“TCP Magic Mazda RX-7 – Taisuke Kawato At It Again “


This would be the 3rd visit I’ve paid to Taisuke Kawato, and what astounds me about his shop, TCP Magic, is it’s a one-man garage. Every aspect of his cars, he puts his all into them and rarely farms out the work. He keeps cranking RX-7s out of his shop, similar to this 2001 Mazda RX-7 time attack build, that kindle the imagination of all who lay eyes on his creations. 12 years (2002 in Japan, 1995 in the USA) after manufacture of the FD RX-7 ceased and 3 yearsWhile many stateside Formula Drift teams have all but abandoned various engines for that easy power of an LS swap, Taisuke-san continues to push the RE envelope when you are one of the few garages in Japan to possess built a four rotor, Mad-Mike Whiddet’s Jap-bull, which made a showing at Fuji Speedway’s FD Japan this coming year. The international roster of drivers in December will have to contend with a twin-turbo version in the works for the next event at Okayama.

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Not as crazy of a build, this Black 2 RE pictured here is definitely characteristic of a meticulous Kawato build, even though engine wise. It isn’t a drift machine, nor could it be one of the many N1 cars of TCP Magic’s storied past, but yet this is a fresh build to showcase Kawato’s other passion: clicking off fast lap times. To that particular end, he employed professional driver Masaki Kitajou. Where the FD3S shines on each track, even though recognized for his affinity for the Seven, Kitajou could be trusted to understand not just the quirks in the chassis at speed. Plans are now in the works to attack Tsukuba and in addition World Time Attack in the wintertimefor the Bangkok Auto Salon, hence the shipping vessels in the background. I neededstart up the radio?

This Seven is built for grip-and while a lot of people will ogle at the 600hp powerplant first, it’s important to focus on what keeps it planted to the floor. Like at many tuning garages in Japan, Kawato works closely with suspension manufacturers to create his own branded, TCP Magic spherical suspension arms, coilovers, pillow ball mounts, and for drift vehicles a steering knuckle. As the springs that wrap around coilovers say Swift, the guts of those are specific to Kawato’s ideals about stiffness, fluids, valving, response and reboundthe typical TCP Magic treatment of skewering it up over a chassis rotisserie and being stitch-welded. And before you fan boys get in touch with your local body shop and get how much just for this new catchphrase you just learned, stitch weld, carefully consider the amount of man-hours such an endeavor requires. One method requires that you acid dip the entire chassis to expose the bare metal so it may be welded. The other method requires Kawato to painstakingly die-grinder the paint off each metal seam, and then weld. And if this is the first time you’ve heard the term, it’s as soon as the body is built in sections of sheetmetal, where race teams will stitch weld to obtain a more rigid chassis.

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Typical Japanese tuning shops will go for a bolt-in rollcage, and also in some of Kawato’s more budget-restrained builds, I’ve seen it done. About this build, he took the high road and bent their own D.O.M. tubing to produce a 12-point. He also fully gusseted the ‘cage around theon the subject of the body…while it doesn’t add chassis rigidity, Magic extensively used carbon to lighten the vehicle-a definite plus in nimbleness when undergoing the tight corners of Tsukuba. The absence of weight on that back straight, though, will be a problem, where 200kph (124mph) is typical. Which is also where aero again comes to save the day. Carbon can be used to make Magic’s own make of G-Face dive wings, diffusers and planes to enhance downforce.

Finally, we’ll talk about the drivetrain and engine. Forward propulsion starts when the throttle is pressed, and the massive GReddy T88-34D turbo sucks air via a HKS Super Mega Flow air filter. 21.3 pounds of compressed air is then sent through Magic’s massive aluminum V-mounted intercooler and associated piping to be chilled. An enlarged throttle body controls the amount of air the 13B ingests. Also reworked by Magic will be the intake ports and manifold (Bridge Port) creating each apex rotor, maximizing the volumetric efficiency. There, air meets 1,000cc injectors, then goes on to mingle with someIf at the end of a high-speed section you couldn’t stop to make that G-Force-infused turn, all this power can be pointless. While the Takata-laced Recaro seats keep Kitajou’s ass in place, the SEI four-pots create the requirement for the above-mentioned strapping hardware.

A list is huge, both what’s been done to this car and what TCP Magic accomplishes in a short amount of time. How Kawato manages to do it using the constraints of running a business, as being a father, possessing a beautiful wife, world travel and living life in general… let’s just say I look up towards the guy. Be inspired, by both the car and the person. We wish Kawato the most effective in his efforts in time attack.

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Tuning Menu

2001 Mazda RX-7

Owner Taisuke Kawato

HometownNishinomiya and Hyogo, Japan

Occupation Owner TCP Magic, Indie extraordinaire

Power 600hp; 434 lb-ft of torque

Engine 13B-RE; Trust T88-34D turbo and blow-off valve; Bridge port; TCP Magic Intercooler piping, intercooler, throttle body, intake manifold, downpipe, turbo manifold and exhaust; Sard fuel regulator and 1000cc injectors; NGK race plugs and wires; Turbosmart wastegate; HKS Super Mega Flow air filter

Drivetrain HKS sequential six-speed transmission; Exedy triple clutch; ATS differential

Engine Management HKS F Con V Pro and boost controller

Footwork & Chassis TCP Magic proprietary coilovers, control arms, upper mounts, trailing arms, camber plates; stitch welded chassis

Brakes SEI four-pot big brake kit

Wheels & Tires 18×10.5 RAYS Gram Light wheels; 295/30 R18 front, 295/35 R18 rear Yokohama Advan A050 tires

Exterior G-Face carbon-fiber fenders, side skirts, diffusers, dive planes,hood and wing, trunk lid, door panel, underbelly tray, Lexan windows

Interior Recaro seats; Takata harnesses; fully gusseted 12-point rollcage, MOMO controls

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