Turning the Cushy SC300 Into Exactly the Sort of Sports Car It Was Meant To Be
Whether it’s a 1JZ or 2JZ swap there is one constant, a little JDM replacement for displacement makes the SC300/400 ridiculously fun to toss around some corners or enjoy at an open-track day.
All the fun of a Mk4 Toyota Supra with all the refinement of a Lexus SC…what’s not to love here?
The 2JZ-GTE originally powered the Toyota Aristo V (JZS147) in 1991 before becoming Toyota’s flagship performance engine in the Toyota Supra RZ (JZA80). Its mechanical basis was the existing 2JZ-GE, but differed in its use of sequential twin turbochargers and an air-to-air side-mounted intercooler. The engine block, crankshaft, and connecting rods of the Supra’s 2JZ-GE and 2JZ-GTE are the same, with notable differences being that the 2JZ-GTE has recessed piston tops (giving a lower compression ratio) and oil spray nozzles to aid in cooling the pistons.
However, other 2JZ-GE equipped models (Aristo, Altezza, Mark II) share a different part number for connecting rods. Toyota’s VVT-i variable valve timing technology was added to the engine beginning in September 1997, whence it phased out the original engine. Consequently, maximum torque and horsepower was raised for engines selling in all markets.
The addition of twin turbochargers, jointly developed by Toyota with Hitachi, in sequential configuration had raised its commercially cited output from 230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp) to the contemporary industry maximum of 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) at 5600 rpm. In its first appearance, torque was advertised as 44.3 kgm (435 Nm, 320 lbft) at 4000 rpm to be later recited as 46.0 kgm (451 Nm, 333 lbft) with the introduction VVT-i in production year 1997. The mutually agreed, industry-wide output ceiling was enforced by Japan’s now-defunct Gentlemen’s Agreement exclusively between Japanese automakers selling to the Japanese domestic market. Engine power in the North American and European markets, as documented by Toyota, was increased to 325 PS (239 kW; 321 hp) at 5600 rpm.
The export version of the 2JZ-GTE achieved its higher power output with the use of newer stainless steel turbochargers (ceramic for Japanese models), revised camshafts, and larger injectors (550 cc/min for export, 440 cc/min for Japanese). The mechanical similarities between the Japanese-specification CT20 turbine and export-specification CT12B turbine allow interchangeability of the exhaust-side propeller shaft. Additionally, the export-exclusive CT12B turbine received more durable turbine housings and stainless steel turbine and impeller fins. Multiple variants of the Japanese CT20 turbine exist discretely, which are identified with the B, R, and A part number suffixes (e.g.: CT20A).