Defender 90 Gets Toyota Supra Engine Swap Because Everything’s Better With a 2JZ


The world is full of excellent, well-known engines that range from Porsche’s flat sixes to GM’s LS V8s, but when it comes to global fame, we’re pretty sure nothing can beat Toyota’s 2JZ straight-six. The powerplant is so deeply ingrained into the current automotive culture that you basically can’t talk about the tuning industry without mentioning the Japanese unit. The numbers these people manage to squeeze out of a three-liter engine are absolutely astounding, with 1,000 hp now seemingly being the bare minimum of any self-respecting 2JZ build. I realize that kind of casts a bad light on the Land Rover Defender 90 we brought you here to talk about since it (ahem!) only has 595 horsepower, but you always have to put things into perspective. 1,000 hp or more may be fine and dandy on a sports car or one that’s going to spend most of its time at the drag strip, but on something used as a daily, it would make little to no sense. Besides, look at the way this Landie looks. With those proportions, I’d argue the nearly 600 horsepower it has is more than enough. It has such a short wheelbase and a tall profile that you can’t help but wonder whether too much power couldn’t make it flip on its back if deployed too violently. And I’m not even going to mention the aggressive tread on those tires: I can’t imagine they’ll help bring the SUV to a halt from speed even if the brakes themselves were top-notch. The second great thing about Toyota’s little wonder, engine apart from its virtually unlimited power potential, is the absolutely divine sound it makes. Yes, the low, raspy grunt of a large V8 is a thing of beauty, but so is the high-revving whine of the 2JZ at full blast, even if in a totally different way. If the former is a heavy-weight brawler, the latter is an agile martial artist – and you wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of either of the two. I don’t know why the owner of this Land Rover Defender opted for the 2JZ switch, but I feel as though we don’t need anything more complicated than the basic “because they could” answer. If you’re going to give a car a new engine, it might as well be an epic one, right? This one right here is just a stock 2JZ GTE mated to an R154 five-speed manual transmission, which is probably a great combination for this kind of vehicle (an automatic wouldn’t have been as fitting). However, let’s not sign off before we mention the overall quality of the work put into this Defender: it all looks 100 percent cohesive, from the army green paint (present on the cylinder head case as well) to the perfect level of accessorizing – not too much, not too little. Whoever owns this vehicle is going to be a happy camper.