Lexus V8 In A Lowly Corolla Produces Potent Weapon

When one talks about Corollas in the drifting world, it's usually about the AE86, which made a huge impact then and is still being used today by serious competitors. When this up and coming drifter wanted something unique for a new drift car, a Corolla was also his choice, but the shell was not an 86 but an AE71. And rather than using the normal powerplants like the 4-AG or the SR20, the engine choice was a 1UZ-FE, which is an engine normally found in Lexus sedans.


Like any serious competition build, a straight body was needed, so the AE71 was sourced from an owner who had his car for many years, stock and untouched. The body was in mint condition, so much so that no unnecessary labor was spent on patching up rusted areas. Apart from the norm of installing a rollcage, the body was also seam-welded to take the stresses of competition. Major front suspension components like the lower control arms, steering rack, hubs and even front crossmember were from Nissan's S-series Silva, while the rear uses the original 4-link solid axle setup with upgraded components like a Hilux diff.


What makes this car truly unique is the choice of Toyota's 1UZ-FE engine. As we said, it's normally found in cars bearing the Lexus branding. But this V8 quad cam engine actually has design elements copied from an Indy Racing League racing engine, with it 6-bolt mains, hypereutectic pistons, 32-valve heads and oversquare engine design permitting high revs. Displacement is 4 liters and stock output is a little under 260 horsepower.

This Corolla's V8 did not stay untouched for long and now has high compression pistons, oversized valves, 286 degree duration cams, uprated fuel injectors, an individual throttle body setup and some cylinder head mods.  Haltech's Sport 2000 ECU controls the engine functions and a 3-inch exhaust handles the spent gases.  Horsepower calculations and dyno runs confirm that output is over 360, which should be enough power to run with the big boys.


The owner of this car started drifting at age 14 and with his new tool should be able to show much older competitors that Falken made the right decision in sponsoring him.

Inspiration for this post here
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