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Fly Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee


No, we didn’t misquote Muhammad Ali because this ‘Tezza doesn’t float around, it downright flies at lightning speed and stings anything in its path

On first; and probably second glance as well, this Toyota Altezza comes across as another cleanly built ‘Tezza with a wing and some nice wheels. “Elegant, tidy and probably rocking close to stock power,” you think while stopped next to it at the traffic lights. A nod of approval later, you probably forget about it and get going as the lights turn green.

Then you hear it, that unmistakable and unrestrained sound of a straight six furiously howling through the Buddyclub Spec III titanium muffler as a yellow blur zips past you at lightspeed; disappearing into the distance before you realise it was the ‘Tezza from the lights.

Much like the man whose quote inspired the title, this Altezza shares a comparable punch to the legendary Muhammad Ali.

The list of mods on this build is mind-blowing. However, what’s even more staggering is that plenty of the work except for the engine build itself was performed by the owner himself. That’s the very true definition of built, not bought.

At the heart of this monster is what some call the best combo of a JZ engine; a 1.5JZ-GTE. While not something officially produced by Toyota, many in the tuning world consider the smaller displacement 1JZ’s head to possess better flowing capabilities. Hence, bolting it onto the larger displacement 2JZ gives the best of both worlds.

Here, the head is from a JZX110 while the block is a 2JZ-GE VVT-I item. Dropping it into the Altezza isn’t as difficult a proposition as some might consider. There were two straight-six engines available from the factory for the car; the naturally-aspirated 2JZ and the 1G-GTE.

Here, a crossmember from the latter’s GXE10 trim is used, with 2JZ-FSE engine brackets and rigid 3S-GE mountings. A little refresh with Clevite race bearings for the block was done. The head received HKS 256/264 camshafts and cam pulleys for a bump up to the powerband. Fueling is handled by Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors, an Elixir 500lph fuel pump and Fuelab fuel pressure regulator.

Sending copious amounts of pressured air into the mix is a Borgwarner turbo with a carbon blanket to retain heat and a Blitz filter to keep the air clean. It sits on a ceramic-coated manifold and is managed by a HKS 45mm wastegate and HKS Type-1 BOV to prevent harmful compressor surge. A HKS Type-R intercooler keeps charged air cool. HKS also provides the oil cooler.

If there’s ever one area on a build that you can’t go overkill on, it’s probably the engine cooling system. A Forged Racing radiator in the front is aided by Spal twin 14-inch fans for flow and a Cusco cooling panel to force air into it.

“Why did you mention the front? We all know where the radiator is fool.” That’s true but there’s also a GReddy rear-mounted radiator with a single Spal fan feeding it air. Samco hoses and a NTCL 68-degree thermostat completes the system.

Surprisingly, 1NZ-FE coil packs from the humble Vios are used instead while the throttle system was converted to a Nissan VQ35 drive-by wire e-throttle with the e-pedal from a Nissan X-Trail and the e-power steering pump from a Toyota MR-S. Given the huge electrical demands of the build, a Mechman 170amp alternator was fitted.

Sending power to the rear wheels is a familiar box in these swaps; the five-speed R154 transmission. However, this one’s been fitted with custom ratios and a HKS twin-clutch with custom kevlar lining keeping power going to both wheels is a Cusco 1.5-way LSD mounted on Weld semi-rigid mounts.

Getting the e-throttle and e-pedal from different cars to work with an engine it wasn’t designed for would require more than just luck. It would require an Emtron KV8 standalone ECU. Plugged by a custom RnR Autosport harness and tuned by them too, an Emtron rotary dial allows multiple map selections while an AIM Strada MXS digital display puts vital engine info on display sans the need for many gauges.

If you thought the engine had a lot of stuff in it, here comes the suspension and chassis mods to shit on your theory. Quantum coilovers mated with swift springs are the fourteenth set of coilovers on the car; 10 of which were installed by the owner himself just to learn about spring rates and ride height adjustments.

There’s a Cusco chromoly five-point rollcage installed so cleanly you’d not notice it until we mentioned it. That was done by the owner himself at home too. The entire Cusco catalogue was thrown at the car and includes front adjustable member reinforcement rod bar, front negative camber arms, front three-point strut bar, front lower arm bar V2, rear lower arm bar V2, rear lower arm bar V1 (J bar), front anti-roll bar, rear anti-roll bar, rear three-point strut brace and rear trunk bar. Yes, every single item is from Cusco.

