Even a global pandemic couldn’t stop the creation of the world’s first Varis Supreme A90 Supra.
Feature form Fast Car. Words: Daniel Goodyer. Photos: Jr Sang
Check out this eye-popping Varis Supreme A90 Supra all the way from the United States. Built by serial car-builder Daniel Song, with help from his buddy Jonny Grunwald, it represents the pinnacle of new-era Supra modifying so far. The story behind the car is a bit complicated but the original aim was straightforward: to build a kick-ass car for SEMA 2020 that would really stand out from the crowd.
That last bit is really important. SEMA is the biggest car tuning and modifying show in the world, packed with the best cars and household names. So you have to build something pretty special just to get through the doors. Which is why Daniel put together a TRA Kyoto Pandem-kitted, ‘caged-up animal of an A90 for SEMA 2019 in just 45 days! In short, it turned heads and dropped jaws. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as unique as he had hoped…
There were 65 new Supras at SEMA that year, with 13 of them rockin’ Pandem aero. So, while Daniel got lots of compliments on the car, he wanted to do better. Luckily, his Supra caused such a stir that someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. So instead of tearing his 2019 car to bits and starting again, Daniel accepted the offer, went down to his local Toyota dealer and bought a brand new one. In exactly the same Turbulence Grey colour as before.
“I wanted to execute a full colour-change on the car but we simply ran out of time,” admits Daniel, adding: “By the time the aero kit landed, we had just three weeks to finish the car. It sort of bugs me knowing this wasn’t done before its debut.” He shouldn’t be too hard on himself though, because the car looks incredible. He sat down with digital artist Flat Hat 3D studio and rendered the design on a computer before a single panel was touched. Brightly-coloured pieces of vinyl highlight the new body lines, just as with the previous car.
“Last year’s highlight colour was teal, and was inspired by the AMG Petronas F1 car,” he explains. “On this one, I’ve gone for Acid Green – taking inspiration from the Aston Martin Valkyrie.” More specifically, he drew inspiration from the track-only AMR Pro Valkyrie. Considering this is a much more track-focused car than his previous effort, it’s an influence that makes sense. The bright slashes pick out the original lines of the Supra and emphasise a very special aero package…
Determined to create something truly ground-breaking, Daniel secured the first production Varis Supreme 90 aero kit in the world. A £20,000 masterpiece in a mixture of exotic materials, with all the optional-extras including carbon-fibre canards, a carbon-fibre rear diffuser and a huge carbon-fibre rear wing. The deal was struck thanks to Jonny’s contacts in the Far East, and even with overnight shipping from Japan the ‘kit only arrived three weeks before the build’s completion deadline.
Swollen arch extensions widen the car front and rear by around 70mm each side, making room for a square set of 11x19in Titan7 wheels and seriously-wide 305/30/19 Toyo R888R semi-slick track tyres! Daniel admits he’s got his eyes on a new wheel setup already however; a set of monstrous 13x19in two-piece wheels, also from Titan7 – the same wheels that were underneath the Pikes Peak-winning Evasive Motorsports FR-S, if you must know. As it happens, the existing 11x19in wheel setup isn’t exactly shy.
One exterior mod that isn’t immediately obvious is the roof swap. The original roof was carefully extracted and the welds ground off or drilled out, before a lightweight carbon-fibre replacement by RKP was bonded in its place. This was a heck of a lot of work. The windscreen and entire boot assembly had to be removed to complete the job, but it was worth it. Not only did it save a few kilograms in weight, but it got rid of the weight from up high, effectively lowering the car’s centre of gravity. Plus it keeps the original drag-reducing double-bubble shape too. It’s certainly a mod in keeping with the rest of the functional Super GT vibe that is running through the car.
Of course, all these racecar looks would be a bit silly without some serious firepower under the bonnet. The BMW-derived B58 engine is a great starting point for some tuning mods, with a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six that features a closed-deck design and some trick variable-valve-timing technology. Daniel wanted to improve the power and response of the car, so he began by uprating the cooling system. He added dual Koyo remote radiators for the engine coolant, a big CSF intercooler to chill the turbo boost, plus a CSF oil cooler to keep the fast-shifting eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox happy. With these supporting mods in place, he could turn up the boost and he knew just where to get some.
Under the bonnet of his car is one of two prototype turbo kits by AMS Performance. Based in Chicago, AMS are world-famous for producing mega-power monsters. They developed a complete package containing everything you need to make serious power. The B58 engine has an unusual exhaust manifold setup. Two three-into-one manifolds are incorporated into the cylinder head. Only the two pipes connecting these outlets to the turbocharger are visible from the side of the engine. The AMS kit includes a heat-wrapped pair of these, along with a carbon-fibre charge pipe, larger coolant pipework and heat-wrapped oil lines. The throttle body features an integrated port, so Daniel can run either water-methanol injection or even nitrous-oxide in the future.
