NO ROCKET ROUND HERE

NZ Performance Car - - Contens -

WELD TECH­NIQUES’ HAND­CRAFTED SCION FR-S IN ALL ITS CANDY-DRIP­PING GLORY

It’s never easy to stand out when mod­i­fy­ing a popular chas­sis like the ZN6, but Ja­pan- based Weld has done just that with its hand­crafted FR- S build

When Toy­ota, Subaru and Scion launched the 86, BRZ and FR-S in 2012 it ba­si­cally lit a fire un­der the af­ter­mar­ket in­dus­try’s arse — which re­sponded in a very pos­i­tive way with an end­less stream of parts be­ing de­vel­oped and re­leased, and demo cars rolling through shop doors the world over.

But since then many of those shop builds have seen an al­most repet­i­tive for­mula, es­pe­cially when it comes to aes­thetics. That was un­til Ja­panese tun­ing house Weld Tech­niques re­leased its candy-coated wide­body Scion FR-S. The first alarm bell to ring when we checked out the build sounded when we re­al­ized Weld had gone to the trou­ble of im­port­ing a left-hand-drive USDM Scion. But when you’re try­ing to top the build of your 2008 Tokyo Auto Sa­lon–win­ning JZX100 D1GP car, you need to pull out all the stops. “We bought the car di­rectly from USA Scion in Chicago, early 2013. It was brand new and fully stock. We started to strip the car right af­ter it ar­rived,” Weld owner At­sushi Ito ex­plained.

There would be no Rocket Bunny kit bolted on this body, and over the next six months un­der Ito’s guid­ance the team from Nishino Body Re­pair hand­crafted a set of steel fend­ers, first us­ing wire to cre­ate the shape, then mas­sag­ing panel steel over the top. The cus­tom work con­tin­ued on the front bumper, with ex­tra swage lines added to com­ple­ment the Vol­tex car­bon un­der­tray, which can also be found on the rear.

The side pro­file tells the true story of the ex­tent of the cus­tom body­work. The bodylines on the cus­tom rear guards mir­ror the fac­tory body line up top, and in­tro­duce a new lower line that swoops down at the front of the rear guard, and then car­ries along the steel side skirt to meet the front guard.

Six months af­ter the work be­gan, House of Kolor Candy Ap­ple Red was ap­plied over a sil­ver base coat in mul­ti­ple lay­ers, as that fin­ish best show­cases all the shapes of the body­work.

But this car is far from a one-trick pony, and the en­gine bay is fight­ing the body for at­ten­tion, and do­ing a damn good job of it. This is an area of­ten over­looked by Ja­panese builders, who seem to fol­low the phi­los­o­phy of treat­ing the en­gine bay like the work­room, and ig­nor­ing the de­tail as long as it makes the num­bers. But not Ito-San, who de­cided to keep within the orig­i­nal designer’s plans and forgo adding boost, in­stead opt­ing for a set of in­di­vid­ual throt­tle bod­ies mounted on a cus­tom cross­ram man­i­fold. “Of course, the metal fend­ers are the ap­peal point.

But this car is far from a one-trick pony, and the en­gine bay is fight­ing the body for at­ten­tion, and do­ing a damn good job of it

It took a lot of time to shape the new lines of the car. It’s like build­ing a new body. But I also re­ally like how the en­gine looks now. The in­de­pen­dent throt­tles are gor­geous, and the sound is truly unique,” Ito-san said.

The throt­tles are 4AGE items, pol­ished to per­fec­tion, with bil­let short-stack trum­pets, JZX100 380cc in­jec­tors and a cus­tom cross man­i­fold. Cur­rently the per­fectly pol­ished block re­mains stock, but thanks to a set of Trust head­ers, a cus­tom ex­haust and Amuse muf­flers — all in ti­ta­nium — the tuners at Trust were able to ex­tract 164kW (220hp) from the Vi-PEC ECU. That’s not the end of it, though, and we were happy to hear the en­gine will soon be pulled and a 2.2 stro­ker kit will be added, along with cus­tom high-com­pres­sion pis­tons and a great dose of head port­ing to bump the power out­put well above what it now makes.

But a car like this is not about mak­ing bru­tal power, it’s more of a les­son in hand­craft­ing some­thing that stands out from the cur­rent FRP­coated clones. We sus­pect we have not seen the last of the project, which just goes to show that qual­ity will al­ways win over quan­tity.

But a car like this is not about mak­ing bru­tal power, it’s more of a les­son in hand­craft­ing some­thing that stands out from the cur­rent FRP-coated clones

Plenty of old-school tech­niques have been em­ployed in the en­gine bay, like the pol­ished-al­loy hard-line fuel lines along­side plenty of pol­ished or chrome com­po­nen­try. The cus­tom in­ner wheel tubs are also a nice fea­ture that are kept bare to bet­ter show­case them

SHOES

WHEELS: 19x10-inch (+5) Work XSA 04C (R) 19x11.5-inch (-30) Work XSA 04C TYRES: (F) 225/35R19 Yoko­hama Ad­van AD08-R (R) 275/30R19 Yoko­hama Ad­van AD08-R

The wheels were a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Work Wheels and Weld, with Ito op­er­at­ing along­side the Work team to cre­ate the forged one-piece de­sign, which is now avail­able to the public as the Work XSA 04C in 17-, 18-, 19- , and 20-inch sizes and both step lip and full re­verse. Color op­tions in­clude cyrstal sil­ver, or black cut clear with an­odized lips. For siz­ing info and cus­tom colour op­tions check­out work-wheels.co.jp

The fit­ment on this car is se­ri­ously on point, and stays this way even on the daily com­mute. To en­sure the steel guards would not be blown apart on the first pot­hole, a set of JIC Magic coilovers were cus­tom sprung with min­i­mal droop and 12kg front and 18kg rear springs DRIVE GEAR­BOX: Fac­tory

CLUTCH: Fac­tory FLY­WHEEL: Fac­tory

DIFF: Fac­tory LSD

The car­bon Vol­tex wing is se­cured by two cen­tre goose-neck sup­ports, which are re­in­forced on the un­der­side of the boot lid by two lay­ers of car­bon fi­bre

A se­ri­ous brak­ing pack­age sits be­hind the 19s in the form of project U monoblock six- and four-pot calipers, and two-piece 380mm and

355mm ro­tors which have Weld’s sig­na­ture tribal de­sign CNC cut for vents. Crazy, yes, but a very sub­tle per­sonal touch

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