Driver Blog: Matt Powers>> Here I Am Rock You Like A Hurricane

What’s up SpeedHunters! I hope you have been playing Sudoku and eating lots of protein over the past few months or something, because I’ve been working hard to blow your minds this year!

This year I’m very excited to drive the full Formula D season, in my same s14 from last year with some cool changes. First of all, I’m now a Team Need for Speed driver and I will be on Nitto tires.

These are big changes from my grassroots program last year, but I’m very excited and thankful for the support Need for Speed and Nitto are giving me and I think you guys should be too. Basically this means I’m going to rock you harder and more often than last year. In addition to FD I will be running All Star Bash and other grassroots events.

First off is the livery change for this year:

This is a huge change that took a lot of work, clearly. I knew that I wanted something much more exciting for this year, so I applied some rock to the Need for Speed theme and this is what we came up with.

What do you think? I think it looks like a fierce wild animal ready to attack, or someone on stage at a rock show. 

Next are the motor upgrades. Last year my car was pretty slow for FD standards, which really held me back. I’m still running a KA24DE for this year, but it has some huge improvements. It now has a Jim Wolf Technology rod/piston setup, Jim Wolf C78 prototype cams, a JSP turbo manifold, Part Shop MAX piping, and a gt3071 turbo with larger housings than last year. The car also now has an OS Giken 1st-3rd gear set and twin plate clutch, and a Jordan Innovations wiring harness. The motor was assembled by Big Tom (Tommy Roberts’ dad) and it rocks. We really turned the motor to 11 for this year. Girls love it.

p.s. this is horsepower at the hubs, not the flywheel as it says. Tuning was done at Jim Wolf Technology

So now that you’ve gotten the big updates, here are some pics from the build Sorry for the quality, I’m no Linhbergh.

Here is my front end all unbolted and with the motor out. I did this after a big crash at FD team drift last year as an effort not to have to get a new car. I love being able to stack some extensions together, and work on my car while standing 4 feet away. Maybe drinking a smoothie at the same time.

… and this is my motor right before I put it in, looking clean.

My car looks great without the fender on huh? This dent used to be called “thor.”

One time at all star bash my floor got so hot from the exhaust, that the bathroom rug I had for a floor mat caught on fire, so now I’ve done this

I made this gauge cluster at JSP, then my tach goes in the stock location still

Here’s the front end more together and my messy garage

Here is a shot of my old wiring harness. What a nightmare!

And this is the new wiring harness from Jordan Innovations. It uses circuit breakers instead of fuses. I specifically had him wire up the fuel pump separate from the ignition so I could label them “sex,” “drugs,” and the starter “rock and roll” to get me in the zone before driving haha.

I got some new rear fenders: BN sports! The rest of the car is DMAX.

I’m really excited about my new exhaust manifold from JSP. This is John Russakoff’s shop. He is also one of my favorite FD drivers.

This is my wastegate dump tube

Yes, it is a megaphone haha. Basically whenever I do anything on my car, I try to consider what is going to rock you the hardest, and this is what I came up with. Instead of asking “is this too much?” I now judge myself according to “Is this enough?” I’ve never seen anyone use a megaphone like this before. I also have one on the exhaust.

Here is the piping all made up from Part Shop MAX and a pic of the engine bay complete

…gauge panel and ebrake stuff

Same Gram Lights as last year, but now 18’s for the rear! I changed to these wheels from the lipped VSXX last year right before Irwindale. I gave up a lot of lip, stretch, and good fitment for these but overall these have way more impact

Also had some issues with my spline type lug nuts last year, so I got some new ones

This is Clark from JWT tuning my car. I love that he has to cover his ears up now while tuning my car.

These are some photos from my first test day

My friend/main pit crew guy Max, getting super jacked on an energy drink. We had a lot of these this weekend

Me, probably sitting in LA traffic

These are my gloves. The left one is actually JTP’s glove, and I wear it because he is my favorite drifter and I want to drive more like him.

Set up at the track

…at Willow Springs oval

Kinda cool photo where you can really see the layout of HTM in the background.

Some pictures from balcony:

Love the Nitto NT05 smoke!

Great first day…

So, that has been my life over the past month. I’ll be posting regularly on SpeedHunters now, and on my new website, (check it out!)

Really excited for this year and FD round 1 at Long Beach! See you there!




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Welcome onboard. Love the new look of the car.


Holy**** that's amazing!! One of the best livery's in a long time I think!


Awesome stuff!



