This is probably the one car that impressed me the most at this year’s Art Of Speed.
It’s a tiny little fun project that is trying to punch way above its weight and in the process perfectly expresses the drive and craving that our Malaysian car friends have when it comes to getting themselves noticed.
Of course, having a turbocharger sitting a foot above your engine will attract attention no matter what, but just like I was you’ll be happy to discover that this Daihatsu Mira packed serious substance.
Starting with its engine, no longer sitting at its kei car 660cc limit, but stroked and bored to 1,000cc thanks to a one-off custom iron block that the owner cast himself. Sitting within is a billet bottom end with 80mm pistons that had to be specially chosen to nail the compression ratio just right.
That’s because the HKS GT turbocharger will be supplying 3-bar (43psi) of boost, which together with the 10,000rpm redline, should yield the 400hp, which the owner believes is possible. Whether this is achievable remains to be proven, but I’ll give the guy the benefit of the doubt because I really want him to hit his goal. He’s going to be running his little boosted 3-cylinder on pure ethanol too, so that should bring a few more horsepower into the equation as well as reducing the chances of detonation.
Like any properly engineered drag car, inlet cooling is down to a charge cooler, and the way it has been positioned has allowed the piping itself to be kept nice and short.
The execution of the whole car was spotless, from the custom overfenders to the carbon fiber accents, the paint and the way it was all screwed together.
The front billet wheels are shod with Hoosier drag slicks which will have the job of transmitting all the might of the compact motor to the strip.
I really liked the radiator placement, which saw it get moved into the cabin, positioned right against the driver’s side rear fender intake.
One peek through the polycarbonate rear screen reveals the complete setup, which even has a massive air guide to dump the hot air that has passed through the core under the car.
A little electric water pump in the passenger footwell helps things along.
With everything that that wasn’t necessary having been stripped and gutted out it means that this is one ridiculously lightweight car, well under the 640kgs of the stock car. With such little mass you do have to wonder if it will have issues with traction. Usually light is good, but too light can start to bring diminishing returns.
You’d usually see skinny tires like this on the front of a drag car!
More weight has been saved thanks to polycarbonate windows on the sides.
The owner is still finalising the setup for the car and has just finished installing a custom straight cut gear set for the manual transmission.
To balance the weight of the driver, the custom fuel tank has been positioned where the passenger seat once used to reside. I really hope the owner manages to get the results he has obviously carefully calculated, and needless to say we can’t wait to see video coverage of it at the track.
Best of luck Team Buraq!
Dino Dalle Carbonare