Except you're a major car nerd, there aren't many engine variants out there that you'd easily identify. The LS, K-series, and Hemi are just a few that most gear heads will recognize. But none of those is arguably more significant than Toyota's iconic three-syllable powerplant, the 2JZ.
Thrust into the spotlight thanks to the glorification it received from the Fast & Furious franchise, the high-performance Toyota engine is seen as one of the most tunable engines - if not the most tunable engine - ever developed. From its incredible use of durable materials, to a design that allows the use of the least amount of moving parts necessary, the 2JZ lives up to the hype, and then some.
Much like the other engines mentioned above, the success of the 2JZ lies in its most common characteristic: availability. Featured in 17 different Toyota models, the multiple variations of the 2JZ allow tuners to enjoy a highly-reliable engine, for a fraction of the price of most performance-derived engines. On that note, this is a brief history regarding the legacy of Toyota's 2JZ engine.
The Toyota 2JZ Engine: Variants And Applications
Since it's unveiling in 1991, the 2JZ achieved legendary status in Japan for its over-engineered, closed engine design that made it capable of withstanding an astounding level of boost on its stock internals. The 3.0L, straight-six engine began to receive worldwide praise after the major screen time it received in the Fast & Furious movie, solidifying it as the engine of choice for tuners around the globe.
However, all 2JZs aren't created equal. It's true all are 2,997 cc size engines, featuring the same cylinder bore and stroke diameter, but major differences include the materials used for the internals, forced induction, as well as compression ratio. Thus, outlining the major differences between a well-built, long-lasting engine, and an engine capable of taking a beating and being pushed to the very edge, with a smile on its face.
First, we have the naturally-aspirated, 2JZ. Otherwise, known as the GE; with "G" signifying the performance-oriented dual overhead cam setup, and the "E" referencing the electronically fueled injection.
Utilizing a 10:1 compression ratio and a dual-stage manifold, output ranges from 212 horsepower to 227 horsepower, with about 209 lb-ft to 220 lb-ft of torque. Featuring an aluminum head and a cast-iron cylinder block, the naturally aspirated variant is more than capable of receiving the full-bolt on treatment, should the modest power not suffice.
Applications for the 2JZ-GE in Toyota vehicle models include the Altezza, Lexus IS300, Aristo, Lexus GS300, Crown, Origin, and the Supra, among others.
Next we have the Toyota's performance flagship engine, the GTE. Featuring the same DOHC and electronically fueled injection, the "T" now referenced the implementation of a twin-turbo, forced induction system. In addition to the new Hitachi turbo set-up, the air-cooled engine features a cast-iron block, and aluminum cylinder head like its NA brother, but in order to fight Nissan's highly successful RB26DETT engine that powered the R34 GT-R, Toyota had to flex its engineering muscle.
The GTE would receive recessed piston tops for a lower compression ratio of 8.5:1, oil spray nozzles to increase piston cooling, and a redesigned head that now features upgraded inlet/exhaust ports, cams, and valves. Results would materialize in the form of increased power output, from 227 horsepower, to the industry maximum of 276 horsepower, and 333 lb-ft of torque. In North American and European markets, outside the confinements of Japan's Gentlemen's Agreement, the 2JZ-GTE saw its true power rating of 320 horsepower.
Applications for the 2JZ-GTE include the Toyota Aristo 3.0V/V300 and the Toyota Supra RZ/Turbo.
Finally, we arrive at what only can be described as the red-headed stepchild of the 2JZ family, the FSE. Introduced in 2000, the FSE was a direct injection variant of the GE and GTE, tasked with achieving minimal emissions and fuel consumption, without sacrificing performance.
Sporting an even higher compression ratio than the GE, 11.3:1, the FSE is capable of matching the naturally-aspirated GE at 217 horsepower, with 217 lb-ft of torque. Always used in conjunction with an automatic transmission, the FSE was never accepted by the tuning community due to the high cost required to achieve maximum power.
Applications for the 2JZ-FSE include Toyota models such the Brevis, Progres, and the Crown Majesta.
The Toyota 2JZ: The Ideal Engine For Your Swap
Revered as one of the most versatile engines for its build quality and availability, the 2JZ's cast-iron block was a major reason for the engine's durability. The closed-deck design reinforces the cylinder walls, allowing for massive amounts of boost, while a multilayer steel head gasket limited the chances of failure when subjected to high amounts of pressure. A forged steel crankshaft, wide bearing design, and plenty of thrust bearing also contributed to the 2JZ's unwillingness to blow, despite taking consistent beating.
Widely regarded as a meme among car enthusiast circles, the ultra-capable engine can easily reach 400 to 500 horsepower with a simple bolt-on turbo. Those with a deeper pocket will have no issues seeing 700 to 800 horsepower, while the most dedicated of tuners can achieve well over 1,000 horsepower on its stock block.The extremely short list of common problems, coupled with the mind-boggling amount of available information, makes the 2JZ engine a fantastic choice for any enthusiast looking to spice up their build. The long list of vehicle applications for the 2JZ variants not only make for a mass-produced, easily-sourced engine, but a rather inexpensive option. Combined with legendary Toyota reliability, the list of reasons to not get a 2JZ swap for your next build isn't much longer than the three-syllable acronym, itself.