The Toyota 86 is a great car by many definitions. It delivers a fun driving experience, it’s affordable, it’s rear-wheel drive, and it’s reasonably practical in a day-to-day setting. It’s obvious who this car was built for and the type of driving the engineers and designers foresaw it taking part in.
The suspension and steering is tight, as any modern sports-oriented car should be. Its responsive feel and communicative chassis makes it a joy on the backroads. This is a driver’s car.
As such, it will teach you a lot on a racetrack. Namely, you’ll learn where the braking points are and when they don’t exist, as it takes a good while to make up any speed you’ve lost if you over-brake. And herein lies the near-universal gripe with the car: power. Or more specifically, the lack of it.
So, Kyle Strasburg’s fixed the issue of power with his 86, doing the last thing any reasonable person would do.
Ignoring the strengths of the 86 platform, Pure Automotive Performance out of Maryland initially engine-swapped this car and built it for straight-line speed. Kyle has since gotten his hands on the 2JZ-powered 86 and the end result involves something with 700whp, 3.4 liters, and six cylinders. Obviously, I was interested to learn more.
The car itself is a 2013 model and externally has been modified as little as possible. The additions to the exterior are pure function, and it’s worth pointing out that the parachute on the back is easily removed.
Still, it’s not quite a sleeper, as the very meaty Mickey Thompson ET Street tires on Fifteen 52 two-piece wheels are a bit of a giveaway that something is amiss. There’s a small APR front splitter paired with a custom-made rear diffuser, but beyond this the factory TRD trim is retained. Well, most of it is, as some bits that were in the way have been ruthlessly axed.
The vibrant color is protected by a full clear bra by Go Wraps in Milpitas, California, where I stopped in for an extra look at the car.
This was some months back, so it might be time to take a closer look at some of the project cars which were under the knife here.
Back to the car at hand, the interior is largely intact, and Kyle’s Toyota remains a build that’s still manageable on the street. Updates inside include a Momo Prototipo steering wheel for street duty, a Kirkey seat, and a MoTeC digital dash display.
I quite like the mentality of the car in that the sole purpose is to go fast without completely blowing the budget out of proportion. There really are no frills at this stage — just point it and go.
The go comes thanks to a Titan Motorsports 3.4L stroker 2JZ which has been made even more exciting with a Precision Turbo Gen2 6870 turbine.
Yes, a Toyota chassis with a Toyota engine – a novel concept.
A custom intake manifold utilizes a GM-style drive-by-wire setup, and there’s HKS cams, Bosch 2,000cc injectors, and a Waterman mechanical fuel pump to keep the engine fed with the essentials as spent fumes exit triumphantly through a boost-activated cutout. Otherwise, when cruising, the exhaust finds its way through oval tubing to a Vibrant muffler.
Power is sent into an ATF TH400 – which features a transmission brake for heavy launches — and is ultimately delivered to the wheels through an FR-S differential with a solid pinion spacer and MkIII Supra bearings. Under the skin, Öhlins Road & Track coilovers and Wilwood 6-pot brakes help balance the car’s newfound power.
Again, that’s 700whp at 20psi, which ought to be enough.
In fact, it’s been enough for Kyle to already achieve 170.9mph (275km/h) in the half mile, and something tells me he won’t stop until he hits 175. Or maybe even 180mph.
Although, let’s be honest – it might require the car to go under the knife again, but Kyle probably won’t stop there, either.