Mapping was carried out using EcuTek software, calibrated by AMS Performance themselves. The kit was tested and refined on Jackie Ding’s Time Attack Supra, so it’s literally been developed on the track. The focus of the kit is rapid-response and a wide powerband, rather than obsessing on a large number that would look good on the internet. Even with the restriction of 91-Octane fuel, thanks to Californian law, this thing absolutely rips.
It sounds insane too. Whooshing and whistling noises accompany every spool of the turbo, before the aggressive exhaust note joins in. It’s like a rolling symphony for petrolheads. This orgasmic mechanical roar is largely the result of the Remark titanium exhaust system. This system was already available in stainless steel but Daniel pestered Remark to make it in lightweight titanium. Eventually they agreed, deciding, in fact, to make a limited-edition run of 10 individually-numbered pieces; which is another perfect example of Daniel’s determination to push the boundaries with his follow-up build.
There are more hidden gems inside too. Take the seats for example, a pair of extremely rare Recaro Pro Racer RMS. If you haven’t seen a pair before, don’t be too hard on yourself. They’re only available in Japan and you could buy a half-decent car for what they cost. Daniel got lucky with these, as he discovered Evasive Motorsports had bought four. Long story short, he managed to persuade them to sell him a pair and originally had them in his previous Supra. This time around, he’s used Acid Yellow highlighting on the outer edges to bring them into harmony with the rollcage and exterior graphics.
Even the steering wheel is special. Formed in carbon-fibre by Unleashed Customs, it’s topped with an LED readout displaying engine rpm along with some shift lights. Backing these up is a pair of Autotecknic carbon-fibre paddles. In fact, so much of this car is covered in the lightweight weave that, in a strong breeze, it might blow away!
The bottom line to all this composite craziness is the new Supra has come a long way. As Daniel admits, his first project was an incredible-looking car but it was built almost entirely from a limited-selection of off-the-shelf parts. Just one year on and the choice of tuning and modifying parts is much wider. Plus there are many more companies looking to get involved in bespoke work, as the A90 Supra starts to live up to the legendary name. There’s a long way to go until it can rival what its older brother has achieved, but this car is a bloody good start.
As it happened, SEMA 2020 was cancelled thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. In comparison to his 2019 project, this was the wrong kind of Pandem for Daniel. Thankfully, Toyo Tires decided to press on with their regular Treadpass, only in a virtual format, where they offered a digital run-down of the best builds from the show. So, Daniel’s car still found an audience, plus fame across social media and now on these magazine pages and website. It’s been a challenging time for everyone, but if this car represents anything, it’s the good that can come from being driven to succeed and having a desire to push the boundaries. And it’s clear to see that Daniel has done both. His Varis Supreme A90 Supra is definitely leading the charge in A90 modifying and we are eagerly awaiting a legion of followers that will show exactly what this fifth generation car is truly capable of.
Tech Spec: Varis Supreme A90 Supra
3.0-litre, 6-cyl, B58 engine, AMS Performance GTX3076R Gen II turbo kit, AMS Performance downpipe, carbon-fibre chargepipe, carbon-fibre ECU cover, AMS Performance EcuTek calibration, Eventuri carbon-fibre intake, Eventuri carbon-fibre engine cover, Remark GR Supra Ti-Spec exhaust system, Koyorad dual remote radiators, CSF high performance heat exchanger, CSF high performance gearbox oil cooler, Blackline Performance billet oil cap and coolant caps, Blackline Performance billet fuel cap cover, Motul 300v 5w40 oil
Standard ZF 8HP 8-speed auto
KW v3 coilover suspension, KW EDC module, KW HLS front axle lifting system, Cusco Chassis power brace, Cusco front anti-roll bar, Cusco rear anti-roll bar, Cusco front strut brace (painted Acid Green)
Brembo GTS brake kits (front and rear) with 380mm two-piece floating discs and 6-pot anodised aluminium calipers (logos painted Acid Green)
Wheels & tyres:
11x19in Titan-7 T-S5 finished in satin titanium with O.W.L. titanium wheel nuts, Motorsports Hardware wheel studs, 305/30/19 Toyo R888R tyres
Varis Supreme 90 widebody kit, Varis Supreme carbon-fibre GT wing, Varis Supreme carbon-fibre diffuser, Varis Supreme carbon-fibre louvered bonnet, Varis Supreme carbon-fibre canards, RKP carbon-fibre roof, AMS carbon-fibre window buffeting kit, TRD carbon-fibre mirror caps, Cusco front and rear tow hooks (painted Acid Green), Acexxon lip protector, Valkyrie AMR Pro inspired livery
Studio RSR V2 rollcage and rear chassis brace (painted Acid Green), Studio RSR harness reel retainers, Recaro Pro Racer RMS (with Acid Green trim), Bride seat rails, Willans X Nightrunner 4-point harnesses, Unleashed Customs carbon-fibre steering wheel, Autotecknic carbon-fibre paddles (painted Acid Green indicators), Blackline Performance engine start button, Blackline Performance sports steering wheel insert