on the way to work this morning i passed a supra turbo- not the one with the huge shopping-cart-handle spoiler, the previous one. i'd always wanted one of these in high school- but even though i found a couple in the price range he gave me ($3500), he nixed the idea of anything with a turbo. *sigh*
in retrospect, the reason i'm semi-glad i *didn't* get one is the porcine curb weight of this car- 3600lbs in either turbo or non-turbo form. that's mustang/camaro territory, so this project would definitely require all the psychotic weight reduction tricks found in our earlier project probe gt.
here in america, these cars came with a 3.0-liter 24-valve inline six called the 7MGTE, the turbo model using a slightly larger version of the CT26 turbocharger unit found on the celica all-trac and later, the mr2 turbo. this motor developed 232hp@5600rpm and 254lb-ft@4000rpm. decent, and would have been a much better platform for serious mods had toyota not completely botched the head gasket on this engine- 7M series engines are notorious for developing bad head gaskets.
however, in japan, they were way ahead of what we got stateside- the 4th-generation supra (the one with the big-ass spoiler) used a similar (but better-designed) 3-liter inline six with two smaller turbochargers, called the 2JZ-GTE. JDM 3rd-generation supras got a version of this engine with 14.5mm less stroke (for 2.5 liters of displacement), called the 1JZ-GTE. still a formidable engine equipped with twin-turbos, this motor was rated at 280hp@6200rpm and 269lb-ft@4800rpm. (note that there are a *lot* of high-end japanese sports cars rated at exactly 280hp- this is because there's a "voluntary" limit imposed by the japanese government on how much power their cars can make. usually japanese sports cars rated at 280hp have actual horsepower ratings significantly higher- this is the case with the skyline and several other such cars.)
so this project is fairly simple- take a used supra turbo shell and strip the mf'er. make it as light as possible, and then convert it to a JDM-spec supra with a prepared 1JZ-GTE motor overbored to 87mm (both to make use of better pistons and to increase the displacement slightly- this would give us a motor with 2549cc, compared to the previous displacement of 2491). a single turbo, most likely a straight T4, would replace the factory twin units. it's difficult for me to guesstimate how much power this would end up producing- but VR6's using T4 turbos develop upwards of 350hp, and that's with only two valves per cylinder- the JZ-series motors have four, which would flow significantly more at high RPMs (which the short stroke of this motor makes it *very* capable of- how many inline sixes have you seen that can hit 8000rpm?).
so, why so much trouble to build an older supra? because the body's cheap, and all the import racing events class toyotas as either "3 liters and up" or "less than 3 liters". using this engine combo would allow you to use a FR-platform car capable of a *lot* of power in the sub-3-liter class, where you'd only have to worry about running against the occasional 11-second mr2 turbo, as opposed to the handfuls of 9-second 4th-gen supras out there.
okay, class is over. have a good day, kids. =)
(still haven't heard from amy. *sigh*. hopehopehope.)