2JZ-Powered Toyota 4Runner Hits the Dragstrip, Smokes Mustang and Camaro

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Introduced in 1983, the Toyota 4Runner is one of the roughest and toughest SUVs out there. Some would describe it as the very definition of ruggedness. Perfectly suited to tackle the unbeaten path, the 4Runner is by no means the kind of vehicle you’d take to the track. Not even in TRD Pro trim. Unless you replace the standard mill with a Supra-sourced 2JZ, that is.

As ludicrous as it may sound, someone actually did the swap. Meet Darren Knepper, the man who turned a 1990s 4Runner into a drag-capable beast by dropping a 2JZ engine with a huge, 80mm Garrett turbocharger under the hood. The mill is capable of up to 1,200 horsepower, which probably means this is the world’s most powerful 4Runner. The SUV is also billed as the world’s fastest 4Runner, a claim backed by solid quarter-mile runs.

We’ve already discussed this beefed-up example  earlier in September 2021. But now it’s time to see it flex its 2JZ mill at the drag strip. Darren recently visited Byron Dragway during the 2021 Hot Rod Drag Week and pitted his Toyota against a couple of full-fledged muscle cars. And he posted quicker ETs!

The 4Runner completed the quarter-mile in 10.29 seconds at 135 mph (217 kph) against a 1967 Ford Mustang and in 10 seconds flat at 140 mph (225 kph) against a modern Chevrolet Camaro. Needless to say, it would be downright pointless to compare this SUV to a regular 4Runner. The current-generation SUV wouldn’t be a match either.

But this one is actually quicker than that. Darren’s record on the quarter-mile sits an impressive 9.6-seconds at 147 mph (237 kph)! That’s a bit quicker than the… wait for it… Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Mopar covers the distance in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. This 4Runner is quite the slingshot, don’t you think?

It may sound unbelievable, but all the proof you need is in the video below. Just hit play to watch the world’s meanest 4Runner burn rubber down the quarter-mile.