Car Feature>> <br/>walker Wilkerson’s Formula D S13.4

One of Formula D’s best looking cars just got a little gnarlier over the offseason and although style is still on the agenda, Walker Wilkerson is looking to be competitive. This means some drastic changes have been performed since Irwindale, many will be of dismay to purists, but this new build might just put one of 2011’s “hardest chargers” onto some podiums.

While the purple-disco-spots-on-purple-disco-paint livery remains, the first thing most of you have likely noticed is the new nose section on the car. Although some, myself and Walker included, might have some minor reservations about the conversion there’s no arguing that add it adds a little more aggressiveness to the character of the car… a theme continued under the hood…

Surprise, surprise – a 7.0L V8 now occupies the bay which formerly housed a highly strung SR. Being competitive these days requires not only power, but torque by the boatloads and this is a proven winning combination, just look at last year’s champ. Even in stock form the LS7 makes 505hp / 475lb-ft at the flywheel, numbers which Walker essentially replicated (roughly 500hp / 500lb-ft) at the wheels with the help of just a few readily available bolt-ons and a tune.

Inside the cockpit things are fairly standard fare for a drift car with a few additions and updates from last year. A few custom pieces of sheet metal have found their way into the cabin including a new transmission tunnel cover and the-soon-to-be-the-in-thing-in-drifting that Walker refers to as “the mailbox”. While it may look silly, the mailbox is essentially a scatter shield for the inboard mounted Accusump system. Should something go wrong and the system were to rupture the mailbox prevents Walker from being burned to death by an oil fire.

Walker’s pretty juiced about the car, as you can see here, and why shouldn’t he be? For a young kid like Walker to have placed 18th in last year’s championship with a privateer car powered by an SR20DET is astonishing. This new setup should give him a fighting chance.

But before we go back to look at all the bells and whistles let’s take a minute to admire the spot-on gaudy styling of the car. With corporate money and sponsorships flooding into drifting it seems that many drivers end up piloting moving billboards rather than expressions of their taste. You have to admire that Walker has the balls to compete in what many people would take one look at and write off as “a girl’s car.”

Yet at the same time the aggressive body and low ride height are about as masculine as drift cars come. The mis-matched day glow eighteen by nine and a half Gramlights put the finishing touches on the outside of the car.

Lurking inside the barrels of the difficult to photograph wheels are a surprisingly straightforward brake setup consisting of R32 GT-R clappers front and rear, closing up on rotors from Powered by Max up front and Brembo in the rear. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As I mentioned earlier the LS7 engine is truly state of the art from the factory and remains largely stock aside from some internals from Comp (cam, valvetrain, pushrods etc.) accompanied by a few bolt-ons from FAST (intake manifold, throttle body and fuel rails) thrown in the mix. The engine is mounted using a Fueled Racing kit and the car also utilizes the brand’s long-tube headers which lead to a custom exhaust.

Those of you that are familiar with the car from last year will have undoubtedly noticed that the front end conversion isn’t merely cosmetic as the formerly tubbed front end has been discarded in favor of a new tube skeleton. With nothing left in the fender well to restrict the extreme wheel movement allowed by the Era1 knuckles the inside of the front wheels have now been introduced to SPL tension rods and begun to self-clearance.

Here we see the cooler that Walker can use to store a couple of cold ones, or hook up his cool suit to, depending on his mood. Just beyond the cooler you can get a sneak peak at the aforementioned “mailbox” – pretty rad huh?

These days a STACK dash is almost the defacto must-have for competition vehicles in this segment. Although they aren’t cheap, they offer all the vitals in one easy to read display that’s fractions of the cost of many competitors. In addition to cost, STACK claim that most drivers react more predictably to the movement of an analog quartz stepper gauge than that of a fully digital display.

The Long shifter not only looks cool, but places the throw reasonably close to the both the hydraulic and conventional handbrake levers. Just beyond the shifter you can see a very clean switch panel wired up with a Painless harness that eventually terminates into a MoTec ECU.

Initial driving impressions from Walker were very good and I think he may have been being modest with his review of the car. His new found power is going to open up new strategies during tandem battles and I’m excited to see how he muscles the car around.

Look at that steering angle, I can just hear the tension rods grinding away!

