With the 2022 season of Formula Drift now preparing for its second round in late May, you would imagine that all the big guns have already been revealed. After all, America’s top-tier drifting competition has brought us toys like a 1,000 HP Toyota GR Corolla, an R35-swapped 2023 Nissan Z or a twin-turbo V12 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Well, you’d be wrong, with the series set to receive yet another insane swap in the form of a Toyota GR86 powered by an FJ Cruiser’s 4.0L V6.
Sure, the 1GR-FE engine used here doesn’t come with a V8 growl, not does it stand for the good old 2JZ banner like this Japanese GR86 built by pro drifter Daigo Saito. But it does represent something greater than a supercharged application with a sweet power number of at least 1,000 hp.
As its builder, pro driver Ken Gushi, explains on social media, the aftermarket support for these otherwise capable 4.0L V6s is missing. Thus, the Japanese athelte has had to created many parts from the ground up. And the intake plenum, which has to cope with 30 lbs of boost from that mighty blower, is an example as good as any—not least thanks to its tennis ball green-like shade, you’ll instantly spot this in the gallery below.
Gushi, who used his previous Mk V Supra race car for the 2022 Formula Drift USA season opener earlier this month, while also competing in Formula Drift Japan behind the wheel of a Lexus RC, has been working on the FJ Cruiser-animated GR86 since November last year.
It sure sounds like a monster
Just a few hours ago, the athlete released a dyno video of the double-Toyota project and you can listen to the shriek of the S/C V6 via the Instagram post at the bottom of the story.
The car packs the usual Formula D hardware (e.g., fuel cell at the back, wide-angle steering and specific suspension, manual gearbox, etc.). Then there’s the Pandem Rocket Bunny widebody kit. Now, if the aero seems familiar, it could be because you’ve seen this on another FD USA Toyota GR86, which is powered by the GR Supra’s BMW-sourced 3.0L straight-six, pushed to the usual 1,000+ hp number.
Added carbon bits (would you look at that blower protruding through the hood) and white Rays Wheels complete the setup. And Gushi isn’t the only one looking forward to seeing this Toyota coupe tearing up its tires in Orlando, Florida on May 19-22.
Update [April 30, 2022]: Gushi got the Toyota “1GR86” out to play before Formula Drift’s next round and he seems pleased with how the car performs, as he explains in the Instagram post below, which also showcases the glorious turbo soundtrack of the FJ Cruiser 4.0L V6: “A few issues during our first test but all things considered, pretty happy with how it came out. Next stop, Atlanta!”