The Unsuccessful X-Chassis: Toyota Verossa

The 4 door Toyota sedans are a rather popular choice of chassis to put under the knife here in Japan. When production stopped of the infamous Toyota Chaser and Cresta around 2001, Toyota needed a new kid to put on the block. The answer? A Toyota Verossa. Produced for 4 years from 2001 to 2004 it’s the successor of the Chaser and Cresta. It was quickly replaced by the Toyota Mark X which is a continuation of the Mark II and taking cues from the Chaser and Cresta. The Mark X is a ‘try again’ repeat of the somewhat short-lived Toyota Verossa.

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From the factory, the Verossa comes with only inline-6 engines. The three options were a 1G-FE (160 hp, only automatic), 1JZ-FSE (200 hp, only automatic), and the best option being the 1JZ-GTE (280 hp), in either automatic or manual. You’re choices were either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. The Verossa was supposed to combine the sporting aspects of the Chaser with the high luxury content from the Cresta. Basically, it’s an oversized Altezza. Sadly, production ended within 4 years due to poor sales.

However, it’s not all bad. Toyota did give us 4 years worth of the Verossa. A long wheelbase Toyota X-Chassis to start modifying. Today we take a look at an example that I found at the recent Doridore event at Suzuka Twin Circuit in Mie Prefecture. The first thing that we can see? It’s got the best colour combination possible, vivid red, with white wheels, what could be better?

This Verossa is set up for burning rubber. It sits on a pair of Advan Racing GT wheels up front with slotted rotors and an upgraded braking system. The rear guards have been massaged out to fit the wide drift wheels. While that’s cool and all…

The magic happens inside of this car. My engineering knowledge is pitiful, to say the least, but what I saw, and what I can recognise on this car, made me stick around and take some more photos of it. In the boot sits a custom mounted raised fuel cell, this thing won’t be getting ruined anytime soon sitting this high up.

The front dash still remains intact, with the addition of the usual drifting modifications. A Vertex steering wheel, a set of Defi gauges, HKS boost controller, ETC box (not sure why a drift car needs one of these), and of course the standard handbrake, because who needs hydraulic handbrakes, not the Japanese.

The driver sits comfortably in the gutted out interior in a Bride seat with Takata Racing harnesses. If this car were to flip, with this much spider web like cage, I’m sure it would be able to carry on drifting for the rest of the day. This is where you can see the one main thing that drew me to this car. That bronze metal pipe going from behind the seat to the rear of the car.

I’d never seen anything like it. It was also apparent that other people hadn’t seen engineering like this either as they were as shocked as I was. The exhaust comes out from behind the gearbox, in what I’m assuming is a 90-degree bend, up into the cabin through a hole in the floor. It then completes another 90-degree bend to head to the rear of the car.

This is my favourite part though. The owner has used the factory fuel hole for the exhaust to exit out of. If that’s not putting your own style into a drift car, then I don’t know what is. This was the only Verossa that I saw at the Doridore event, I love it and can’t wait to see another one soon.

If I manage to find this one again, we’ll take a closer look at it, diving into what kind of engine it has and more details about the modifications it’s had in its lifetime. Until then, stay tuned for our next article coming soon.

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Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable

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