For better or worse, once a driver gets to the big leagues they often lose their lust for quick street cars, or at least, they only harbor a limited interest in them. It’s a pity, since their experience in developing racing cars is possibly the greatest asset one can bring to tuning a street car — especially one with as much potential as the Toyota Supra.
Manabu Orido, the JGTC racer and D1 drifter, manifests all of his talents in this unique creation. Blending agility, everyday comfort, and outrageous power, his Supra is his expression of the ideal sports car for the street. Leather-wrapped Bride seats, Orido’s own body kit, a massive wing, and an absurd amount of power that make it too powerful for the confines of the narrow Gunsai Touge. Even Keiichi Tsuchiya titters nervously at the way it gobbles up straights and churns its rear wheels whenever the boost hits.
The list of modifications isn’t long, but it is filled with carefully chosen items that benefit the overall package and keep it from being a one-trick pony. The motor is a stock 2JZ with variable valve timing; all it needs is a big turbo to help it outrun just about any other entrant on “Touge Showdown.” The truck-sized Sard KKK3470 MOJ whistles, flutters, and helps provide 550 hp to propel the 3,300-pound grand tourer. Thankfully, a set of Project Mu big brakes help slow this heavyweight. Truly, the car is as versatile as serious Supras come.
As the car is Orido’s daily driver, the Supra is supple and compliant. RS-R I-Shock coilovers and Yokohama Advan Neova tires provide the Supra with some agility. But Tsuchiya’s not impressed, and accuses the softly-sprung Supra of feeling “like an American car!” Perhaps worsened somewhat by the soft setup, the car wheelspins everywhere — even with sticky rubber and an RS-R differential. The power delivery doesn’t help matters either; the big turbo deploys most of the 470 lb-ft of torque abruptly in the middle of the rev range. Simply put, this car is not for the faint of heart, nor the slow of hands.
Though Tsuchiya and Taniguchi are perhaps a little cautious with the Supra, its owner is not afraid to wring its neck with confidence. Hurling the car sideways withing inches of trees, bumping the front tires, and leaving black stripes all over the course, Orido showcases his wild driving style which matches the car perfectly. It’s no surprise that he, more than any other driver, has become so closely associated with the burliest muscle car to come out of Japan.
Like a wild beast, the wheelspinning Supra challenges the three talented JGTC stars, who have to exercise a little caution to keep the car out of the weeds. Rarely does a car make every one of the “Best Motoring” reviewers giggle childishly. While it lacks the precision and the traction of the tuned RX-7s or GT-Rs, it makes up for its shortcomings with that over-the-top character that makes these cars such a treat to witness.