Toyota’s seemingly bulletproof 2JZ engine is perhaps the cornerstone of the legendary Supra’s appeal. While the car certainly had beautiful, timeless styling and the type of fit and finish found in cars well above its price point, the engine has always been the biggest draw.
But what exactly is it about the 2JZ powerplant that works so well? As you might expect, what it boils down to is the engineers behind the vaunted engine did their homework and got just about everything right when designing it.
When you can take a 3.0 litre engine while leaving the bottom-end completely untouched and smash out out over 800 horsepower, you know you’re working with a beast of an engine; especially when you consider those numbers are at the wheels, meaning the engine itself is potentially pushing somewhere close to four digits.
So which factors exactly make the 2JZ such a beast? TunerTestDrive dove into that exact question and came up with a few factors that contribute to the engine’s insane power potential.
The most notable factor is the anchor of the engine itself, the block. While many automakers have switched to aluminium engines, that wasn’t really a widespread option back in the '90s. The 2JZ’s iron block is not only a stronger material to start with, the closed-deck design gives the block even more rigidity under huge boost levels.
The inline-six design is more balanced than the more common v-style engines, and the block features seven main caps. The beefed-up caps keep the crank secured inside the block under heavy boost.
Another notable feature is that the 2JZ features a non-interference design, which means if the timing belt breaks, it doesn’t slam the valves into the tops of the pistons and destroy the head or the pistons.
This generally is not possible on modern high-compression engines, due to their limited clearances between piston and valve at top-dead-centre.
The iron block, closed deck, inline 6 design was built to handle enormous power in its stock form. 700hp to 800hp can be supported with just a single turbo conversion, upgraded fuel system and tuning.
I should know, I have built and owner several JZA80 supras that pushed between 500 to 600 hp at the wheels with relative ease. They were daily drivers as well!
With the help of the huge aftermarket support, the 2JZ engine can meet almost any horsepower goal. A 1000hp Toyota Supra is now the norm. You're going to need north of 1500hp to be considered making "big power". Just ridiculous!