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Click above for a huge high-res gallery of the RS*R Scion tC drift car.

We've enjoyed our fair share of front-wheel-drive hijinks in empty parking lots with our right hand firmly grasping the e-brake, but in the end, tail-out antics are always more enjoyable behind the wheel of something with the proper wheels driven. "Proper," however, isn't the way we'd describe how Scion decided to go about campaigning a tC in this year's Formula Drift series.

With backing from Toyota, the aftermarket firm RS*R converted a run-of-the-mill tC into a rear-wheel-drive monster utilizing a BEAMS-built 3S-GE engine and taking advantage of the Toyota Avensis/Caldina all-wheel-drive chassis on which the tC is built. RS*R ripped out the abysmal 2AZ-FE 2.4-liter four-pot from the stock car, fabbed up a series of new mounts to facilitate the transverse to longitudinal conversion and dropped in the 3S-GE after fitting the four-cylinder with an HKS GT3037 turbo, intercooler, Blitz dual SBC boost controller and an AEM EMS engine management system. Approximately 400 hp is now routed to the rear wheels through a Tilton triple carbon clutch and a G-Force, five-speed sequential gearbox. RS-R coilovers keep things suspended on all four corners, and are hidden by the custom wide-body kit and Enkei RPF1 wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes R1R rubber.

The RS*R tC will be piloted by Ken Gushi, the youngest driver ever to compete in the D1 series, beginning at the season opener on the Streets of Long Beach on April 12th. Hit the jump to read the full press release and check out Formula D's website to see when the competition will be heating up in your area.


[Source: Toyota]

PRESS RELEASE

Scion Brings tC To Formula Drift

April 8, 2008 - Torrance, CA - Scion today announced it will drift the RS*R Scion tC in Formula Drift events this year.

Scion's drift car is based on its most popular model, the tC sports coupe. The factory built front-wheel drive tC turned into a drifting contender through a rear-wheel drive conversion performed by acclaimed exhaust and suspension manufacturer, RS*R. The tC shares its platform with Toyota's Japanese market Avensis four-wheel drive and Caldina all-wheel drive, enabling it to undergo the conversion. RS*R used its extensive performance shop experience to change the tC's stock transverse engine configuration to a longitudinal setup in order to drive power, through the transmission and drive shaft, directly to the rear wheels.

"Scion has participated in motorsports for three years and the fan support has been incredible," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. "Drifting is an exciting, emerging motorsport with a dedicated and intense fan base. We're looking to engage drifting enthusiasts and Scion owners just like we do in drag racing. We think the fans will be just as excited as we are about our RS*R Scion tC as it demonstrates one of Scion's primary philosophies, customization. At this time we do not have confirmed plans to produce a tC rear wheel drive, but a lot of people will want to take one home."

The RS*R Scion tC features a 3SGE Beams motor, HKS GT3037 turbo and intercooler, Blitz Dual SBC boost controller, and AEM EMS engine management system that outputs more than 400 horsepower, compared to the stock 161 horsepower. A G-Force five-speed sequential transmission, Tilton triple carbon clutch, Project Mu brakes, RS-R coilovers, Sparco Corsa seats and a custom concept wide body kit also make this vehicle unique. This tC will gracefully maneuver the track with Enkei RPF1 wheels and Toyo Proxes® R1R™ tires.

Ken Gushi will be at the wheel of the RS*R Scion tC. Gushi learned to drift at the age of 13 when his father took him to El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area in California. Gushi started his drifting career at the age of 16 and was the youngest driver to compete in D1. Now 21 years old, Gushi has further developed his skills and placed in many drift events.

"We think our first season of drift will be a knock-out," said Hollis. "We've got the talented Ken Gushi behind the wheel of one of the hottest tCs out there."

The RS*R Scion tC, also sponsored by Toyo Tires and XM Satellite Radio, will make its first appearance at Formula Drift's Round 1, Streets of Long Beach in Calif. on April 12. The event will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

Gushi and the RS*R tC will also compete in subsequent Formula Drift events including Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. on May 10, Wall Speedway in Wall, N.J. on June 14, Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev. On July 12, Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. On Aug. 9, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on September 13 and Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. on Oct. 11.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      OK, If Toyota sold this car for $40k tomorrow, I'd buy one without thinking twice. Someone in the product line development department at Toyota needs to be kicked in the nuts. With a slightly redesigned front, this could have been the new Celica/Supra.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That GT-R front end is gettting so played out. Japanese companies should stop being so fixated on it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      so lame. they need to pick a drivetrain
      • 6 Years Ago
      it's also a rip-off of the front end of the Five Axis Widebody tC - down to the SCION lettering inside the grille.

      http://static.flickr.com/69/229246415_f9e48843ae.jpg
        • 6 Years Ago
        I suspect Five Axis designed this kit as well. If you look at their recent stuff, its all Lexus/Toyota/Scion
        • 6 Years Ago
        Definitely not done by Five Axis.
        The fit, finish and surfaces look very much "hand-built", definitely not done in CAD (which all Five Axis designs are), and why would they design another new widebody when they can just make another part from the old design.
        It would be nice if they make their Project IS-F into a drift car - LOL.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd by a Scion if they were RWD.

      BTW, it's 3SGTE not 3SGE

        • 6 Years Ago
        actually, its a 3S-GE w/ an aftermarket turbo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am a big fan of all motor sports. I have nothing against drifting or any of the other forms of racing. I have nothing against putting shells over tube frame racers and saying it's sort of like the product.

