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This GT-R Engine-Swapped Ferrari 550 Drift Car Is Pure Sacrilege and I Love It

Illustration for article titled This GT-R Engine-Swapped Ferrari 550 Drift Car Is Pure Sacrilege and I Love It

Yoichi Imamura may be a familiar name to you. He was a champion in the early days of D1GP in Japan, and it was he who ran the Lexus LFA with a NASCAR V8. Now he’s running an even more sacrilegious exotic in the same series. This is a Ferrari 550 Maranello with a V6 out of a Nissan GT-R bursting out of the hood.

I don’t know whether I should call this a VR38DETT or not. I mean, that’s what it is, or was. The engine is down to a single turbo, and the displacement is up to 4.3 liters. I guess it’s a VR43DET? Whatever. The D1GP website claims it’s making 1,200 horsepower, which seems like a number more made up than not, but what do I know.

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Illustration for article titled This GT-R Engine-Swapped Ferrari 550 Drift Car Is Pure Sacrilege and I Love It
Illustration for article titled This GT-R Engine-Swapped Ferrari 550 Drift Car Is Pure Sacrilege and I Love It
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What is important is this thing absolutely rips. Imamura is a no-shit driver, one of the best in the world. Watch him get down in his low-key S15 street car at his little local Sportsland Yamanashi club track and you’ll see what I mean. Hard on the gas, full commitment:

I remember seeing this particular 550 before, back when it was neon green. I don’t know the provenance of the car before then. I think Daigo Saito built one of these things before getting into the 599 that runs in Formula Drift now, if old Speedhunters comments are anything to go on, but I can’t remember.

This Ferrari, entered by the MMM Racing team, will be competing this weekend at the D1GP double round at Tsukuba. It should be a fun round.

Low-power ultimate driving hero Naoki Nakamura is back with his 1,000-HP S15 Silvia, an interesting test of what a top grassroots legend can do in a full pro vehicle. So too will there be the two engine-swapped new Toyota Supras, not unlikely to face against each other with Daigo Saito and Masato Kawabata at the wheel.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

That top photo/that face made me realized what I would love to see: Since drift is a pretty silly form of motorsport that doesn’t take itself overly seriously and has pretty lax regulations, a team should hook up pupils to the headlights that move when the steering moves, LIKE THIS!