 044 fuel pumps
Infiniti Q45 throttle body
NGK Spark plugs
JE Pistons (87 mm pistons and piston rings)
V-Pro electronics
Koyo RAD (radiator and oil cooler)
Davies Craig water pump
Odyssey dry cell battery
AEM water injection pump

Exhaust

Custom exhaust system (4-inch exhaust, header, up pipe, down pipe, exhaust tips)
HKS manifold

Drivetrain

SPEC (twin-disc clutch and lightweight flywheel)
Holinger dog-type transmission
OS Giken LSD
Supra axles

Chassis / Suspension

DG 5 adjustable coil-overs with Swift Springs
Ikeya Formula (adjustable control arms and links)
Cusco non-adjustable front sway bar

Wheels / Tires / Brakes

Prodrive forged wheels – 18×10 (f/r)
Achilles Radial tires – 265/35 R18 ATR Sport 2 (f), 265/35 R18 123s (r)
Wilwood brakes (master cylinder, Dynapro six-piston calipers (f), Dynapro four-piston calipers (r), drift brake)
Solid sprint car rotors

Exterior

Seibon Carbon body kit (hood, front fascia, rear bumper, fenders, side skirts, trunk lid, doors)

Interior

Racepak (digital dash and data logger)
Prodrive steering wheel
Blitz boost controller
PLX Devices M-300 wide band a/f ratio gage
Safecraft fire system
Bride racing seats

Sponsors

Achilles Radial
Garrett Turbos
M7 Drive
Brian Crowe
Seibon
Driftpac

Read PASMAG’s complete article here: http://www.pasmag.com/features/rides/2952-drift-patrol-2012-lexus-sc430

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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