Tokyo Drift Test: Drift King Twin-Turbo 350Z

Testing the bad guy's turbocharged Nissan from The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift


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1 Video , 5 Photos

Every movie has a protagonist (the hero) and an antagonist (the bad guy). While the protagonist ends up with the girl, it always seems the antagonist has more fun. In The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift the bad guy is "The Drift King," and his ride is this twin-turbo Nissan 350Z. That's fun.

Eleven 350Zs actually portrayed the Drift King's mount — including those built to wreck. And this is one of the two primary cars equipped with an APS twin-turbo system (a $7,500 kit through most shops) breathing into the 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine. With APS's turbo-back exhaust system and some Magnaflow mufflers to quiet it down, there should be at least 450 horsepower available at the crank in this car. There's probably more.

Beaten in every way a car could be, the Tokyo Drift 350Z wore scars along its Veilside Version 3 wide-body kit, but started instantly to settle into a humming idle like a taxiing F-18. The Nissan 350Z is stiff when it's unmodified, and the 19-inch Veilside rims covered with Toyo Proxes 285/30R19 T1Rs and RSR lowering springs make it stiffer. But it's how the pavement crackles and snaps under those as they cross it that gives the twin-turbo 350Z its menace.

The Sparco EVO L driver seat won't let anyone with a wide hiney settle in and clamps in on anyone else like a vise grip. The six-speed transmission feeds back to a Nismo limited-slip differential, which makes launching the car at least straightforward like pulling the hammer of a Glock pistol back into the fully cocked position.

The Drift King's 350Z doesn't launch easily; the revs have to stay up for the turbos and it will chatter the rear tires (after all, it was built to slide, not drag race). Still, it screamed to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and blistered the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds at 114.8 mph. The last stock 2005 350Z this site tested took 5.9 seconds to reach 60 and 14.6 seconds at 99.3 mph to complete the quarter-mile. With a 0-60 time only two-tenths quicker than stock, and a quarter-mile time nearly 1.4 seconds better, this is a car with more power than it can use off launch.

With a little launch control, the twin-turbo Nissan 350Z would be running well in the 12s in the quarter-mile. In The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the bad guy may not get the girl, but at least he gets to wherever he's going quickly.

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