Superpro provided the steering rack bushings, front lower arms bushing, front caster arm bushing and front & rear anti-roll bar bushing. The owner himself customed the roll-centre adjuster, bushing tie rod for extra turn ratio, adjustable rear axle rod and adjustable rear lower link.

Stopping this super sedan are AP Racing six-piston caliper with a JZA80 Supra servo and APP brake lines. They hide behind some 18-inch gunmetal Rays Gramlights 57F wheels wrapped in Nexen SUR4G rubbers.

Contrary to the engine, the interior is as simple as it gets. A pair of Recaro SP-JJ Schwarz Raptor semi-bucket seats and a Nardi Classic ND Classico highlight the owner’s emphasis on improving the driving experience and nothing else.

Those that know will recognise that the striking yellow is a tip of the hat to a very special Supra as the car that serves as an inspiration to the build was available in the extremely limited shade of Solar Yellow 576.

The rest of the exterior comprises a Eleven Nine Motorsport carbon fibre hood, Origin carbon fibre roof, Voltex Type-2 carbon fibre wing, Zenki grille, custom splitter and diffuser as well as kouki model taillights. A touch of Russian can be found with the KFD Tuningshop carbon fibre boot lid and FRP doors; the latter of which were fitted and aligned by the owner.

Build credentials such as this don’t come across often. Of course, you could always throw money at a shop and undoubtedly have quality such as this replicated. But the ability to say that your own sweat and hands shaped some of the items on this car is something that money can’t buy.

Car – Toyota Altezza

Engine – 1.5JZ-GTE comprising 1JZ-GTE VVT-I head from JZX110 and 2JZ-GE VVT-I block, GXE10 crossmember, 2JZ-FSE engine brackets, 3S-GE rigid engine mountings, Clevite race bearings, HKS 256/264 camshafts + cam pulleys, 1NZ-FE coil packs, Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors, Elixir custom fuel hanger, Elixir 500lph fuel pump, Fuelab fuel pressure regulator, Fluidampr crank pulley, Borgwarner S364.5 SX-E 0.92 turbocharger, carbon turbo blanket, ceramic-coated exhaust manifold, HKS 45mm wastegate, HKS BOV Type-1, HKS R-Type intercooler, HKS oil cooler, Blitz air filter, NTCL 68-degree thermostat, Spal twin 14-inch fans, Spal 13-inch fan (rear), Forged Racing radiator (front), Greddy radiator (rear), Cusco radiator cooling panel, Samco radiator hoses, custom bend power steering hardlines, Nissan VQ35 drive-by wire e-throttle, e-pedal from Nissan X-Trail, e-power steering pump from Toyota MR-S, Mechman 170amp alternator, Buddyclub Spec III titanium muffler

Electronics – Emtron KV8, Emtron rotary dial, AIM Strada MXS + GPS08, RnR Autosport custom harness

Transmission – R154 transmission with custom ratios, HKS twin clutch with custom kevlar lining, Cusco 1.5-way LSD with 3.9 final

Chassis & Handling – Quantum coilovers + swift springs 18k (front) and 10k (rear), Cusco chromoly five-point rollcage, Cusco front adjustable member reinforcement rod bar, Cusco front negative camber arms, Cusco front three-point strut bar, Cusco front lower arm bar V2, Cusco rear lower arm bar V2, Cusco rear lower arm bar V1 (J bar), Cusco front anti-roll bar, Cusco rear anti-roll bar, Cusco rear three-point strut brace, Cusco rear trunk bar, Superpro steering rack bush, Superpro front lower arms bushing, Superpro front caster arm bushing, Superpro front & rear anti-roll bar bushing, self-custom RCA, self-custom bushing tie rod for extra turn ratio, self-custom adjustable rear axle rod, self-custom adjustable rear lower link, Weld semi-rigid differential mounts

Brakes – AP Racing six-piston caliper CP55555, JZA80 Supra brake servo, APP brake lines

Wheels & Tyres – Rays Gramlights 57F 18×8.5J +35 (front), 18×9.5J +40 (rear), Nexen SUR4G 245/40R18 (front), 265/35R18 (rear)

Interior – Nardi Classic ND Classico (350mm), Recaro SP-JJ Schwarz Raptor

Exterior – Eleven Nine Motorsport carbon fibre hood, Origin carbon fibre roof, KFD Tuningshop carbon fibre boot lid, KFD Tuningshop FRP doors, Voltex Type-2 carbon fibre wing, Zenki grille, custom splitter + diffuser, kouki model tail lights, Akzonobel Sikken Solar Yellow 576 (Toyota)

Garage – HT ProShop

Tuner – RnR Autosport

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