1996 Lexus SC300 with JDM Toyota Soarer 1JZ Swap

The Lexus SC300/400 is often overlooked as a tuner platform; it’s perfectly comfortable if not mundane in it’s naturally-aspirated US-Spec but the JDM version (Soarer) was awesomely empowered via a forced-induction Mk4 Supra-esque 1JZ-GTE power-plant.

The first generation SC lasted in production until July 7, 2000, over nine years, quite long compared to the other cars of the 1990s. Even with the SC’s long production cycle, only minor exterior changes were made. New tail lighting and a modified spoiler design was part of the mid-cycle vehicle refresh. A front grille was added in 1997, along with a redesigned front bumper, side skirts and rocker panels.

What a 1JZ swap brings to the table…

The JZZ30 was powered by the 2.5-litre 1JZ-GTE turbocharged engine. Initially featuring two identical small turbos running together (unlike the sequential twin turbo systems of the Supra and Mazda RX-7, for example), it officially produced 276 hp and 268 lb·ft of torque at 4800 rpm. This was in keeping with the Japanese Manufacturers’ advertised power limit agreement, however real-world power outputs were somewhat higher. In August 1996 the engine received Toyota’s variable valve timing system (VVTi) and in conjunction with a single, more efficient turbocharger, produced much better high and mid-range torque 279 lb·ft at just 2400 rpm while still producing the “official” 276 hp of power but with faster response and  better fuel economy.