29 March 2010|
The progress of our quirky, fast-paced tuner scene was rapid during the past two decades. If we can assume the trend really kicked off in Cali in, say 1990, we are talking about 20 years, and the growth has been exponential. There are many people who can take credit for it in the drag, drift and show scenes. The old hot-rod guys know we are the future of car modification and can run with the big blocks with minimal mods. Then there are guys like Troy Sumitumo, who have pushed the envelope of Sport Compact styling and put cars like the Scion on the map.
Sumitumo is not the type of tuner that uses off the shelf parts, but rather manufacturers everything in his lab at Five:Axis Designs.
Sumitumo’s experience with the Scion, led Toyota execs to the conclusion that he could give their Lexus IS line a boost as well. The already successful IS was popular with the tuning market but Toyota wanted to ensure that the IS, more importantly the high performance IS-F, received more purchase consideration over other sport sedans. With that, they gave him $1 cars and the funds to roll out incredible projects like this IS-F that garnered huge media attention and stood out over the decade of the 2000s.
Sumitumo is not the type of tuner that uses off the shelf parts, but rather manufacturers everything in his lab at Five:Axis Designs. Sure, you might find some familiar name brands on the car, but then again, all of those products are likely prototypes since Sumitumo received the IS-F before it was released to the public. Since its debut at SEMA 2006, the car was briefly shelved but has been reborn just in time for our 10th Anniversary issue, a more ideal story we couldn’t make up.
The most striking feature of this vehicle is the cutting edge exterior. The outrageous sharp lines are easily as current today as they were five years ago. The sinister satin black paint scheme may appear common today but this was one of the first whips to rock it. The body work consists of a one-off Five: Axis widebody which was fabricated to widen the track by 6-inches. The extensive modifications were then drenched in several coats of SEM Products black satin named “Hod Rod Black.” A handful of satin bronze accents were added to pull them out in a paint scheme Sumitumo describes as “very effective.”
The look of the wheels is also a design that inspired his line-up, which is now available to the public. The FIVE:AD Onyx S5:F wheels may have an unusual name but their looks are timeless. The satin bronze painted wheels measure 20x8.5-inches and 20x10.5-inches in the backyard with aggressive offsets. The Advan Sport tires were supplied by project partner Yokohama in 245/30R20 and 295/25R20 for mega-grip. The correct stance was afforded by TEIN FLEX coilovers and custom camber adjusters for extreme flushness. The braking was delegated to Brembo, who promptly supplied a set of their GTs, a 380mm/6-piston monoblock in the front, with 345mm/2-pistons in the rear.
All of the additional grip was necessary since this isn’t your average IS-F. Under the hood is Yamaha’s potent quad-cam V8 mill but it has been modified to crank out more ponies. The cylinders were bored to 100mm and stroked to make the 5.0L powerplant displace 5.8L. The holes were plugged with custom JE Pistons using a 12.8:1 compression ratio connected to Dyers rods. The heads were removed and fully ported and polished then filled with titanium intake valves and stainless exhaust values. The intake and exhaust are all custom stainless steel designed to open up the airways. Using a stronger nitrided crankshaft, the 5.8L is rumored to churn out 550whp to put the hurt on those 295s.