5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

The 2JZ is adored for its service in the A80 Toyota Supra. That wasn't its only home, though
 5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

Ah, the 2JZ. We all know it for its action in the Toyota Supra, with the 3.0-litre inline-six taking on an almost mythical status thanks to its years of proving easy to tune and remaining reliable at huge horsepower numbers.

Although best remembered for its service in the ‘90s grand tourer and being later swapped into almost anything imaginable, it’s also acclaimed for its time in the Soarer and Chaser. However, Toyota didn’t just put the unit into its sportier cars, seeing action in some other cars. Some were quite mundane - much like our Lexus GS300, which you can watch  Ethan’s solo effort to hack the 2JZ out of in the CT YouTube video above - and others outright strange.

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Toyota Progres

 5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

Let’s start with the truly, truly boring. Despite boring its name for the French word for ‘progress’, the Toyota Progres was a mid-size saloon sold only in Japan, built using the same underpinnings as the Lexus IS of the time.

There’s little that interesting to say about the Progres, other than it being available with the 2JZ. Even then, it was the naturally aspirated GE and slightly more efficient FSE rather than the twin-turbo GTE. At most, you’d have it with about 220bhp - sent through a four-speed automatic gearbox.

That said, as a sensible commuter car, it had some nice trimmings. Six airbags were respectable for the time of its introduction in 1998, and it had GPS built in too. A space-age feature at the time.

Toyota Origin

 5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

Underneath its skin, the Toyota Origin was identical to the Progres - including its limp performance. However, this was a much, much more interesting car.

Introduced in 2000, this was a homage to the very first Toyota Crown - or as it was known, the Toyopet Crown. It had a convincing effort of grafting the looks of the RS series Crown from the ‘50s onto the chassis of the mundane Progres, and that isn’t even where the strangeness ends.

You see, it had suicide rear doors - much like the original car - and the car was partly hand-built by the same people trained specifically to build the flagship, V12-powered Century. Just 1,000 were made, making the potentially the rarest car to use a 2JZ.

Toyota Brevis

 5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

The Brevis is another car spun off the underpinnings of the Progres, and wasn’t a whole lot more exciting. However, it did get some key differences in a bid to try and win over a younger crowd.

Aimed squarely at the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, it took some styling cues from the Lexus LS430 including more bulbous headlights and a rear end very reminiscent of the bigger car. It’s no surprise that Toyota toyed with the idea of selling it as a Lexus globally, although that never came to fruition.

Provided you were in Japan, you could have it with an LCD infotainment system, a built-in CD changer and a seven-speaker audio system. Very youthful, at least for 2001.

Toyota Cresta

 5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

If you wanted the performance of a Chaser, yet with luxury a little more in line with that of the Lexus LS400, the Cresta was the perfect middle ground.

Though the model line existed from 1980 through to 2001, it was the final two generations - the X90 and the X100 - that could be had with the 2JZ, albeit only in GE flavour. However, this wasn’t the engine to have - rather you could opt for the twin-turbo 1JZ in both cars and with a five-speed manual, too.

The Cresta of these generations was packed with luxury. Factory options include cruise control, ABS, a full leather interior and even a digital instrument cluster. More exciting still, you could have it with an LSD.

Toyota Altezza/Lexus IS300

 5 2JZ-Powered Cars That Aren’t A Toyota Supra

This one is likely more common knowledge, but perhaps underappreciated. In Japan as the Altezza A300 - or as it’s better known around the globe as the Lexus IS300 - the the small saloon was offered with a 2JZ-GE.

In Japan, the A300 could only be had throughout its life with a five-speed automatic. This was initially true for the IS300 both in the US and UK, but later in life, it would get an optional and now very sought-after six-speed manual gearbox.

Better still, the IS300 was available as a Sportwagon, meaning yes, the 2JZ-powered estate did briefly exist.


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