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.
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.