      I do have a problem with completely misrepresenting a car.

      NASCAR does this with a rear wheel drive push rod Camry (or any of those cars honestly).

      Grand Am / Pontiac does this with a rear drive G6 GXP (Seriously.. it's supposed to be a touring car style competition. How can you govern engine output / suspension setups but allow a drivetrain switch).

      Toyota / FD are doing this with the TC.

      I understand the company wants to market its product to a specific customer, but i think they would sell more if they actually made that product. How many kids will get excited about seeing this car, go to the internet to look it up and find there is absolutely nothing in common with what they saw.

      How many will then just turn to a mustang for their low cost RWD option.

      If these companies think there is a market for a small RWD car that has fun why don't they bother making the car and getting them as real customers.

      I guess they will start once Hyundai start taking their customers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Have you seen a lot of these drift cars? They're usually based on some esoteric JDM coupe that has been totally refitted. Almost like NASCAR, but with a real body.

      It's really sad that anyone watches drifting. How do you win? Are there judges like figure skating?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't care what you say, its fun to watch. There are judges, even though the best performance is quite relative obviously.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "It's really sad that anyone watches drifting."

        Get Out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Flagrant rip-off of the Nissan GT-R on the front end. Tantalizing performance on a pro product coupled with a tepid real consumer version. Toyota made a great leap toward its own appointment as the Microsoft of the automotive world with this car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You know the Tc came out before the GT-R and that is how the front is......... the tuning company just painted it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SHENANIGANS!! I CALL SHENANIGANS!!

      I understood that Formula Drift Rules state the car HAD to be a RWD car available for public consumption (ergo why we have a Dodge Charger and no RWD-changed Honda Civics in Formula D).

      This car (and Toyota to a default) essentially broke Formula D rules with the "conversion."
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Element breaks the rules by default, just different ones:

        Eligible Vehicles:
        A) Any 2 or 4 door coupe, sedan or sports car.

        and

        C) Must maintain original unibody or frame

        (it was hacked to pieces to build that conversion)

        But of course this rule renders all other rules null and void:

        D) Vehicles that do not meet the above criteria must be approved by
        the series.


        • 6 Years Ago
        No the RWD Honda Element did that. Also several rules about taste and common sense.
        http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-reveals-element-d-drift-car.html
        • 6 Years Ago
        Um, FD rules state that the car had to be originally a RWD or 4WD car.

        Sicne the Element was a 4WD car, it actually complied with the rules. Toyota pretty much just broke the rules by default.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Relax, Toyota is just taking the NASCAR approach to Formula D. No one really complains that you cannot buy a rwd V8 Camry!

      Cool as this conversion is (almost as good visually as the Celica GT-S rwd swap), it really would have been better to use an actual rwd chassis (Lexus) or...build something "Scion" or otherwise that is from the factory rwd!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is how the car should have been built in the first place. I don't like the idea of Toyota backing a drift car that you can't even buy in the real world. Of course they are hoping that they sell thousands of TC's to morons who think they can be drifted.

      Just built a proper sports car, toyota. Otherwise I'm going to buy a Hyundai coupe.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I didnt think this car would be legal for formula D.

        i thought the rules stated it had to be factory RWD, a car that can be purchased by the public...
        • 6 Years Ago
        @glitched:

        The Rules:
        Eligible Vehicles:
        A) Any 2 or 4 door coupe, sedan or sports car.
        B) Must be a production car with a minimum build run of 250 units
        C) Must maintain original unibody or frame
        D) Vehicles that do not meet the above criteria must be approved by the series.

        I interpret rule "D" to mean, "Pay us off and you can run what you want."

        Pathetic really.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For those saying Toyota should've used another type of vehicle, it's a marketing thing. If it's manufacturer-backed, the manufacturer is not going to use a vehicle that's not in production, which is why this isn't a Supra or a Soarer. The Lexus IS350 or IS-F makes would, under normal circumstanes, make more sense, but again, this is about marketing. There are far more people who drive Scion's that are attending these drift events or are interested in drifting than there are owners of Lexus-branded vehicles.

        I also wouldn't be surprised if Toyota is using this opportunity to gauge public reaction for something they plan on doing in the near future; obviously a RWD small, affordable coupe, similar to Hyundai's Genesis.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. But Toyota is notorious for this. Even when they were campaigning and winning in WRC, they never sold a turbocharged, awd Corolla.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I surprised they just didn't roll out with a Soarer/LExus SC430 with a 3SGTE under the hood, or even a Supra. Granted it makes more marketing sense to use soemthing drift fans might actually be able to afford to buy, but it doesn't make sense if the real tC is nothing like this car. If the car isn't competitive, which i don't think it will be, Toyota will probably just keep throwing money at it or a better car until they do.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Franz

        they also stopped rallying in '99 :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        but they did sell a turbocharged awd celica known as the GT4
      • 6 Years Ago
      the body kit is not from 5Axis -- Troy and his crew are way too talented to create the kit on the tC drift car.

      the body kit is a modified version of the AIT tC wide body kit. the nice thing about this kit is that it is available in carbon fiber, and has a pretty decent fit (as far as aftermarket body kits go)

      here's hoping Scion FINALLY gets that rwd is needed in the Scion lineup, and that this tC is a preview of what is coming for the tC replacement next year
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