2022 Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya attempts to slide an 800 HP Dodge Hellcat Red Eye

Even for the best drivers, 800 horsepower is an insane number. But Keiichi Tsuchiya, the heart and soul of Japanese motorsport, is no stranger to a challenge. This time it comes in the form of one Dodge Challenger. But not your average Challenger either, but rather the 800 hp SRT Hellcat red eye wide body.


A LEGEND TRIES MUSCLE

His goal is to feel the American muscle legend on the track for the first time ever. He could also try to slide it through every corner. Thanks to his own YouTube channel DRIFT KING TELEVISION, we go on an exploratory journey of speed. Your first thought might be “Wide Body Red Eye in Japan? Didn’t even know that was a thing” and you’d be right. This Dodge is an export of the American import specialty store Amesha-World. “Amesha” is the Japanese term for American cars. This dealer has a full selection of American vehicles for sale, from Jeeps to Corvettes.

TOP SPEED VIDEO OF THE DAY

Still, they had no intention of giving one of the greatest drivers of all time an automatic V-6 Mustang for testing. This is how the tense Challenger 2021 makes its debut. For more context, Tsuchiya made a name for himself racing the streets of Japan in the early 1970s. He would later move into professional racing. His skills were leagues higher than his competitors and he would get bored leading races. For example, he would slide his car through the corners to make racing more fun.

Tsuchiya would be the catalyst that would start an international movement known as drifting. Now, even at the age of 66, the two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is no slouch behind the wheel. He remains a hero and inspiration to enthusiasts around the world.

So what can the mind of the Drift King think about the outrageous American muscle car? Impressed by the size of the supercharger, he believes 800 horsepower is “dangerous”. The owner of the car explains that his absolute dream was to have Tsuchiya drive the Dodge.

TESTING THE BEAST ON THE TRAIL

Tsuchiya only has to drive his first lap at the famous Tsukuba Circuit in Japan. A tight and technical circuit, Tsukuba will not forgive the two-ton weight of the Hellcat. As he begins to feel the car, he notices how good the car sounds. The next comment? “It’s heavy. It won’t stop.” As he rounds the corner and accelerates, you hear, “You must be kidding! It’s tremendous power.”

One of the most polarizing cars on the market, the Challenger Hellcat is an absolute handful. Over the course of the session, Tsuchiya mentions his weight at least ten times. Not something the heavy Dodge gets over easily. Still, he mentions the supercharged V-8’s impressive torque as much as its weight.

Still, neither torque nor weight is the cause of problems for Tsuchiya on track. Instead, it’s the invasive electrical stability control that steps in. After building some confidence in the car, the Drift King tries to slide through every turn on the track. Still, the task is much more difficult than he imagined. He notes that the car has no problem entering or exiting the corner. It is the center of the corner where the electronics intervene. As a result, it has never been able to modulate the rotation of the car in the middle of the corner.

After his first session on the track, Tsuchiya gets out of the car and tells a hilarious anecdote. “I was sweating very strangely. It’s a car that loves danger.”

Three weeks after that session, Tsuchiya got another spin in the Red Eye Wide Body. This time it was a rainy track, but the Dodge still struggled to break grip in corners. Even when all electronic devices were turned off, the 800 monster didn’t budge. The drift king remained stunned by the engine and said, “Great. Great torque. Unbelievable. No way, this torque. It’s true.”

Towards the end of the session, Tsuchiya was harassed by a modified S2000 as he struggled from corner to corner. After the embarrassment of losing a car with four times less horsepower, the Drift King retired to the pits to cool the stalled brakes. Still, Tsuchiya had only good things to say about the car: “This is amazing. Bigger than you can imagine… this is a monster. It’s another dimension.”

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