Sure, the 2022 SEMA show gets its fair share of Toyota GR86 builds. But one of the most impressive reveals at the Las Vegas event is the Toyota GT86 built by Cameron Cocalis (aka cam.cocalis), which mixes a tube chassis with an LS swap that turns the engine bay into a piece of art.
I was going to add to the intro by mentioning that the GR86 uses an updated version of its GT86 predecessor’s platform. However, given the tube chassis integrated with the factory panels of the Toyota, that part is no longer relevant. This is the kind of conclusion you reach after zooming in on the project, which the Denver, Colordado-based builder has been handling for a few years now.
As with many projects, the GT86 has been though multiple stages. Nevertheless in the tube-revamped, LS-swapped form showcased in the 2022 SEMA Toyo Tire Treadpass (have you seen the Pagani V12-swapped RX-7 LTO out there?), the car makes for one of the most impressive Toyobarus the world has ever seen.
The engine bay eye candy
Returning to the insanely clean engine compartment, the centerpiece is an LS3, with the 376 ci (6.2L) V8 being capable of delivering 525 hp in its current, naturally aspirated form. For one, the wires are all in the valley, while the coil packs can be found on the other side of the firewall. For the record, the machine uses a Haltec ECU and wiring.
The eight-into-one headers (hey, look, it’s Medusa!) send the exhaust gases towards the front of the car before these are rerouted backwards and eventually exit the machine via a relatively short vertical pipe in the back of the engine bay, which seems to have been removed for SEMA. Oh, and yes, the intake manifold is mounted backwards, hence the title of the article.
The factory six-speed automatic gearbox has made room for a sequentially-actuated six-speed manual. Speaking of which, the car does run, as you’ll notice in the second video below, which was captured just before the vehicle headed out to the Las Vegas event.
This is a drift beast
Cameron Cocalis’ tube chassis Toyota GT86 is a drift car, which explains the presence of the wide-angle FDF Fab front suspension. At the rear, we find an also-artistic assembly, complete with 1,000 hp-capable DSS axles, solid subframe risers, a reinforced subframe and a welded Lexus IS300 differential, plus pushrod suspension.
The competition-grade appearance of the rear section, which also includes a ten-gallon fuel cell and cooling hardware, may be a hint towards future use (i.e. sliding competitions, but not Formula Drift, as, for instance, sequentials are not allowed in the series). And this is the part where it seems that the LS3 will get some additional muscle in the future. Then there’s the stopping power, which is provided by Wilwood brakes.
The cabin contains a custom aluminum dashboard with a Haltech digital instrument cluster (this older view shared on Instagram should give you a better take on the car’s anatomy, wiring included) and a pair of Recaro bucket seats. And yes, there’s a hydraulic handbrake lever.
A few carbon parts, along with Work wheels and a Pandem Rocket Bunny widebody—the front bumper is the Scion FRS version—complete the exterior. And would you look at that competition-grade diffuser!
Black and grey never looked so sleek, so here’s to hoping Cameron, who has handled all the fabrication himself, climbs to the top of the 2022 SEMA competition. Some hours ago, when the builder last updated his status on Insta, he had made it to the Top 10 in the Young Guns battle (under 29yo), as well as the overall Top 40.