We love our Fantasy Factory segment. It allows our imaginations to run completely wild, throwing aside questions of finance or time to create incredible machines that we would love to see on the street. Who knows, one day these ideas might inspire someone to create something similar themselves. Here's five of our favourite Fantasy Factory submissions.
Mazda RX-3 Coupe
Converting something that was once two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive is no new trick, but the concept was given a kick in the guts earlier in 2015, when Ken Block debuted his stunning Hoonicorn Ford Mustang. His creation it got us scheming up our own import version, in the shape of a Mazda RX-3 Coupe.
We would be converting it to four-wheel drive (obviously), doing so by borrowing lots of parts used on Grant Munro’s ex-Rod Millen four-wheel drive FC RX-7. When it comes to actually making everything work, we will require a custom tubular chassis which will mount the Wiseman five-speed gearbox and transfer case; Wiseman front diff and FC RX-7 rear diff. For the power plant we will use a Cosmo-based 13B turbo engineered to squeeze as much torque as possible with semi-PP porting and a big single turbo with a power output of near 500kW, thanks to some serious amounts of E85 and boost. To accommodate all the parts required to drive the front wheels, we will need to move the engine back so the front spark plug is in line with the old firewall. This will also mean the driver will be sitting so far back the rear window will become their side view, and our weight balance will be a perfect 50/50 split.
When it comes to suspension this will also need to be 100% custom with the rear custom coilovers hanging off the tubular chassis, and a set of cantilever front coilovers sitting in-board alongside double A-arms and forcing a set of ex-Formula One wheels downward. These wheels can actually be picked up pretty cheap on the net and if we use the 13x12-inch fronts wrapped in 255/40R13 Hoosier rubber the entire way around, it should have no drama breaking traction in a cloud of tyre smoke.
As expected the interior well will be your run of the mill race car affair, with a very vintage feel to things taking inspiration from ’70s race cars but using modern safety equipment like Bride Histrix seats and OMP wheel and harness. But, where things will really get exciting is the exterior. We will have Kiwi metal wizard Jason Burke from Burke’s Metal Works — the same man responsible for the Hoonicorn — piece together the huge wide body guards, large front air dam and even bigger rear diffuser and Nascar style wing. We will also delete the side window, and add in a custom alloy bonnet.
2015 Lexus RCF
It’s not often you’ll get someone going to town on a brand-new vehicle, but because this is only a fantasy, we’re gonna do just that — enter the latest performance vehicle to leave the Lexus stables; the Lexus RC-F. Ours will get a 90-degree 5000cc V8 engine that outputs 348kW (467hp) at the flywheel at a touch over 7000rpm. It’ll launch to 100kph in 4.4 seconds, and reach a top speed of 270kph.
We don’t want to go too overboard on the already stunning design, but going off the factory lines, we think some widening in the front and rear guards will really open up those guard vents and set things off in the wheel department. A set of side-plane carbon diffusers will be installed below the factory side skirts, and up front a set of Origin Labo carbon canards will be installed under the front bumper, along with a three-tier canard set-up, to give the Lexus a menacing, touge-crunching appearance. Down the back end of the vehicle we’ll install a brutally large rear diffuser with carbon canards, which keep the Lexus in tune with the chaos going on up front. And continuing with the all-carbon aero theme, a large dual-plane GT wing will be mounted securely to the chassis through the quick-release boot for ultimate high-speed downforce. All of this will be topped off by a deep-metallic gold hue, leaving only the carbon exposed.
A set of quality height- and damper-adjustable KW coilovers will replace the already impressive factory components, and ensure the widebody steel guards are filled perfectly.
Wheel choice is important if we are going to clear the enormous brakes the RC-F will run. This being said, a set of 20 by 10.5-inch Weds Maverick 709Ms will be tucked under the guards all round, and wrapped in Nitto NT05 tyres measuring 255/35R20. The standard front braking gear will be replaced with a pair of RacingMONO6GT calipers from Endless, and 400mm by 36mm ceramic carbon discs, while down the back a set of RacingMONO6R calipers will be used, but with 370mm by 27mm discs.
Under the bonnet, all the plastic-fantastic covers will be removed, along with the factory intake manifolds, which will then have the intake runners removed in favour of eight highly-polished individual throttle bodies with trumpets. Bisimoto-style ram-horn headers will be fabricated out of titanium, and then left with the burned look they’re so famous for. The fuse box, along with any other unnecessary engine-bay componentry, will either be moved under the dash, or removed completely. Power output won’t have increased that much, maybe 30–40kW at the wheels, but it will sound even better than it did already, and retain the famous Lexus reliability.
1998 Audi TT Quattro
With Repco Race to the Sky still in our minds, we wanted to build something that could crush any monster, including one of the gods of hill-climb racing, Monster Tajima — and for this we will use an Audi TT.
Audi released it in a few different variants, but the only one we want is the Quattro four-wheel-drive model. For this exercise, we’re going to pull out the stock Audi running gear and replace it with something a little bit more technical — the VR38DETT from a Nissan R35 GT-R along with its driveline. This will mean that from the get-go, we’re upping from the original 110kW figure closer to 400kW (536hp) although that still won’t satisfy our power lust. The first step in this equation is to remove the stock turbos and replace them with a pair of AMS Alpha 9 turbochargers, an AMS intercooler, and a pair of HKS wastegates. The VR block will receive a set of 95.5mm CP forged pistons, forged rods, and a full Kelford valve train. We’ll upgrade the fuel system with a bank of Walbro 450LPH pumps to account for the car running on E85 fuel. At this point we’re looking at boasting around 600kW (800hp) at all four wheels with a strengthened R35 GT-R transmission using a modified stock sequential shifter to cut down gear change times.
