6 things you need to know: the Lexus 1,200hp RC F drift car

By topgear, 29 July 2020

It’s the second RC F drift car built by Ahmad Daham

Daham is a Red Bull sideways enthusiast based in the UAE. In 2019, he and his team spent just 70 days building their very first Lexus RC F drift machine which debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. You may have seen it. Or smelt the tyre smoke from neighbouring towns and villages.

For this, his second attempt at a sideways RC F, he had a little longer. Work began in January this year, and as you can quite plainly see, it’s wild.

The RC-F’s V8 was binned in favour of an old straight-six

Not just any old straight-six, but the one fitted to the MkIV Toyota Supra, and a straight-six favoured by the tuning community – a 2JZ. It’s been ‘heavily tuned’, as one would expect.

Key components for this 3.0-litre include a single Garrett GTX3584 turbo and a 3.5in intercooler, a GSC power division valve train, a triple pump fuel system, a motorsport-spec dry sump, a 200hp NOS kit and a specialist ECU and dash. Among other things.

It produces a LOT of power and torque

That venerable 3.0-litre sixer, tuned to within an inch of its iron-block, now churns out an absurd 1,200hp and almost 1,500Nm of torque. That power is harnessed through a four-speed sequential gearbox, carbonfibre driveshaft and a competition clutch. Pity this clutch.

Also, it’ll rev to 9,000rpm, which will sound… nice.

There’s been plenty of chassis tuning

As you’d expect. The rear diff has been swapped out for a new version that allows for “swift trackside ratio changes”, there are new drilled brake discs from Wilwood (along with six-pot /four-pot calipers front and back), and special three-way adjustable coilovers all round.

There’s a 47/53 front/rear weight distribution and the fitment of a Very Important hydraulic handbrake.

It’s been stripped right down to the core

Daham and his team worked tirelessly to shed as much weight from the RC F as possible. There are carbon-Kevlar body panels built locally, along with a ‘Rocket Bunny’ aero kit, while inside it’s as sparse as you like. Sparco seats, a steering wheel, carbonfibre dash, adjustable pedal box, and… that’s about it. Oh, plus a set of delightful Rays Engineering alloys.

The thing weighs just 1,250kg, which is some 500kg less than a production, V8-powered RC F.

Daham became an accidental cycling enthusiast

Just before the RC F’s build, Covid-19 struck, putting the world on lockdown. Which meant no overnight parts from Ja… sorry, got carried away there.

A few days of quarantine passed and after confirming everyone’s safety – and with vehicle restrictions still in place – Daham and his team got back to work… by cycling to the workshop every day. “Living the furthest away, I had to cycle and hour and a half every day, to overlook the build every step of the way, and I accidentally becoming a fan of cycling,” Daham said.

Still, the end result is fairly spectacular, no?

STORY Vijay Pattni

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