7.0L LS7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 engine; Comp Cam, pushrods, rocker arms, titanium retainers, valve spring seat, valve stem seals; FAST intake manifold, 102mm throttle body, billet fuel rails; PRC dual valve springs; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, A1000 fuel pump, fuel filter; Accusump oil accumulator; GReddy oil cooler; Koyorad aluminum radiator; Fueled Racing tubular headers, motor mount kit, special Moroso oil pan; Garage Autohero custom 4″ exhaust
Engine Management:
MoTec ECU tuned by John Reed of Portland Speed Industries; Painless wiring harness
Suspension and Chassis:
A’PEXi S1 coil overs; Ikeya Formula tie rods; OEM S14 front lower control arms, tie rod ends; Era1 modified drop knuckles front and rear; Nismo Power Brace; SPL tension rods, toe arms, rear upper control arms, traction rods, solid subframe bushings; Tanabe sway bars; energy suspension steering rack bushings; aluminum steering bushing; Garage Autohero custom tubular front and rear end construction, Formula D compliant roll cage
G-Force GSR dog box transmission; Exedy twin disc clutch; Fueled Racing driveshaft, transmission mount; KAAZ R32 GT-R 2-way LSD; OEM R32 GT-R axles, rear hubs
R32 GT-R front and rear calipers, rear e-brake drum; Powered by Max front rotors; Brembo rear rotors
Bmagic Kouki S14 front bumper, S13.4 conversion fenders, 50mm rear over fenders; BN Sports Type 2 side skirts, Type 3 rear bumper; Seibon carbon hood, carbon doors, carbon trunk lid; 326 Power roof spoiler; graphics by Ian at Factory 83
Wheels and Tires:
Rays GramLight 57D 18×9.5+12; Falken RT615K 235/40/18 (F), 255/40/18 (R)
OMP Pista seat (driver); TRS seat (passenger); Nardi 350mm Deep Corn steering wheel; STACK gauge cluster; custom transmission tunnel cover and Accusump “mailbox”

Look out FD, this man is coming for the title! On behalf of Speedhunters I’d like to wish Walker good luck this weekend, we’ll be watching you!

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Pics 1 & 7 desktops?

I like the more detailed articles, good work Sean :)


Why no shots of the mentioned mailbox?! I wanna see.


another fucking v8 zzz


I heard Mark Panic wired in the MoTeC


Awesome spotlight! You guys were serious about stepping things up


Car looks amazing!!! ... nice work! ... and the coolers idea its sick cool!!!!


surprised at how basic this car is..... i really hope he get podium. he's a true man of the "not a single fuck given" mentality


Sick sick sick sick sick man


formula d - where cool cars go to die


WALKER!!!!!!!!!!! Best of luck to him and all the other NW drifters.


Yawwwwnn. Really well written and informative, just a shame the subject is so goddam boring. How many more times are we gonna see features about LS1 powered S-Bodies?


What is your camera setup?!


"the LS7 engine is truly state of the art from the factory" Sarcasm? It puts out massive power, but pushrods being state of the art?


all the v8's in formula d make me sad....its like the nascar of the drift world....


Desktops PLEASE!


An engine's architecture has nothing to do with it's being state of the art. Dual overhead cams were being used in the mid 1930s. Pushrod V8s didn't really start showing up until the early 1950s. Granted pushrods don't make it state of the art (neither would multiple cams) but the materials used, engine management systems and flow technology to develop an amazing set of cylinder heads is.


Smells like Team Burst minus the V8, but oh well, gotta stay competitive I guess..... The Lisa Frank speckle will capture the light in an interesting way during night pix.


ls7 and mismatch colored gramlights.... just like matt powers car... super original build hahaha


And if I am not mistaken, he failed to qualify as well..where as he made it to the round of 16 with his SR in the event last year.


That to me looks like an LS-X engine, not LS7. But then again could be just an intake system from LSX


Believe it or not it takes a while for me to get my itchy trigger finger back in the grove. It wont take


v8 vs v8 = money vs money, what so proud?


dumpmestic engine... snooze......


@ D1RGE.EXE  - thanks, it was nice meeting you today!

@TR - you're absolutely right, thanks for answering that one for me. The modern LS engine isn't your grandpa's OHV engine.

@Andrew - the LSX is a slightly different engine than the LS7, but there are some easily spottable tell-tales (like red valve covers) that you can quickly spot to identify the LSX. Furthermore, the LSX is actually supplied from GM without an intake manifold at all, although they do have an optional long-runner manifold for a carb setup. What you're seeing is the "LSX R" on the intake, which is the name of the aftermarket piece by FAST. Google "LSX engine" and look at the pics and you'll see what I mean.


Love the exterior.. not sure of the interior @ engine


Matt Powers wannabe. this guy used to be cool when i thought he was gonna keep grass roots drifting alive in FD with the SR power and mostly street themed 240 but then guess what happens in the off season he goes through and does a fully race built 240 with like Sean said surprise surprise another run of the mill boring as hell LS7. i'm an american and it's sad to say but i would much rather follow other drifting leagues around the world such as D1NZ or BDC rather than FD simply because of cars like this that pop up every year that make FD SOOO boring because one of the biggest reasons i watch pro drifting is the cars and nowadays they are so unoriginal and cookie cutter in FD that it's just unbearable to watch year after year. it really is turning into NASCAR just give it a few more years and every car in FD will have a V8.


Thank god the ls engines havnt caught on here in nz. How boring is having all the cars run the same engines. how bowt a bit of creativity. KEEP DRIFTING FUN


Haters gonna hate


truth is i didnt like the engine swap on a Japanese car..shouldve stayed with the SR20det. over all big fan of this car! thumbs up