Car came out A W E S O M E, seriously :)

Good luck this year, but I think that you don't need too much of it after seeing your entries and this piece of art with lime wheels ;)



Car came out A W E S O M E, seriously :)

Good luck this year but I think that you don't need much of it after seeing your entries and this piece of art with lime wheels ;)


car looks better than ever


New look is awesome Matt!!



Car came out A W E S O M E, seriously :)

Good luck this year but I think that you don't need much of it after seeing your entries and this piece of art with lime wheels ;)


love the car

10x better


Awesome car and still try to be different with your KA24 under the hood!

Good luck at the FD competition!


Damn, awesome dude!


wow got to say i'm really excting about team need for speed and great drivers that can send the crowd crazy as well ........... great stuff u did to your can;'t wait to see it punishing the pitch .


Needs more pentagrams but overall it's cool.


Hi, awesome build, extreme cars are definitely the way to go. How come you decided to stick with the KA24 lump and didn't drop an SR20DET in?


I understand the need for sponsorship and all that, but DAMN, my fave car got ugly. And it looks high now. I know its not, but it is high compared to before.

It was always good cheering for the underdog in FD, now this car just kinda blends in with the rest.

Long live Tommy Roberts Onevia, my new favourite.


This reminds of when the Vertex S14 was bought by the Drift Avengers.


"What we do is if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? These go to eleven, its one louder isn't it?"

Cant wait to see what you can do with this reworked drift missile!


Good post,Matt!We will see you on the podium this year! Cheers! :)))))


Naaaaaaaaaaa !!! What have you done to the S14 ! I liked the old green/bashed/stickered :'(

Anyway, it's a cool paint job, the best in High Leved Drift, and I understand you've to do that for your sponsors...but...I miss the old one :( like I miss Brian's S14... Seriously, what's up with these cool S14. Both of the coolest S14 are dead now :'(

I think I just died a little inside... This is just terrible!


I usually have nothing but disdain when it comes to Formula D cars, but this looks bad ass.


aww... I really like your car when it had vsxx's... it really gave the car its character.

but its looking good still nonetheless


Rad! I love it! Nice motor work. Can't wait to see what the S14 does this year. Good luck and rock their face off!


Best of luck to you this year matt

but, not enough pictures with Nate jumping out of the back of your car this time


clean ass s14


WOW!! ENVY!!!!!


First of all, lol the Linbergh comment.....haha

Second, Matt you fucking rock !!! Show all these SPE (self proclaimed engineers) out there what a slammed S14 with a solid KA24 can do !!! Best of luck to you !


stoked to see more in formula d! good luck this weekend! melt some faces.


Woohoo Powers!! :D Screw anyone who's gonna stop supporting you just because you aren't "grassroots enough." It's not where you're at, but where you came from for that. :3 Keep up the flair and enjoy the season!! Maybe I'll get lucky enough to see you in action live. ;)


yea youre s14 just isnt as cool as it used to be. no more crazy low ride height and super wide vsxx's.

those were the things that made the car famous.


Good read! :) Cool new livery, and some really nice powerz from the KA. Here comes the SCHMOKE!!! :)


so let down. sorry matt. loved your car before, but its just too much.


cool nuts!will deff. bring some characters to FD!attack the big corporate guys like no other and the huge rock crawler status cars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good luck MATTY CAKES!LOL.


sell out. look how high the front end is! is it just me, or is the body kit mounted lower to make the car look lower, and no more lipped VSXX for "impact" RIIIIIIIIGHT. the ricers have lost faith in thier jesus. what are they to do now.




this car sucks now, shits not even desktop worthy anymore.

Lets all jock tommy roberts s13, hes now the better half.


That thing looks like shit man!!


That S14 is pure win !!!


ayo Matt! not sure if youll answer this but are you going to NJ this year?


looks pretty sweet dude! nice writeup as well


Best shit happening for formula D in a while. Keeping the spirit alive!


also i forgot to add im lovin the new livery and its coo your s14s still low.


Welcome and love the new layout on the S14. Can't wait to see this thing rip at Rd1..


KA ftmfw


new livery is sick.


it looks gay without mirrors... put some on immediately


Ken Block replica?


That S14 is nice I love the wheels im pretty much a silvia lover i love those gramlights!


Are we only allowed to say nice things?


I can't wait to see Matt drive the car into the Irwindale bank at gear 11.


Wow impressive wish you showed up that fresh on tech day so I could drool over it lol.


oh yea

second 1 for desktop


Good luck this year!!!! the car is dope.... the graphics are very very original!!!


Matt's here to stay :D

And his car look rad!

