2JZ-Swapped Toyota GR86 Is an 1,200 HP Tower of Power Built to Formula Drift Spec

Before the Mk V Supra entered production in 2019, the Japanese carmaker was having trouble catering to enthusiasts’ needs, as the GT86 couldn’t handle everything on its own. Nowadays, though, it’s raining performance cars at Toyota’s GR (Gazoo Racing) arm, with the GR Yaris subcompact and the GR Corolla compact hatchbacks having set out to assist the coupe, which has received the GR86 second iteration meanwhile. Of course, the aftermarket is all too happy to play with these beasts and the latest such effort involves a 2JZ-swapped GR86 (actually, there are two of them).

Having grown from 2.0 to 2.4 liters, the N/A four-cylinder boxer of the second-gen Toyobaru now makes 18% more power and 11% more torque. That’s 228 hp (231 PS) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm), which is just enough to scrap the underpowered questions revolving around the first-gen car.

However, when you’re looking to run with the big boys, you might need some extra grunt. And if your kind of running involves competing in Formula Drift Japan, that output premium might have to sit at around 1,000 ponies.

“How they drift in Tokyo”

That’s right, the 2JZ straight-six hearts of the two GR86 coupes we have here make 1,200 hp each. And, assuming they pack the same setup (more on this below), that power comes courtesy of a Garrett turbocharger and a nitrous setup.

The beasts were built over in the Land of the Rising Sun by Fat Five Racing. This is the shop of Daigo Saito, a pro drifter who’s scored championship wins in both his home country and the U.S. over the years. Also, he’s the kind of man who puts a Dodge NASCAR V8 in an OG Hakosuka GT-R.

And, for those of you following the veteran slip angle master’s adventures, this maxed-out GR86 might just feel natural—Saito is probably the first to have gifted the coupe with a 2JZ, and, to the best of our knowledge, the same was true for the Supra in 2019 and the GR Yaris in 2020.

We first came across one of his Mk IV Supra-swapped GR86s in December last year. However, the plan seems to have gone from the turbo using a side fender exhaust to shooting its smoke vertically, which means the two pipes penetrate the hood.

As per the Formula Drift rules, there’s a manual gearbox in there and you can see the clutch in the two interior photos, while at least one of the cars also sports a nitrous setup.

The hydraulic handbrake and wide-angle steering are a given. And, if you’re wondering why the composite rear window only covers half of the factory surface, that’s because there’s an oil cooler sitting in the trunk, sharing the space with a fuel cell. Given the American and Japanese Formula Drift competitions, we’ve seen a similar posterior setup in this Mk V Supra-powered GR86 built by Steph Papadakis.

Now, if the vicious widebody kit fitted to the GR86 duo seems familiar, that’s because we’re dealing with a Pandem Rocket Bunny kit.

Coming to Formula Drift Japan later this month

At least one of these bad boys is destined for Yukio Matsui, a Toyota Motor Corp employee—as he states on Instagram, competing in Formula Drift Japan is a private affair.

Speaking of FD Japan, the first round of the 2022 season is scheduled for April 23-24, when we’ll get to see the contestants painting in rubber at the Fuji Speedway—in the U.S. the sideways hostilities kicked off last weekend, which is how we met this amazing 2JZ-animated GR Corolla.

Meanwhile, Daigo Saito demonstrates the slip angle abilities of the 2JZ-swapped Toyota GR86 in the delicious Instagram video below.



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