Team Orange ‘Drift Taxi’ Takes You On A Sideways Tour Around Ebisu Circuit
You can now experience Ebisu Circuit in the back seat of a Drift Taxi driven by Team Orange.
From a well-prepped car to extra sets of tires, track days can be incredibly cost-prohibitive to car enthusiasts who are just starting out. The costs are exponentially more exorbitant when you're only a tourist making a detour to Ebisu Circuit during your trip to Japan.
For those unfamiliar with Ebisu, it's a drifting complex located in the mountains of northern Fukushima and is comprised of seven major tracks. Open almost every day of the week, Ebisu Circuit is considered a drifting Mecca of Japan.
For tourists that want to partake in some drifting at Ebisu, it has been common practice to purchase a car from a shop within Ebisu circuit called Power Vehicles. The shop not only offers a lot full of drift-ready (the level of readiness varies) cars to purchase from, but also offers a handy repair service in the event a concrete barrier throws itself in front of your Silvia drift missile. Tourists can then either sell the car when they're done, or store it at the Power Vehicles lot until they get a chance to come back. And while Power Vehicles is a certainly viable option, there's now another alternative to consider – the "Drift Taxi."
No doubt inspired by a taxi that takes passengers around the Nürburgring, the Ebisu Circuit Drift Taxi, run by renowned local drift team Team Orange, picks up passengers in a tuned Toyota JZX110 Mark II and take them on an incredible tour of Ebisu's major courses the way they're intended to be experienced – sideways.
On Tuesday, Alexi Smith of YouTube channel Noriyaro, along with Team Orange driver Naoto Suenaga in a snazzy tuxedo race suit, shared a closer look at the JZX110 Drift Taxi and four of the seven major courses. While drift cars in the United States often feature an LS-swap, Wisefab angle kit and a hydraulic handbrake, the Team Orange is rather stock setup, only prepped with a bigger radiator, intercooler, upgraded Trust turbo and ECU to make around 400 horsepower. The fun modifications are actually found inside, where the stock cabin has been replaced with four FIA-spec Bride Zeta III bucket seats.
With Alexi settled in the backseat, Suenaga starts the tour at the Ebisu School Course. But don't let the name fool you — the concrete barrier at course entry is treated as a clipping point and has claimed many cars that have gone a little deep.
Next, Suenaga takes the tour to North Course, which is a slightly higher speed track with a straight that locals enjoy manji-ing into Turn 1.
Suenaga then drives the Drift Taxi to the track Ebisu is most famous for: the Minami stadium course, home of the "jump drift."
The anatomy of the jump drift starts with a hump at the end of a chicane into the pit straight, and as the cars land, the driver side gets sucked into the pit wall. And because Alexi is gripping his GoPro from the seat just behind Suenaga-San, we get to see just how close the Drift Taxi gets to the concrete wall.
Finally, saving the best for last, Suenaga-San ends the tour at the Touge Course. Not only is the Touge the narrowest course at Ebisu, it also has the steepest elevation change. And if you get it wrong, you're looking at the mountain's jagged walls or an equally unpleasant cliff side. Either way, you risk rolling the car.
Without further ado, check out Noriyaro's awesome tour around Ebisu in the Team Orange Toyota Mark II JZX110 Drift Taxi below: