2016 Hyundai Santa-Fast By Bisimoto
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Per tradition, SEMA is shaping up to be one helluva show this year, with all kinds of outrageous custom autos heading to the Las Vegas desert for a spot in the limelight. Whatever your preferred flavor might be, SEMA is sure to have something there for ya, from domestic muscle cars to tuner-special imports, lifted off-roaders to high-strung exotics. SEMA has a little bit of everything, which means it’s not always easy to stand out from the crowd. One surefire workaround is to mash together opposite ends of the automotive spectrum – you know, like blessing a Hyundai Santa Fe with over 1,000 horsepower. No, seriously.
It’s called the Santa-Fast, and rightfully so, given the SUV’s four-figure output number. Taking responsibility for creating this thing is Bisimoto Engineering, the same company that brought a 700-horsepower Hyundai Tucson to last year’s event. Hyundai called it absurd, which kinda makes you wonder what the automaker thinks of the Santa-Fast…
But I digress. The Santa-Fast is classic SEMA stuff, and definitely worth a look, even if it’s just to figure out how Bisimoto managed to coax 1,000 horsepower from a Santa Fe…
Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Santa-Fast By Bisimoto.
On the outside, the Santa Fast is actually surprisingly stock looking. With this level of output, you might expect all kinds of fancy aero, with wings and splitters and diffusers to make it stick, plus a good selection of louvers and vents to keep the powerplant from going pop.
It’s obvious from the get-go that there’s something special about the Santa-Fast.
Not so. The bodywork is more or less exactly as it is from the factory, complete with the new front fascia that was recently restyled for the 2017 model year. There isn’t even a wide body kit.
Still, it’s obvious from the get-go that there’s something special about the Santa-Fast. The body is covered with a custom red-and-silver vinyl job from Gatorwraps, complete with the requisite branding, while the grille is a custom design with an open, deep-set look and matte-black Hyundai badge.
In the corners, you’ll find genuine Hyundai mudguards, plus Tarmac R40 wheels from Fifteen52 measuring in at 19 inches in diameter. The body was also slammed to a fear-all-speed-bumps height.
It’s definitely no sleeper, but I don’t think even the race-inspired livery is proper warning for what’s waiting under the loud pedal.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Santa-Fast was equipped with a four-piece band under the dashboard.
A better indication of this car’s speed potential is in the cabin, where we find the driver’s seat replaced with a new Daytona Evo bucket from Momo. Details on the seating arrangement are still a bit vague, as the image we were provided appears to show the remaining passenger seat and rear bench both retained, which would make for quite the interesting trip, given this thing also comes with a chromo four-point roll cage.
What I’d prefer to see is four individual buckets, with two in front and two in the rear. We’ll see what the real thing looks like when it arrives in Vegas at the end of the month.
Completing the track-inspired goodness are race harnesses from Crow, plus a Racepak IQ3 digital dash. No word on how stripped the interior is, but hey – this is SEMA. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Santa-Fast was equipped with a four-piece band under the dashboard. Yeah, it’s that kind of show.
Now for the big stuff.
Replacing the Santa Fe’s stock 3.3-liter V-6 is an extensively modified 3.8-liter Lambda V-6, the same powerplant Hyundai used on the 2006 to 2010 Azera, 2007 to 2008 Centennial, and 2007 to 2012 Veracruz, among others.
Bisimoto converted the Santa-Fast into RWD using a custom Rothfab rear sub-frame, in-house-created axles and half-shaft, and Genesis R-Spec manual gearbox.
In stock form, the 3.8-liter makes 263 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. Then Bisimoto got a hold of it.
Pieced together in a climate-controlled clean room, the Santa-Fast’s powerplant received a custom twin-turbo induction kit (two Turbonetics TNX 30/56 turbos) pumping an ungodly 39 psi into the cylinders. Helping to contain the pressure are Golden Eagle sleeves, plus Arias 9.0:1 forged pistons (custom spec). ARP provided the head studs and bolts, while 2,200 cc injectors from Five-O Racing dump in the fuel. Keeping the charge chilly is a Spearco intercooler core. A custom Bisimoto exhaust (complete with dual-pulse champers) makes the noise, and dual RG45 wastegates and a Godzilla blow-off valve activate between the shifts.
Check out the press release for the complete laundry list of parts.
Of course, sending over 1,000 horsepower through the front wheels is kinda silly (what is this, a Nissan?), so Bisimoto converted the Santa-Fast into RWD using a custom Rothfab rear sub-frame, in-house-created axles and half-shaft, and Genesis R-Spec manual gearbox. A Hyundai Equus diff splits the power, while a racing-spec clutch and aluminum flywheel round it off.
I guess we know which area of the car Bisimoto spent the most attention.
Chassis And Handling
At first glance, I thought this thing would be a drag racer, not a circuit machine. After all, it would a lot easier to just go straight when wheeling around a 1,000-horsepower SUV.
But nobody gets to SEMA by taking the easy way out.
Helping the Santa-Fast turn is a coil-over suspension kit from KW, while those painted-on tires are R888’s from Toyo measuring in at 265/35R19. Stopping it all are Buddy Club four-piston brakes, mounted courtesy of custom Bisimoto brackets.
It’s unlikely this thing will ever see a track, but if it does, I hope it gets the tuning it deserves to harness all that insane power.
Hellcat all the things! That’s the rallying cry around the FCA office, or at least it should be. Personally, I think a 700-horsepower minivan is exactly the kind of model the automotive world is crying out for, or at least it is amongst the folks I talk to.
Read the full review here.
In case you haven’t heard, Hyundai wants to be sporty. Recently, at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the South Korean brand dropped the RN30 concept, previewing an upcoming performance hatchback we’ll all get to buy in a dealership sometime in the near future.
And while I don’t think we’ll be seeing any production Santa-Fast models any time soon, it’s awesome Hyundai is sticking to its checkered-flag-loving guns. More fast cars are always appreciated around here.
Check back in a few weeks when the Santa-Fast gets its public debut in Vegas, and hopefully, we’ll have more details for you.