Mattley Crue FTW


Greatest Car EVER!!!!!!!!!


fun write up, your commentary made me lol a few times. car looks colorful and knarly. good luck this year!




too.. much... win... gunna... *faint* x_X


Even though I prefer his look to his current one, at least this will be injecting some well needed cool factor into the limp Formula D.

I wish you all the luck for the oncoming year!


Crying fanboys need to STFU and die.

This car is awesome.


hey matt, are you going to all stages of englishtown!?

love the new shit.

lol@people disowning the car now. get real.


Drift Livery - This is how you do it.


this car is full of win!!! pic 2 as a desktop please


thanks guys! Just got back from the Long Beach track!

Im very excited about the new livery. I love the car more than ever and its by far the most exciting its ever been, which is what Ive always been going for.

And yes, Ill be doing full season (NJ included), which Im definitely looking forward too!


it's funny how people grow up to adapt to things they spend most of their time elusively bashing.good luck this season.


hey guys - I just got back a little while ago, and grabbed some video.

follow the link on my name to check a quick clip of one of Matt's runs.

car looks / sounds / smells / tastes awesome!


go matt! i wasn't the biggest fan of the livery at first but i think its growing on me. the old look was getting old anyway. i'm sure the first time i see you drive it ill love it. its so funny how people are actually complaining about how the car is "high" now, yet its still lower then like 90% of the grassroots jdm dorifto guys out there. keep it sick in 2010!






I have been wondering what a full vinyl wrap like this would cost the average person. Someone to design it and I would install it myself. I have heard is as much as a paint job between 2 and 3 thousand. Maybe someone knows who to get a hold of or a website...........


Oh and by the way I am digging the new look and love the florescent wheels !!!


Dear Mr. Powers,

The car looks awesome. Please continue to have fun with drifting. Crank the tunes to 11 and KILL IT this season.


Mr. Sapp.


I kept the secret man. i hope to see you guys in Long Beach. Sd Representer to da fullest!!!!!!!!!!


Loved being a part of the build, thanks for the shout out Mattycakes!

This car turned out incredible, and fuckin ayyyy can Matt pedal it around the track ~ on-speed with the top dudes, massive angle, and tons of smoke!!

Really excited for this season :)




Matt you're my hero. I would buy a shirt of the unicorn sticker in the fourth pic right away.


End of season shoot @ SD Wild Animal Park is gonna be off the chain.


I rock the livery....Good luck in this years season.


Car looks sick dude!

But I will always love the OG version of it. There was just something about seeing your beat up ass S14 with gangster ass fitment compete aggressively up against cars that had thousands and thousands of dollars put into them. You're still one of my favorite FD drivers though! Can't wait to see how well you do with the new powerplant!



Love the new look and congrats on the sponsors, as for all the haters this car is still sittin really low and the wheels are sick. What makes you all think matt builds his car for you approval?


Good work man. Cars looks sick. WOuld love to do a feature on it for Motive DVD/DSPORT DVD


Matt Powers rock!!!!

Can't wait to see ya at Long Beach!


great to have you here!! the new look of the car is very cool.. Go Mattley Crue!! LOL


matt! you are my favourite FD driver! I want you to win it all this year or the next or the one after that! etc.. i want to become like you!! lol.. start off grassroots and then if lucky enough.. get sponsors from events! your car and you have a unique swag!


I just creamed my pants 36 times in a row!!! aw!!! so freaking awesome!


so fkn cool


GL this season!


WHAT a livery! That's cooler than school.


Hey Matt I love your new setup and serious dedication to your passion =)

Good luck for 2010 with your new sponsors!

Harry (Nitto Tires) and I had a good dinner + laugh checking out your new current setup during dinner tonight.

We shall meet soon and drift side by side G Phen Club


next year it'll have an ls1, i called it.

good luck



Just amazing, i just LOOOOOVE that car.


Just want to say ur car is awesome matt!!!


About time someone sponsored you...Looks Great BTW!


I really like the livery, i can't wait to see it in person.

You better keep it up at 11~!


Could ya make the first pic as a wallpaper? that would be awesome :D


Am I seeing things or are you running 17's up front and 18's in the rear? Will that setup provide a benefit?


Love it Matt!!!

Keep it going, see you in Long Beach!


coolest car ever!!! Good luck!!!


Love the 80's inspired livery and all the spinal tap references haha. The shift pattern sticker had me rollin', Best of luck.




Sweet video and pics!!! You rock!!!! :)



GOOD SH*T!! Looks fun and pro status!


love that the playing field will be leveled with some more grassroots guys coming into this thing. Matt Powers automatically wins the hottest vinyl contest this season!!!


My favorite FD car this year S chassis all day everyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

106 isn't up yet =\


Enough groupies in the bandwagon?