The powertrain is so deeply ingrained in today’s automotive culture that you basically can’t talk about the tuning industry without mentioning the Japanese unit. The numbers these people manage to squeeze out of a three-liter engine are absolutely astounding, with 1,000 hp now appearing to be the bare minimum of any self-respecting 2JZ build.
I realize that throws a bad light on the Land Rover Defender 90 that we brought you here to talk about because it (ahem!) Only has 595 horsepower, but you always have to put things in perspective. 1,000 horsepower or more may be perfect on a sports car or a car that will spend most of its time on the drag strip, but on something used daily it wouldn’t make sense.
Besides, check out what Landie looks like. With those proportions, I would say the nearly 600 horsepower he has at his disposal is more than enough. It has such a short wheelbase and high profile that you can’t help but wonder if too much power might tip it onto your back if deployed too violently. And I’m not even going to mention the aggressive tread pattern on these tires: I can’t imagine they’ll help SUV at a speed stop even though the brakes themselves were first rate.
The second great thing about Toyota’s little wonder, the engine apart from its virtually unlimited power potential, is the absolutely divine sound it makes. Yes, the low, hoarse growl of a big V8 is a thing of beauty, but so is the high-revving whine of the 2JZ at full throttle, albeit in an entirely different way. If the former is a heavyweight brawler, the latter is an agile martial artist – and you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of either of the two.
I’m not sure why the owner of this Land Rover Defender went for the 2JZ Switch, but I feel like we don’t need anything more complicated than the basic “because they could” answer. If you’re considering giving a car a new engine, that could just as easily be an epic engine, right?
This one here is just a stock 2JZ GTE mated to an R154 five-speed manual transmission, which is probably a great combination for this type of vehicle (an automatic wouldn’t have been so appropriate). However, let’s not finish before mentioning the overall quality of the work done in this Defender: everything looks 100% consistent, from the army green paint (also present on the cylinder head housing) to the perfect level of accessorization – no too much, not too little. Whoever owns this vehicle will be a happy camper.