Every time I arrive at Tsukuba Circuit, and irrespective of what event is happening, I like to do a quick walk through the paddock, just so I can make a mental map of what’s present and figure out a plan of attack. It’s an approach that I’ve found works well, and you really need one when there are so many shoot-worthy cars but a limited amount of time to get them shot.
At the recent Attack Tsukuba event, one that I added to my mental ‘must spotlight’ list is a car that we’ve actually seen before, but has now been truly transformed.
I think the last time I saw RWB Phoenix it was high on a lift at Promodet in Saitama, either having a fresh engine fitted or a failed one dropped out – I can’t remember which it was. What I do know is that the car gets used hard on track, and it’s been fixed up plenty of times over the years.
The car’s new aero, which debuted at Idlers’ event at Motegi last year, is very serious. Voltex was called in to design a package that would help the old 911 carry far more speed into the corners at a variety of tracks, and the visual result is stunning.
It’s definitely got the grunt to match, too. In fact, I was talking to Yoko-san, a member of the RWB family since the very beginning, and she told me the car now makes more power than Nakai’s RWB Rotana, so we’re talking upwards of 650hp.
The 3.8L motor feeds a big single turbocharger through a pair of equal-length manifolds. The forced induction setup is beautifully symmetrical and hangs low, easily visible as a large portion of the lower bumper section has been removed to also accommodate the diffuser. Look closely and you’ll see the screamer pipe that dumps gated gasses straight onto the ground.
The slant-cut exhaust is only about 10-inches long, sprouting straight from the hot side of the turbo. Because who needs silencers, right?
Like most RWB cars, Phoenix boasts a serious amount of tire width – 275-section front and 335-section rear Hoosier slicks. So the grip is definitely there to be exploited.
And that’s where the Voltex aero comes in. Meanwhile, the doors feature integrated mirrors and are super light.
The cabin is all about function; there’s nothing in here that doesn’t need to be.
It might be hard to gauge how large the rear carbon wing actually is, but believe me when I say it’s significant. Take a look at the extra support brackets required to stabilize the whole thing.
Idlers events and time attack sessions like these remind me of what RWB should always be about – extreme, built-for-the-track interpretations of an iconic model that hurt purists’ feelings the world over. Now Phoenix has managed to take that whole approach and evolve it tenfold.
Do you like what you see?
Dino Dalle Carbonare