Last week I stopped by Gialamas Technical Innovations to see how Matt Powers’ 2012 Formula Drift car was coming along. However I was greeted by not one but three S14 chassis, each in various stages of assembly.
This is the original chassis that he learned to drift in, which has now turned into a pirate ship.
And here’s his new in-progress, 2012 season Formula Drift car. The team has spared no expense in building this S-Chassis for competition.
The front of the old car revealed a heartless shell.
The new home of the LS motor will be in the 2012 Formula Drift car.
The LS7 pretty much remains the same from last year, with just a few minor upgrades for power and reliability.
What a jumbled mess of wires and gadgetry!
Here’s the roll cage in the old car that saved Matt from serious injury in the impact with John Russakoff at New Jersey last year. He was lucky to get away with just a bruised knee.
This little love tap was from Darren McNamara last year in Las Vegas. Every ding and dent has a story behind it.
No more side impact injuries here. Costa is very particular about not wanting his driver to get hurt, especially because speeds in professional drifting are getting higher and higher. The outside bars are made of mild steel tubing that is bendable which will absorb a side impact. The inside is super strong chrome alloy to stop the impact in its tracks. A very cool design.
The inside of the old car looked more like a time machine than a drift car.
The new car has a collapsible steering column so just in case of a high speed front impact Matt won’t get impaled by the steering shaft.
The sound deadening was completely stripped out to save weight and Costa is planning on painting the interior as well.
Matt is very proud of the fact that he did a lot of the fabrication on the old car, like this hole he made with a hacksaw for the Accusump system.
Costa makes much cleaner holes and is a master fabricator.
This was very interesting to me. Just this one part of the car shows the three stages of prep. The original pin-striping from the factory still exists under the wide-body quarter panels. Then there is some over-spray of the green color that everyone loved so much – and last but not least the Team Need For Speed livery.
To think this car was stock at one point with one only modification: a spin-turn knob. That is all Matt had at his first drift event.
The yellowing of the fiberglass is due to all the tire smoke. To think I enjoy breathing this in when I am track-side. Tsk tsk.
Parts are just thrown into the pirate ship as it is turned into a storage unit for now.
The lead weights are still inside but aren’t bolted down any more. The new car will be much lighter and Matt will be running on skinnier 245mm-width tires as opposed to the 265mm-width tires he ran last year.
The third S14 is Matt’s World Drift Series China car. It too has a LS motor in it.
Matt will be representing Team USA again this year in China. There was quite a bit of work to be done on this car too.
Matt took the pirate theme quite literally for his demonstration car!
Soon this car will be wrapped with vinyl and ready for the streets of Long Beach. Make sure you stay tuned for an in-depth full feature on this drift party S14.
@Bubba-LMAO why are even posting fail child. This is obviously a write-up dedicated solely on Matt Powers, a DRIFTER. Stop wasting your life and just click the back button fool. On another note... I cant wait to see Mattycakes laying down some solid runs this whole year. Ill be looking foward to chillin with u agin bro in Jersey. **Thumbs up**
I went to my first D1 event last year at road atlanta. was truely a blast. Its awesome to see stuff like this being covered. powers is a awesome driver and i will continue to support the drift world even as a honda guy. who knows maybe one day ill find RWD chassis and explore this realm myself. good luck this year powers!
Can drifting just die already. I never liked it and never will. I dont give a crap about how good someone can make a car go sideways, I want to see who can make a car go the fastest.
love the new chassis!! costa realy did a masterpiece of work!! good luck Mr Powers! can't wait for some serious action!! ;)
Love the roll cage - in progress of designing the cage for my mustang and a friend cobra - this idea with the back " v " bars makes a lot of sense just had never thought much of it b/c of the normal " x " for the back. Love Matt Power's drive for the sport - great car !!
Is there any way to buy some of his old sheet metal from last year, I would LOVE some cheetah print or zebra print metal hanging in my room. HUGE Matt Powers fan and supporter. Cant wait to go see him 'do work' at FD Palm Beach, FL again this year.
His original car, when it was green, was amazing. The new car just sums up everything that is wrong with drifting these days.
MotoIQ has a more in-depth look at how the cage is made. It's amazing to see how much work Costas puts into it! http://www.motoiq.com/magazine_articles/id/2464/matt-powers-2012-formula-d-ride-part-2.aspx
i lost a ton of interest when i saw the LS. I'm not hating on the motor, but i'd have loved it if he kept his Ka. i know v8 is the only way to stay competitive in formula D now, but a million v8s arent gonna sound as good as v8s mixed with growling inline, v, and flat 6's (that sexy-ass porche!) and inline 4's. I cant wait to see what his car looks like when its done though, they're always sexy
Those nascar style door bars will spear the driver! molly welded on to steel is bad enough, but pointing bars straigt into the drivers torso! take it out and join it into the main hoop and a pillar!!!
Finally someone built a proper roll cage for a drifting car. Putting something to collapse before the impact reaches the actual cage is just the right thing to do. From engineers point of view that cage is spot on for stiffness and safety. Next step would be replacing those collapsing tubes with a carbon structure like they usually use in European touring cars.
Its really a shame he can't keep the original car together, and only take it out for demos, and shows. Like Aasbo does with the FSR Supra. I mean LS motors and s14 shells are pretty cheap these days.. It sad to see the car ripped apart like that. Its a legend in its own right. Has so much history and character. I mean I know most people wont notice a difference but those of us that know..
Wait, so... explain something to me, cause I don't undertstand this; When Matt went KA -> LS, everyone rode his kawk like it was the coolest thing in the world, but when Walker Wilkerson (who everyone rode hard) went SR -> LS, everyone hated it. I don't understand. I'm not a huge supporter of either driver, but I understand why they do what they do with the things that they love.
I love Matt Powers. His car has so much personality behind it. It's a shame to see it go. Hopefully he'll put the same amount of personality into this one.