Thursday, December 25, 2008
Coolest cars of 2008 part 1-Sun Auto Cyber EVO VII
Mike Garrett from Speedhunters.com
Tsukuba Circuit has long served as the proving ground for both tuned and production cars in Japan, and In May of 1994, Rev Speed Magazine hosted the first ever "Tsukuba Super Battle". Although circuit racing had always been popular in Japan, up until this point, the tuning world was primarily focused on drag racing, highway racing, and occasional touge action. The Rev Speed event helped transform Japan's tuner into the stopwatch junkies they are today. The winner of the very first Tsukuba Super Battle was the Mine's BNR32 Skyline GT-R, which recorded a lap time of 1:00.85. Oh how far we have come...
The events quickly grew in popularity and more tuners and parts companies got in on the action. In 1995 Mine's broke the one minute barrier with their R33 Skyline GT-R. By the end of the decade, Tsukuba time attack was huge, and the fastest cars were running in the low 58 second range. By 2002, Jun Auto had broken the 55 second barrier with their yellow CP9A Lancer Evolution.
The current record OEM chassis record at Tsukuba Circuit is 53.589 seconds, set by the HKS CT230R Evo in 2007. Although that car doesn't compete in the Rev Speed events, a number of cars are showing potential to come near HKS' record time. Last year, the M-Speed R34 GT-R was the fastest car at the event with a 54.481 lap time. The Sun Auto Cyber Evo, seen above is another top contender as is the Top Fuel S2000 turbo which set the Tsukuba FR record earlier this year with a 55.30 lap. The competition is certainly getting stiff.
For the Rev Speed event, competitors are broken into Open and Street classes depending on the level of modification and street legality of the car. From there, they are also grouped into categories based on the car itself. Although AWD cars like the Evo and GT-R have always been favorites, lighter FR cars like the S2000 and RX7 also do very well at Tsukuba. I'm sure you recognize the car in this photo as the ASM Tsukuba Special S2000, an engineering wonder and the NA Tsukuba record holder with lap times in the 57 second range.
Each of the four Cyber Evo corners is perfectly calibrated with Tein coilovers. Further assisting to keep the chassis stiff and the Cyber Evo in full control around each bend are an AP rollcage and a Cusco stabilizer bracket. At this point, you probably haven't had a chance to skim through our Fast Facts section for this car. Before you do, we should let you know that there isn't a typo. Part owner, Mr. Masamichi Takizawa really is a dentist. And from all the Japanese girls that we've seen, he's been slacking off a lot. That's probably because he's also an engineer who focused much of his attention on the powerplant that can be found under the hood of the Cyber Evo. The 4G63 internals are beefed up with a JUN 2.2L stroker kit, 272 cams, and a crankshaft.
Force-feeding the Cyber Evo's motor is a giant RX6 turbo matched with a wastegate and a custom intercooler, all from A'PEXi. The additional compressed air is compensated with a Bosch fuel pump, and 1,000cc injectors are managed by an HKS F-Con Pro. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, how could we forget the Hyper Ground and Hyper Voltage systems from Sun Auto. We could go on for two more pages just getting into the detailed craftsmanship that went into building the motor and driveline for this car, but we'll let you off the hook this time. Just rest assured knowing that three Cusco MZ Type RS limited-slip differentials are somewhere tucked away neatly.
Back at the Tsukuba Circuit, the Cyber Evo posted a best lap time of 55.801. That's a measly one second off of the HKS car. That might seem like nothing to you or us, but, driver Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada, assures us that on a high-speed technical course like Tsukuba, shaving even one second off your time is damn near impossible. Our time attack track at Button Willow Raceway here in the States is much different than Tsukuba. Our track is much larger, that's why you'll notice that everyone's lap times are almost double what a Tsukuba one would be. Cars that were built to run Tsukuba might face problems with the motor or transmission overheating because of the extended distance the cars need to be pushed. Last year, Tarzan drove Signal Auto's R34 Skyline to a 1:54.2 lap, almost four seconds faster than any competitor that day. This year, with the Cyber Evo, Tarzan blazed through the track and set the record with 1:48.906. That's purely insane if you ask us. Not to dismiss the fact that Tarzan was driving three different cars in the same class and had to literally jump out of one and into another just to make sure each one qualified.
Clearly the Cyber Evo has raised the bar in our Time Attack, and the Sun Auto staff never had a doubt.