After stripping out the interior and fitting a chromoly cage, we’re looking at a decrease in weight from 1400kgs to a more minimal 1150kgs. The body will be stripped of its bonnet, boot, roof, and front and rear guards, to be replaced with a TT RS GT3 kit and carbon fibre components. To aid in sticking all 600kW to the gravel the TT will need a large rear wing and even larger front splitter.
With the increased weight up front from the VR38, and the diet the rest of the shell has been on, the TT will be a bit uneven and needing to be corner weighted. Moving the driver’s seat to a centre position and rearward past the B pillar should help for a better distribution of weight across the car. To slow the car down for all 135 corners, the brakes will be replaced at all four corners with Alcon 4-pot calipers with 300mm carbon two-piece rotors to fit within the 15-inch Rotiform VCE wheels wrapped in Pirelli rally rubber.
1969 BMW 2002
An idea from the mind of NZ Performance Car ed Marcus Gibson, this 2002 is a dream build he’s been planning for quite some time. The base would be a 1969 BMW 2002, the ugly duckling of the BMW line-up that ruled the touring-car roost for most of its time. The turbo version is one of the most sought-after BMWs out there. The more common, poor-man’s 2002 can look very cool with the right treatment, but they aren’t exactly a popular modifying choice here in New Zealand.
His dream 2002 will be slammed, cut apart to re-engineer everything so it’s as low as legally possible, so low that the rear 17x10.5-inch gold CCW D240 wheels will tuck a quarter of the rim. To retain a subtle look, the front will be de-bumpered, and a chin spoiler, fog lights from the 2002 turbo, and a widebody the entire side of the car around 25mm at its widest point will be added. The front guards will also be sectioned, and radiused an inch to allow full lock due to its stupidly low height. It would be shot with the rare factory 2002 turbo colour known as Nevada, all the chrome would be painted black, and the rear bumper and chin spoiler made from Kevlar.
Following a ’70s-inspired racing style inside, the 2002 will have distressed leather trim on everything, including the minimal roll cage, and a set of vintage Amon bucket seats or early Porsche race seats — if they can be found. The rear seat will be ditched, and there’ll be nothing back there but the new inner tubs — again trimmed in leather.
Shoehorning a E46 M3 S54 straight-six under the hood would be an ultimate goal, but it would be somewhat challenging to fit. So the E30 M3’s S14 power plant would be slightly more applicable. The 2002 will move along fast enough after I build a wild stainless exhaust leading to a rear-mounted turbo, wastegate and intercooler. Why put the turbo in the rear? Basically the engine bay will be tight for the S14, and prefers his engine bays clean and simple. The only giveaway in the engine bay will be the carbon intake plenum facing the firewall. With this rear-mounted set-up the turbo and wastegate pipes will form a dual central flame-spitting exhaust with no mufflers — think 964 turbo.
Jaguar XK8 TT
We’re guessing the only time you might have possibly sat in a Jaguar coupe is when you were five and your grandad had one, and he took you out for an ice cream. However, as one of Jaguar’s best-selling cars, they did get the design right for that bygone era.
Powered by a Jaguar-designed four-litre V8, the car produced 216kW from factory — a modest figure that would be quite easy to increase. Given we’d be starting with a base-model XK8, we figure there’d be no need to keep the thing luxury if we wanted to modify it. Sure it’s a Jaguar, but that also means it weighs a lot, and coming in at roughly 1700kg, it’d require some pruning. We’d rip out the big wooden dash and fit a lightweight carbon-fibre replacement with a black suede covering, and — providing a lightweight, sportier alternative to the plush, chunky original seats — would be a set of leather Recaro Sportsters, hopefully getting us down to around a more satisfactory 1500kg.
The engine is where this build would get a tad tricky. Replacing the original 4.0-litre Jaguar motor with a newer engine (that’d be easier to work on) would probably be the most sensible option, as the old V8 would be pretty costly to tangle with. Rather than an engine to modify, it’s more of a case of an engine to fix and rebuild. In this instance, we love a challenge, and thus we would keep the V8, and run somewhat simple bolt-ons to increase the power by an amount suitably substantial for this quick-cruiser build. Without replacing too much under the hood, we’d focus on putting in a turbo system — in the back. It’d be a rear-mounted STS turbo conversion set-up modified for the Jaguar V8, with the car running a low-boost system with twin 38mm Turbosmart Ultra-Gates to regulate the boost on the turbos. These would be located with a pair of Garrett T3/T04E turbos just behind the rear bumper, with a 52mm Turbosmart blow-off valve to tie in the set-up.
The bodywork is where the car could get a bit weird, however. The XK8TT would need an upgrade to modernize the exterior in keeping with changes made to the engine bay and interior. Sourcing and modifying a Varis Ridox Toyota Supra full lower lip would fill in the gaps around the lower panels. Without making it look completely like a Supra, in doing so the body would gain a bit of necessary staunch factor. And by slamming it on a set of custom KW coilovers, the XK8 would be sitting a lot closer to the ground, separated from it only by the Messer Turbo-Fans, a controversial wheel that while a bit ridiculous, is a new take on a classic look for this somewhat iconic Jaguar. What better way to rejuvenate a soon-to-be classic for the modern era than with gains in both power and style?
Illustrations: Mark Curran