Tsukuba circuit has been hallow ground for HKS, with their CT230R Mistubishi Evo setting the blistering pace of 53.58 seconds back in 2007 and holding that title for years up until Under Suzuki came along and broke that record and has continued to do so up until now.
With this being said and Under Suzuki continually pushing the limits of aero development along with driver skill, the question could be asked… Has HKS forgotten about their Tsukuba record altogether? Their answer has been officially revealed at the latest Tokyo Auto Salon, and dare I say it, it looks as if it will decimate all that stand in it’s way to go deep into the 40 second barrier.
Viewing this car in its glorious livery is very much a nostalgic nod to the car that held the record for so long (CT230R) and it is refreshing to see a large tuning house like HKS stepping back into the time attack scene after a long hiatus. Based on the Toyota/Subaru GT86 platform, HKS have taken the stream lined approach to sculpting this beast before you into a tarmac warrior with all areas of the aero work carried out with specific purpose and design, Andrew Brilliant from AMB Aero was placed in charge of the aero design seeing as he has had his hand in many famous World Time Attack cars such as Under Suzuki and the infamous Hammer Head MCA S13 as well. While Andrew has created masterpieces in terms of maximizing downforce and reducing drag on the S13 and S15, this new design takes his keen eye and knowledge to a whole new level, with the whole aero package looking sleek and almost conforming to the stock lines. ‘Infiniti Wings’ as they were labelled from the SpeedHunters article which reviewed the car upon initial debut have not been seen before and as such, it will be an amazing detail to pay attention to in regards to it’s usefulness.
Moving along the car you can notice the sleek side profile to keep any unwanted drag away from the car with larger front carbonfiber fenders flowing along the channeled sides to the rear haunches. Rear facing you notice the large tunnels that fill the back of the car and help extract all the air from under the car cleanly which being lower pressure ensure a sucking effect to stick the car to the ground. Side skirts may be all but absent but that large flat floor side step ensures any flow across that surface will only help to add downforce and maintain a smooth laminar boundary layer.
While all of these subtle cues are amazing you immediately notice the largest part of the car, the wing. While this takes huge wings to a whole new level, word is that the aero package helps the flow of air onto the three layered wing to allow it to generate up to 3 ton’s worth of downforce! With Under Suzuki struggling to keep the tyres from exploding on his S15 due to the sheer amount of downforce generated from the car, I can only wonder at how well HKS have looked and researched into this area of error and coupled with Yokohama there should be some interesting compounds coming out of the manufacturer soon to help high downforce cars cope.
Sitting under the lightweight carbon clad arches are 18×11 Advan GT wheels and suspension is rumored to be custom HKS suspension with high spring rates to help cope with the large amounts of downforce produced. Mentioning carbon, the entire car is clad in in-house made HKS dry carbonfiber which shows the level of commitment and dedication the team have put into creating something so special.
Engine wise HKS have pushed a FA25 to new limits with stroking the 2.0L displacement and pushing it to 2.5L and then attaching a HKS supercharger to force feed air into the monster below. All the information I have gathered so far point to the engine producing up to 800hp which is a fair chunk of power for such a light car and coupled with the aero we see, should make for one extremely well planted yet nimble racer. Keeping things streamlined seems to be the main theme and we can notice one detachment from the initial design which was the passenger side exit exhaust, this may be due to routing changes or weight targets but a bonnet vented exhaust always looks impressive.
While I was not able to attend Tokyo Auto Salon this year, I am very grateful and thankful to Charles Chen who supplied these images to me and photographed on my behalf.
With HKS finally tipping their hat back into the record breaking ring, I am sure we will see big changes in the rest of the field as they all take notes of how the original record breakers do it. Excitement will be building all around as we wait to see what this beautifully sculpted yet deadly machine can do at the hallow Tsukuba Circuit.