Revenge of the Nerd – Power Wars


Daigo Saito’s beautiful Garrett Turbocharged 2JZ was a godsend for the JDM fanbois who had been poo pooing the domestic V8’s intrusion into drifting.  At first a lot of us were skeptical that Daigo would have a proper powerband and enough reliability to compete but nitrous got rid of turbo lag and Achilles had a grippy tire.  The tough as nails 2JZ proved to be durable as well.  Although his engine was capable of mega power we suspect that Daigo ran it at less boost, around the 800-1000 hp point. Our team limped through the year trying to keep up with 700 whp. Our handling advantage was lessened as many other teams now paid attention to handling and worked hard on setup.

The 2014 season has proven to be epic.  After getting out dragged by Daigo and the Achilles team, many teams went to work to find reliable mega power solutions.  I feel that our team’s answer, the low boost, low stress, large displacement turbo V8 is the solution.  Dai Yoshihara’s LS based engine is capable of 1000 plus hp and 1000 lb ft of torque at less than 10 psi.  It also has a very tractable 5000 rpm wide powerband.

Dai’s engine displaces nearly 8 liters and typically the Garrett GTX50R turbo is running at much less than 10 psi.  The engine is loafing along and pretty under stressed. Although Dai has been sidelined twice due to mechanical issues, only one was related to engine issues and that was an odd failure not related to the turbo.  The engine has plenty of headspace power wise to make up for future tire and suspension technology advances. No one knows quite how much power the engine produces as it violently spins on any dyno rollers! Currently the engine is more than competitive and our main challenge has been to make use of the power and to find the chassis setup that the BRZ platform likes.  Team Faken has been making huge progress and the Seattle round looks to be very promising.

Team Falken’s S14 driven by Darren McNamara is also a large displacement turbo domestic V8.  Unlike Dai’s LS based engine, Darren’s engine is an old school Small Block Chevy with a build  that has been documented here just a few days ago.  Darren’s car rocks over 1100 hp and 980 lb/ft of torque at about 11 psi of boost.

Where Dai’s engine was built as a turbo assisted large displacement engine, Darren’s engine was built to be more of a pure turbo motor with twin turbos sized for quick response and heavy wastegate control of boost, kind of as an experiment to see which type of setup would work better for drifting.

The traditional setup works almost too good with explosive and immediate lagless boost from the twin Garrett GTX3582 turbos.  We have been working to improve part throttle drivability and to find a chassis setup that can make use of the immediate power.  A lot of progress has been made and again the Seattle round is looking promising.

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