GT300-Spec Toyota MR-S – Featured Imports – Import Tuner

9 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on GT300-Spec Toyota MR-S – Featured Imports – Import Tuner

APEXi’s GT300-spec MR-S

What do you do when you work for one of the premier tuners in the world, and you have a stable of cars to drive and play with? Well, if you’re Keith Imoto of A’PEXi, USA, you turn your car over to your friends in the Research and Development department and let them have their way. The end result of this particular exchange, as you can tell, is nothing short of amazing.

When Keith purchased his MR-S, he already had a Lexus SC300 and a very-popular RX7 (think The Fast and the Furious) to drive around, so using his newly acquired 2001 Toyota MR-S as a rolling testbench didn’t even make him blink an eye. Through the RD department, Keith acquired a highly-desirable A’PEXi turbo kit for the 1ZZFE engine–available only for the Japanese market– with the intention of testing the feasibility of selling the kit on a mass-production scale here in the States. Installation of the kit involved several modifications to the MR-S, including several Japanese-market parts that would be relatively difficult to acquire for us normal Yanks, but testing went underway nonetheless.

The first step was to address the low-octane, 91-rated gasoline that’s readily available here at the pump (enthusiasts in the Japanese market have significantly higher-octane gas available to them). To that effect, a Japanese-spec A’PEX Power FC, engine-management system was utilized to compensate and adequately tune the mid-engine rollerskate.

After several hundred rounds with the in-house dynamometer, the engineers at A’PEXi USA decided that proper tuning of the kit required too much custom work to sell as a reasonable bolt-on kit. So they called it a day and left the availability of the kit to the US market on an individual case-by-case basis.

The turbo kit utilizes an A’PEX AX series, ball-bearing turbocharger coupled with an application-specific, A’PEX intercooler core and Power Intake to handle the inhalation duties. On the opposing side of the combustion equation, the fuel system had to be upgraded with a JDM Toyota fuel pump and JDM Toyota injectors to compensate for the higher fuel requirements of the turbo. Adding to the custom aspect of the kit, the injectors required heavy modification to work with the US-spec 1ZZFE engine.

The J-spec Power FC and FC Commander then modify the fuel maps (originally drawn up for the Japanese MRS) to allow the car to put down a healthy 227hp to the rear wheels. Additional help in the power-producing department is offered by the A’PEX N1 exhaust system and Super AVC-R Digital boost controller. Getting all the power to the ground is the job of the ACT clutch setup, controlled by the gear-crashing activities of the BM short shifter.

Using information gained from the Autobacs MR-S prototype, the engineers knew that they would have to construct custom airflow ducts and vents, in addition to other cooling facilities, to help the mid-engine mounted car keep its cool. Again, the requirement of this additional custom work tended to inhibit the mass availability of the turbo kit here in the States. After this decision was made, Keith turned his attention from the power-producing aspect of his car to its other tunable characteristic: appearance.

A Monocraft GT300 wide-body aero kit was installed to give the exterior a more aggressive appearance, especially since it had the engine goods to back it up. An OEM Toyota of Japan removable hard-top was also installed to set the car apart from the other Spyders on the road. In the front storage area (that’s the hood for us front-engine guys), Keith had a carbon-fiber bonnet installed.

Consequently, the rear of the car also sports a carbon-fiber makeover with the installation of the Rotora rear-spoiler wing. Front lighting was enhanced with a pair of Gourmet Garage USA HID headlights. The body work was completed by Auto Network of San Gabriel, Calif.

The rolling stock was also upgraded in accordance with the new wider stance of the MR-S with a quadruplet of Rays Engineering GT-Ps in a gunmetal color configuration. Both the front and rear wheels were ordered with a custom offset (+4 in the front, +6 in the rear) to have the wheels sit in accordance with the body kit. The sizes ended up as 17×8 in the front and 18×9 in the rear, both pairs were wrapped in Toyo Proxes T1-S rubbers (215/40-17 front, 275/35-18 rear.)

To keep the car planted on the ground and pointed in the right direction, Keith installed A’PEXi’s WS dampers, a coilover system designed with race knowledge and aimed at street domination. A host of aftermarket TRD braces stiffen up the miniscule chassis and prepare it for the twisty-turnies. Bringing the entire mini-beast to a halt is the job of the Rotora 4-piston, 13 in drilled and slotted rotors, Rotora ceramic brake pads, and Rotora stainless-steel braded brake lines.

Since the car sees some street time with the top off, Keith knew that the interior had to be as spectacular as the exterior. To that effect, he had Kreative Auto Interiors of Rosemead, Calif. reupholster the doors, dash, and carpeting in a matching blue and black color scheme, with suede being the bling-bling material of choice. A pair of Recaro seats, bolstered with a set of Takata racing harnesses, also find themselves in the interior, surrounded by a sea of blue and black.

The icing on Keith’s MR-S cake (or rather, the I.C.E.) consists of a complete Kenwood multimedia entertainment system. A Kenwood Excelon stereo, coupled with a 7 in touch screen monitor, lie at the heart of the installation and serve as the control units for the entire system. A Kenwood navigation system insures that Keith doesn’t get lost when he’s out cruising, while a Kenwood Music Keg music-storing hard drive ensures that he will never run out of tunes.

For visual pleasure, a Clarion DVD player was added to the mix. The entire system is powered by a pair of Precision Power amplifiers and a Rockford Fosgate capacitor, while a Fosgate digital voltmeter keeps the electrical system in check. Sonic pleasure is produced by the quadruplet of JBL speakers (two 6 in satellites and two 10 in subs.) Kevin at Mobile Connection in San Fernando, Calif. was the man responsible for the rolling dance party in Keith’s car.

When you have a network of connections, plenty of time, and a strong desire to be the best, you’re sure to excel in whatever you do. Keith’s MR-S is an example of that.

Using all available resources, he was able to build a car that’s a potent street machine, a reliable commuter, and an outstanding show stopper. So, tuners everywhere, take note: If you do it right, you’ll always end up with the best, and that’s truly amazing.

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