Thursday, August 28, 2008

AE82: Not reallly JDM

Toyota Corolla FX16 wasn't built in Japan, but at the NUMMI plant in Fremont California. Joint venture with General Motors and Toyota, which brought you Geo Prizm/ Toyota Corolla and Pontiac Vibe/ Toyota Matrix. Built to go head to head with VW's Golf and Honda's Civic HB, it was built with either an 8 valve (4AC) or 16 valve (4AGE).
Today let's look at what 20 years of waiting for the right power plant brings to the patient. Here we have my buddy Brian and his ultra sleeper. Powered by a 4AGZE and mated to a 6 speed transmission. The supercharged engine is sourced from a US spec MR2 and the transmission is from a Japan spec AE111 Corolla.

Having the opportunity to drive it, because I was working on it, for a day was indeed pleasant. Since the car has a functioning a/c system it made much more bearable to drive on a typical sunny day in So Cal.

Coupled with the 6 six speed transmission it really runs through the gears quickly. The power from the supercharger is smooth and linear. It pulls hard off the line at a traffic light and can pass with ease on the freeway.The whine produced from the clutch activated supercharger is great, but not as great as a pssh from a turbo.

The hood scoop sourced from an AE92 Levin is the only thing you'll see to warn you of the cars potential. I'm sure some of the noobs will ask if it's a Subaru or something.The wheels are standard Toyota steels with Factory Toyota hub caps.
The car is a bit rough around the edges, with it's rusty hatch and worn out paint. But with a healthy dose of boost who the hell cares.

Overall the package is great, small light weight hatch with good power and to top it all off it's street legal, thanks to the use of the U.S. spec MR2 supercharged engine setup. If Toyota/ General Motors offered this in their line up back in the day i'm sure we'll see much of these cars on the road.

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