What is Japanese, has a German engine from the factory and is now on its way to being powered by a motor that American racing fans have enjoyed firsthand on many occasions? Daigo Saito’s NASCAR V8-swapped Mk V Toyota Supra drift car, of course.
Since we’re talking about a drifting champion in both Japan (D1 GP) and the U.S. (Formula Drift), you can imagine why Daigo Saito might be short on time every now and then.
Perhaps this is the reason for which the descriptions of his Instagram posts are usually brief. However, who needs too many words when the contents are out of this world? For one, the post embedded below shows one of the athlete’s latest projects, namely the NASCAR V8-gifted A90 Supra mentioned in the intro.
Saito is a master of engine swaps, being one of the first, if not the first, enthusiasts who fitted the Mk V Supra with its predecessor’s infamous 2JZ 3.0-liter straight-six back in 2019 when the sportscar was revealed.
NASCAR V8s? The pro drifter is no stranger to them, as he’s recently completed a project that involved shoehorning a Dodge motor of the sort into the original Hakosuka iteration of the GT-R.
However, the athlete is keeping it in the family for this Supra, since the Mk V is getting a TRD (Toyota Racing Development) NASCAR V8. At this point, the road car has been stripped to a bare shell and it looks like the engine was simply placed in the empty bay for the main photo.
You can also notice the Supra in the other two pics, with one of them showcasing the new front suspension. Now, drivers like Saito sometimes build drift machines outside of competition rules, and while this is probably the case with the Toyota sitting before us, it doesn’t make the monster less cool—just imagine the soundtrack!
Remember Toyota’s official NASCAR Xfinity Series Mk V Supra racer?
If this story sounds a bit familiar, it could be because, back in 2019, Toyota USA started campaigning a Supra stock car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (the effort is ongoing). This is the tier that sits below the NASCAR Cup queen series where Toyota uses a Camry.
However, while that is a racecar that’s as far from the showroom model as possible, the production body of Daigo Saito’s Mk V Supra drift car means this will appeal to a larger audience.