2020 Formula Drift Supra is nearly complete
LOS ANGELES, California (March 31, 2020) -- After months of design, fabrication and building, the new 2020 Formula Drift Supra is nearly complete and Papadakis Racing today reveals the final stages of preparation on the vehicle and the first dyno test that will ready it for its track debut.
"It's amazing to look back on the transformation of this vehicle and realize that it's really been reincarnated," said legendary builder Stephan Papadakis. "It's a fully built race car with the soul of a Supra."
In this episode, the team works through final build and assembly details to get the engine running in the vehicle, including wiring and electronics, a full systems test, and its first start. Champion driver Fredric Aasbo visits the shop to finally see his new car, while a trip to the chassis dyno gets the vehicle running under its own power for the first time since Papadakis pulled the engine last summer.
"The first time we get to see the engine running in its chassis is a special moment for a build team," said Papadakis. "It's like watching your baby take its first steps."
The vehicle's transformation journey has been a remarkable one.
When the team took delivery of the 2020 Toyota GR Supra just weeks after the model first hit Toyota dealerships last summer, the car had barely seen 500 miles of driving. The team started by pulling the stock engine and, over the course of four episodes on the Papadakis Racing YouTube channel, they modified it to produce more than 1,000 hp on an engine dyno.
They started on the chassis in January, planning to give the 1,000 hp B58 engine a home in an all-new competition drift car for Aasbo to drive in Formula Drift this season. Over four more episodes this year, the team has dismantled the vehicle, undertaken rapid prototyping design and component manufacturing to prepare the chassis and new parts, and installed a raft of competition critical components.
They've held back one final detail: viewers won't get to see the body assembled or final paint scheme until the car hits the track for the first time. "We're really excited for its next stage, when we can get it dressed in its clothes and take it to the track," said Papadakis.
The first round of the Formula Drift season has been postponed and the team is now on a temporary hiatus. The PapadakisRacing YouTube channel will continue delivering content from the vaults while fans await the start of the Formula Drift season.
The action-oriented Formula Drift series features a diverse field of vehicles capable of fast sprints off the start line as well as wild, door-to-door slides. The Papadakis Racing team are three-time series champions with a long legacy in the sport, and are rooted in the Southern California drag racing scene. Papadakis is known for innovative builds that defy expectations and set trends in the automotive aftermarket. His builds have been featured in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Under series rules, competing vehicles start their lives in the showroom, rather than being built from scratch, and are adapted to perform in the competition environment. Top performing cars are typically equipped with 1,000-plus horsepower engines, feature extensive competition safety roll cages, and are engineered to deliver an astonishing 65-degrees or more front steering angle.
The 2020 Toyota GR Supra is an enviable platform to begin with. The Supra nameplate is a legendary performer with a long history in the sport compact scene. The GR Supra is rear-wheel drive and lightweight, and it comes equipped from the factory with a turbocharged inline six cylinder 3.0-liter engine rated at 335 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft of torque.
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Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing. He established his reputation as an innovator in the 1990s with the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S. His team earned multiple records and championships, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front-drive drag cars.
Since moving to Formula Drift in 2004, Papadakis' winning vehicles include the landmark V8-powered Scion tC, and the current 1,000-horsepower, 4-cylinder rear-wheel-drive converted Toyota Corolla Hatchback -- which won its first outing in 2018 and is fighting at the front of the Formula Drift Championship this season.
On YouTube, Papadakis has found a strong audience for his regular content uploads focusing on the technical side of racing and vehicle performance. Channel content has generated millions of views over the past few months and has topped 450,000 subscribers.
Season two of the build series has been produced by Red Team LA in collaboration with Papadakis Racing.