16 June 2014|
Modifying a car usually doesn’t usually turn out completely as planned. For Mike Ma, this version of his xB represents the third incarnation.
Words and Photography by Jacob Leveton.
What started as a daily driver quickly turned into a showcase build for his company, M2 Motoring. Since buying the car off the showroom floor in 2004, it has been changed several times to catch the eyes of show goers and parts manufacturers.When the original white paint needed a refresh, Ma transformed the car with a Bape-inspired monochrome camouflage treatment that was featured in this magazine, as well as several others. The car was reintroduced to the public with the Gulf colors, a scheme that mixes a retro-inspired livery with the most modern automotive brand of the 21st century.
Outside, Ma’s build is simple. A Kenstyle lip kit compliments the stock body lines, while DAMD Lover Soul fender flares accentuate the stock shape. Stance comes via AirRex air ride suspension to keep the xB low to the ground. Work Equip 01 wheels give the car a timeless look, while Falken Ziex 512 tires grip the road. An adjustable air suspension kit and aggressive - but reasonably-wearing tires – give Ma the look he wants without sacrificing regular road use.
Under the hood, the 1.5L 2NZ-FE motor was given a healthy 20% bump in horsepower and torque thanks to the GReddy roots-style supercharger, which was produced for a short period of time. Airflow is managed by a K&N intake, DC Sports header and DC Sports exhaust, while cooling is handled by a slew of Mishimoto products. All miscellaneous holes in the engine bay were shaved and the entire bay was sprayed battleship gray. The numerous wires were tucked by B3 Tuning for a clean, hot-rod look. Due to the low displacement of the stock motor and relatively low boost, the car still produces good gas mileage but has enough pep to get up to speed when merging on to Southern California freeways.
Inside the cabin, the car was given a race theme while still maintaining creature comforts. Sparco Evo 3 race seats are paired with a custom 4-point roll bar from Oink Fabrications to provide safety in the event of any off-road excursions.
The NRG steering wheel and quick release short hub replace the bulky stock unit, while DEFI gauges and an ATI e-Pod allow Ma to keep an eye on the engine vitals. A ScanGauge also allows him to monitor gas mileage and error codes. All engine mapping is handled by a GReddy eManage piggyback system mounted in the glove box along with a pair of gauges to monitor the air suspension.
Rounding out the build, Ma teamed up with Jensen Mobile to provide a full array of stereo components. Because he has put well over 100,000 miles on the odometer, he felt it made sense to also upgrade the sound system with this build.
With that in mind, Ma installed a system controlled by a Jensen head unit, with 6.5-inch 3-way speakers in the doors and 4-inch speakers in the dash and rear to supplement the sound. All power comes from a Jensen 4-channel amp, and the entire installation was handled by AutoFashion in San Diego, California. The speaker boxes were wrapped in leather, along with the door cards to provide a luxurious feel and appearance.
As stunning as the car is, since this feature was shot, Ma sold his xB in an effort to focus on his family and new projects. Considering the car was his most photographed build and the one that has logged the most miles, it was a hard but necessary decision. In fact, since selling the xB in mid-2012, Ma has gone on to build more than 10 magazine and SEMA cars, serving notice that the xB is far from being his final build!
ESSENTIALS // Vehicle: 2004 Scion xB, Owner: Mike Ma, Horsepower: 130 hp (est.), Torque: 126 lb-ft. (est.)
ENGINE // Toyota 2NZ-FE 1.5L, GReddy supercharger, K&N air intake, Mishimoto (radiator, oil cooler, silicone hoses), Custom re-painted engine bay (battleship grey), Wire tuck and battery relocation by B3Tuning, Shaved engine bay
EXHAUST // DC Sports (header, exhaust)
ELECTRONICS // GReddy Emanage
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION // AirRex air ride system, Cusco front sway bar, DC sports strut tower bar • Custom camber plates, Air Zenith air compressor
WHEELS / TIRES // Work Equip 01 custom anodized metal barrel finish wheels – 15x8.5 (f), 15x9.5 (r), Falken 512 tires – 205/50R15 (f), 225/50R15 (r)
EXTERIOR // Gulf Oil paint scheme, Kenstyle body kit, DAMD Soul Lover fender flares
INTERIOR // Sparco Evo3 racing seats, Oink fabrications custom 4-point roll cage, Complete interior leather re-wrap, (complete doors, rear quarter pieces), Porsche sliverknit floor carpeting, NRG (steering wheel, quick release, short hub) • ScanGauge by Linear Logic, Dynojet digital wideband, Defi gauges with ATI ePod
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS // Jensen (double-DIN headunit, 6.5-in.components (2), 4-in. coaxial speakers, 4-channel amplifier)
Contributor, Jacob Leveton