Everything is bigger in Texas : burgers, engines, cars etc. And knowing that Texas is the home of events like Tx2K or Texasmile, I’m pretty sure it’s home for some insane power figures.
Take this 2003 Lexus IS 300 owned by Matt Owen. First of all, I would like to say that Matt has been working on engines and cars since he was a teenager, when he started with lawnmower engines. He built a Honda del Sol with a swapped and turbocharged engine in his parent’s garage. Later on, he started working at a local shop specialised in high performance Toyota models, including MR2s. Matt has owned since then 9 Supras and at least 30 MR2s, most of them heavily modified. Nowadays, Matt works at T1 Race Development. He takes care of engine building and fabrication for GT-Rs making up to 1800 hp. Like I said, everything is bigger in Texas.
He decided to go a “little” unconventional for the engine build, while he could have chosen a 2JZ power plant, Matt swapped a V8 LS Series engine. He used this setup for the first time in 2010 and has been using it since for some projects.
While looking for some parts, Matt came across a IS300 chassis. This was the beginning of a dream, of a race car actually. His goal was to have a car worthy of a big bang at Tx2k. Most of the parts were hand fabricated by Matt himself, his engine building background came in handy.
The engine is a 5.3 liter LS9 V8 that has been treated by the guys at Watt’s Shop. The build includes 11.5:1 Wiseco pistons and Scat Rods. In order to get the power needed for the big event held in Texas, a pair of Precision 6266 turbochargers feed air into the engine. There is also a custom fabricated Garrett A2W intercooler and a Motec M150 engine management unit.Power you ask? Around 1162 hp at the wheel…
Power is delivered to the wheels through a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission with a custom carbon fiber driveshaft.Yeah you read it right, manual transmission. With all this power, Matt had to get a new 9 inch rear end from The Driveshaft Shop, along with AFCO drag coilovers, custom lower arms and subframe bushings.
The back wheels are Weld RTS wheels wrapped in 275/60 R15 Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pro tires. As for the interior, there are only minor changes like the JDM Recare bucket seats taken from an MR2 and the MoTeC C125 digital dash.