When thinking of performance cars, Suzuki is not the first one that pops into someone’s head. Despite Suzuki making some attempts to get involved in sports cars and motorsport in general, one of their most successful ventures-excluding motorcycles- were the mini-SUVs that they brought into the market.
In case you live under a rock for the past 30-odd years the samurai and later on Vitara and Jimmy platforms showed to the world that you do not need massive diesel trucks to go off-road, but instead, a little JDM brick could tag along the trails without a hiccup.
Well In this case the owner or should I say the shop that is responsible for this build A.stavrou motorsport, is heavily involved in tuning and preparing Suzuki’s for all sorts of racing. A legacy started from the father of the owner and continued to this day. Stavrou senior competed in rally events for many years before handing over the torch to the newer generation.
But a samurai? Well after selling his beloved Pajero the owner was in need for another off-road capable daily driven and being a Suzuki-head, the samurai was the obvious choice. Although as any Samurai owner will tell you they do struggle to get up to speed. So a slight bump in power seemed a reasonable idea.
Nasty Samurai secrets
This nasty samurai is still powered by a 1300cc Suzuki engine although one from a different model. A G13B to be exact out of a Suzuki swift gti, straight out of the box this engine produces more power than the one, it replaced. Since it is an EFI motor instead of a carburettor and it has an additional camshaft. Making it a DOHC 16v layout that its way rev happier than its predecessor.
Although a modest increase in driveability, the next (i)logical step in the pursuit of more power is the addition of forced induction.
Engine internals remains completely stock although a variety of supporting mods have been made. The gen 2 garret gtx 2867 sits on a custom-made manifold made stainless steel manifold. Boost is controlled by a gfb 38mm external gate and wait for it a manual boost control!
Remaining exhaust gasses travel through a custom 63 mm (2.48 inch) stainless steel system exhaust fabrication was made by GPP exhaust. Stututu noises are courtesy of a gfb 30mm blow off valve.
On the intake side of things, you can spot an upgraded skunk2 throttle body bolted on a Suzuki sport intake. Fuelling is taken care with Denso 550cc injectors which are fed from a bosch 044 fuel pump. With the fuel pressure being regulated by a Tomei fuel reg.
The engine was tuned and dyno-tested at P.P tuning performance. The engine produced 255.6 hp at the crank or 211-wheel horsepower. Certainly not an eye-watering number but keep in mind it powers a tuna can on wheels. On the durability side of things, an alloy rad and a massive spal fun make sure this samurai stays cool at all time. Finally, a Gracing 4 leaf clutch kit minimizes power losses and makes sure this samurai can launch when needed.
Worth mentioning that A. Stavrou motorsport are the official distributors of Gracing clutch and they can provide clutch kits for any application.
The samurai’s archaic wiring was, ditched in favour of a custom wiring harness made in house by A Stavrou motorsport, which while at it. Incorporated some smart bits to the ignition system. Denso coil plugs are used paired with a custom trigger kit using bits and pieces destined for the 4G63 and RB25DET .
For the ECU, the boys opted for a link G4 storm which-can run launch control and anti-lag functions. This, being destined a daily originally. I suppose the owner hated the idea of being late to work.
Exterior and interior
Contact with the ground is sorted with alloy wheels measuring at 15” x 10” and wrapped around a meaty 235/60/15 faroad tyre. Chassis and bodywork remain mostly stock apart from led headlights a mod that is popular in this era of vehicles . Fun fact: this the original paintwork and stickers, considering their ages they held up just fine!
Inside the Suzuki is basic as you would expect from an 80s era jdm off-roader but with some modern touches. Helping keep an eye on the engine vitals is a defi screen and as you can see the stock steering wheel made way for a much sportier rsr wheel.
With the owners racing history, it wasn’t long until the inevitable happens. The guys at the shop wanted to find out how well the samurai would do on the drag strip thus on the last Achna speedway drag challenge they took the samurai on the strip and boy did it deliver. The Samurai managed an 11.3-second pass at the 300 m marks.
Considering this machine is mostly stock apart from a turbo setup, the owner was more than overwhelmed with the performance it delivered. He is so excited he is in the process of building a forged engine to go in, as well as fitting Hoosiers drag slicks and a welded diff!
I cannot wait to see the samurai hit the strip again as is something different and ridiculously fun seeing obliterate some purpose sports cars.
Check out the video below just to get a test of the madness !
Photography and video: the_car_polarizer, Angelos Georgiou
Words: Odisseas Sofokleous