Video: Turbo 1JZ-Swapped Mustang Is Surprisingly Capable On Track

The idea of a Supra motor in a Mustang sounds like a recipe for battered bystander but the two work well together on the track better than you might think. The SN95 Mustang isn’t too heavy when it’s been stripped of the plasticky interior and that diet, along with some of the better bits from the Ford parts bin, and a Japanese turbocharged motor amount to a crowd-drawing track toy with a puzzling exhaust note.

Impressively, the mod list isn’t too long with this one. In the engine bay went a first-generation 1JZ-GTE, the high-revving sister to the MKIV Supra’s famous motor. Essentially, a 1JZ-GTE for those unaware is a more commonplace version of the venerable 2JZ-GTE with a shorter stroke and 2.5 liters of displacement instead of 3. With the aid of a Borg Warner 300-series turbo and a Haltech ECU, this straight-six spits out 500 horsepower without much lag.

Minor countersteering is par for the course, but this car still puts its power down better than you might figure.

A peaky single turbo might not seem ideal for a road course, but this Mustang’s been retrofitted with a 2003 Cobra’s independent rear suspension—this one complete with 4.10 gears and a Ford Trac-Lock differential. Traction is supreme. Though the car may need some rebound tuning since it has a habit of letting go over crests (2:47 above), its snappy delivery is typically harnessed with the abundant rear grip available. For proof of this claim, note in the footage below how he’s able to match a well-driven Porsche Cayman out of slower bends at Englishtown.

Like a rally driver on a committed charge, he’s able to bend this hodgepodge around corners fast enough to sway anyone thinking that an iron inline-six is necessarily an anchor over the front axle. Then, with surprising alacrity, the rear turns the turbo power into propulsion and it devours straights better than most. Even if it didn’t corner as well as it does, that’s a recipe for pitlane popularity when that signature shriek emanates from the tailpipe of a fourth-generation Mustang.

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About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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