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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Drifter Puts Ferrari V8 in a Toyota 86


Swapping a V8 into a car that didn't originally have one is a favourite pastime of drifters with money. Unfortunately, this usually means taking an iconic coupé from Japan, butchering the bodywork and then putting a smallblock Chevy V8 in it. Now, I've nothing against that engine - its name inspired this blog's title after all - but when it comes to engine swap projects, an LS1 (or the like) is basically the Toyota Camry of engine swaps; yes, there are lots of practical reasons why it's an effective tool for the job... but that's kind of it. It's not interesting, unique or particularly special relative to the wider automotive world. I also despair when someone inserts an SBV8 in place of an engine with its own iconic status, such as a Porsche flat-six or Mazda rotary engine, partly because it's usually just done to piss people off and partly because cars like the 911 and RX-7 have characters defined by their engines. Yes they have a great chassis too, but the real USP is the engine and yet someone in a shed has turfed it out, changed its soul... bastardised it. No thank you. You're only doing that because you can't be bothered to learn how to maintain a 13B or Porsche boxer.

No, a proper engine swap should be something mad. In the video above you will find something mad. Outside of the real heavyweights like Skyline and Supra, Japanese coupés usually make do with an inline-four engine (sometimes great ones like a Honda VTEC or Nissan SR20). The one issue there is that a four-cylinder engine isn't very exotic, so even if the compact, lightweight chassis of something like the Toyota GT86 is as well balanced and finessed as a Porsche, it just doesn't feel like it's in that league.

Now, however, Formula-D mainstay Ryan Tuerck has decided to give the 86 an exotic soul... by inserting the 4.5-litre V8 from a Ferrari 458!

I'd just like to mention that, because I once fantasised about putting a Ferrari V8 in a Nissan S15, he's basically stolen this concept from my imagination. I'll be expecting royalties, Mr. Tuerck...

As you might imagine, fitting a 562bhp V8 from a mid-engined supercar into the front of a car only designed for a flat-four (a layout even shorter than an inline) is not a simple task, so the video above explains some of the work and considerations that have gone into making this incredible show car so far. It should be a hell of a thing when it's finished!

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