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Toyota Engines That Are Worthy Alternatives To The 2JZ

There are plenty of alternatives to Toyota's 2JZ engine, but there are other Toyota engines you may want to consider for big power.

We keep hearing about the overengineering and power potential of Toyota's iconic 2JZ inline-six engine. While there is enough proof that the Japanese straight-six is a force to be reckoned with, there are other engines, which for one reason or another, have been overlooked or underrated.

I compiled a list of the following engines, which pack serious potential, possibly even more than what the 2JZ platform can offer.


Before Toyota introduced the venerable 2JZ, there was the 7M. Its most notable application was in the Toyota Supra Mk3, and like the 2JZ, it had a turbocharged version, dubbed the 7M-GTE. The engine was robust in naturally aspirated form, but the turbocharged version experienced issues with blown head gaskets.

The original head gaskets were made from sub-par material, which degraded rapidly. Aside from that, the 7M-GTE is a solid platform and if you are willing to spend the money, it can push similar power to a 1JZ and 2JZ. The engine is an especially great tuning platform if you are planning to stay under 700 horsepower. 

Toyota 7M-GTE engine specifications 

  • Displacement: 3.0 liters/ 2,954 cc/ 180.29 cubic inches 
  • Material: cast-iron block, aluminum head 
  • Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder 
  • Aspiration: turbocharged/ single CT26 turbocharger working at 6 PSI of boost 
  • Fuel system: multi-port injection (MPi) 
  • Output: 232 horsepower at 5,600 RPM, 254 pound-feet at 3,200 RPM 
  • Bore and stroke: 83 mm x 91 mm 
  • Weight: 463 pounds (210 kg) 


Toyota's V-6 engines are considered the best in terms of balancing reliability and low maintenance costs. They are also a rather underrated platform when it comes to making power. The 2GR-FE is widely featured across Toyota and Lexus’ model lineup, and in some cases, even non-Toyota models like the Lotus Emira and Exige before it benefited from the Toyota V-6.

The 2GR-FSE is a newer version of the same engine, featuring direct fuel injection in addition to the traditional, multi-port injection. It's also slightly heavier than the 2GR-FE. The general consensus is that 430-460 horsepower is the limit of the stock internals. We have seen this engine in cars like the Lotus Exige S where thanks to a supercharger, it makes 416 horsepower and 310 pound-feet. 

Toyota 2GR-FE/ FSE engine specifications 

  • Displacement: 3.5 liters/ 3,456 cc/ 210.9 cubic inches 
  • Material: aluminum block and head 
  • Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder, VVT-i 
  • Aspiration: naturally-aspirated 
  • Output: 276-314 horsepower at 6,400 RPM, 252-280 pound-feet at 4,700/ 4,800 RPM 
  • Fuel system: multi-port injection (2GR-FE), multi-port + direct injection (2GR-FSE) 
  • Bore and stroke: 94 mm x 83 mm 
  • Weight: 359 pounds (163 kg) - 2GR-FE, 383 pounds (174 kg) - 2GR-FSE 


Tоyota's V-8 engines are almost as underrated as the company's V-6 powertrains. The 2UR-GSE is featured in some of the most powerful Lexus models, and even serves as a test bed for a liquid hydrogen-burning variant, co-developed with Yamaha. It may also be the basis for the Lexus LFA’s successor's twin-turbo V-8 hybrid powertrain. Regardless, even in stock form, the engine makes nearly 100 horsepower per liter.  

While there aren't many examples of heavily-modified 2UR-GSE engines around, but if we wind time back to the 2016 SEMA, Lexus showcased a stripped-down Lexus LC500, with a 5.6-liter variant of the same engine, said to be capable of over 900 horsepower. The engine comes standard, with a forged, steel crankshaft, and four hollow camshafts for reduced weight. 

Toyota/ Lexus 2UR-GSE engine specifications 

  • Displacement: 5.0 liters/ 4,969 cc/ 303 cubic inches 
  • Material: aluminum block and head 
  • Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder, with VVT-i and VVT-iE on intake camshafts 
  • Aspiration: naturally-aspirated 
  • Output: 472-477 horsepower at 6,400-7,100 RPM, 391-395 pound-feet at 4,800 RPM 
  • Fuel system: multi-port + direct fuel injection, two injectors per cylinder 
  • Bore and stroke: 94 mm x 89.5 mm 
  • Weight: 489 pounds (222 kg) 


The 1JZ-GTE lives in the shadow of its bigger sibling, the 2JZ-GTE, but in some regards, it may prove to be better. Both engines share identical, cast-iron block, and the 1JZ can rev, in standard, form to 8,000 RPM – something the 2JZ can't do. Some who had experience with modifying both engines suggest the 1JZ head may actually provide better gas flow, but we are yet to see tests.  

The 1JZ and 2JZ have identical bore at 86 mm, but the 1JZ has a much shorter piston stroke than the 2JZ – 71.5 mm vs 86 mm. That's where the 1JZ's rev-happy nature and noticeably, higher-pitch soundtrack come from. The 1JZ-GTE is cheaper than the 2JZ-GTE while boasting similar capabilities. It is why we find if in many drift builds, dishing out north of 700 horsepower. If you are modifying a stock engine, keep in mind that non-VVT-i versions have stronger connecting rods. 

Toyota 1JZ-GTE engine specifications 

  • Displacement: 2.5 liters/ 2,492 cc/ 152.07 cubic inches 
  • Material: cast-iron block, aluminum head 
  • Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder (VVT-i introduced in 1995) 
  • Aspiration: turbocharged, CT15B turbocharger working at 7-8 PSI of boost 
  • Output: 276 horsepower at 6,200 RPM, 279 pound-feet at 2,400 RPM 
  • Fuel system: multi-port fuel injection (MPi)  
  • Bore and stroke: 86 mm x 71.5 mm 
  • Weight: 496 pounds (225 kg) 


Toyota GR Yaris came as a homologation rally car for the road and with the most powerful three-cylinder engine ever made. Toyota plans to use the G16-GTS in many upcoming models, and despite some GR Yaris owners having suffered major engine failures when driving it on a track, the latest iteration of the engine is said to be improved.  

In 2024, Toyota schooled everyone on how to do a mid-cycle refresh by thoroughly revising the rally-bred GR Yaris. This included the engine, which now has more power, stronger internals, and better cooling. Even before that, however, we have seen numbers of well over 500 horsepower from a stock engine, but Toyota's revisions now ensure big power will also be reliable. 

Toyota G16-GTS engine specifications 

  • Displacement: 1.6 liters/ 1,618 cc/ 98.74 cubic inches 
  • Material: aluminum block and head 
  • Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder, DVVT (dual variable valve timing) 
  • Aspiration: turbocharged, 20.3 PSI of boost 
  • Output: 261-304 horsepower at 6,500 RPM, 265-295 pound-feet at 3,000-4,600 RPM 
  • Fuel system: D-4ST direct injection + multi-port fuel injection, 2 injectors per cylinder 
  • Bore and stroke: 87.5 mm x 89.7 mm 
  • Weight: 346 pounds (157 kg) 

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

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