Of all the mid-90s tuner cars, the Mark IV Toyota Supra is one of the most beloved. Powered by the bulletproof 2JZ-GTE engine in twin-turbo dress, the Supra could turn out some impressive numbers. With enthusiasts quickly realizing they could tune it anywhere from 500 to 1400 wheel-hp with ease, it has become one of the weapons of choice for drag racers and, more recently, drifters.
But the powerful, turbocharged powerplant has proved to be both a blessing and a curse for the Supra's reputation. Owners soon began aiming for four-digit dyno numbers, ruining the balance and purpose of the car. Ask any self-respecting tuner to name some road-racing sport compact models and the name Supra will typically not be in the top 10, let alone the top 20.
This is where Mike Miranda and his New Jersey tuning shop, E-Shift Performance, come into the picture. A drag racer back in the day, Miranda caught the road racing bug a decade ago. With the resurgence of interest through weekend driver schools and time attack events, Miranda decided the time was right to build a shop car to represent E-Shift at his local road races. The twist was that E-Shift specializes in Supras. Miranda's vision was to modify Toyota's 3500-pound battleship to hang with all the lightweight speedboats.
Miranda wanted to keep his car as a daily driver, so gutting the car to reduce weight was not an option. The team at E-Shift removed the air conditioning and some underbody parts to lighten the car by about 200 pounds. They then turned their attention to extracting more power from the 2JZ, an easy task given the multitude of power adders available.
They installed a Turbonetics T66 ball-bearing turbo kit paired with a GReddy external wastegate. The air charge is brought in through an E-Shift intake system and SP intake manifold, cooled down by an HKS front-mount intercooler, and routed through custom piping fabricated by E-Shift. Exhaust gases are expelled via a custom exhaust manifold fabricated by E-Shift and out through an HKS TT Hiper exhaust.
E-Shift's beast gets thirsty, so quenching that thirst is a tall order. Two Walbro fuel pumps, a set of GReddy 720cc/min fuel injectors, SX fuel regulator, and an SARD fuel rail with custom fuel lines ensure the engine gets all the octane it needs. E-Shift also reinforced the valve train, installing HKS camshafts and gears. Manley valve springs and retainers round out the headwork. The net effect of all these engine goodies is 605 wheel-hp and 580lb-ft of torque-enough power and torque to make the driver feel like he's been Crazy Glue'd to his seat, but not so much that the car is undriveable on track. Performance aside, the engine bay is a work of art. Every surface that could be polished has been and the see-through cam gear cover is particularly cool.
Power is fantastic in a drag race, but in road racing the name of the game ishandling. E-Shift farmed out suspension installation and tuning to Phoenix Auto Center in Palm, Philadelphia. Phoenix installed a set of TEIN fully adjustable coilovers, pairing these with front and rear anti-roll bars from Titan Motorsports. Cornering comes via a set of 18-inch Forgeline wheels wrapped in meaty 275/35/18 front and 305/30/18 rear Toyo RA-1s. Bringing the powerful but heavy set-up to a stop is a tall task-addressed by Rotora. This Supra's 14-inch brake rotors are clamped on by six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers, all connected by stainless steel Rotora lines.
For Miranda, style is also a factor. While a stock Supra is cool, he and the E-Shift crew planned to add some sizzle to their steak. Miranda turned to Wayne's Auto Body in New Jersey to install a Paisley carbon fiber front lip and a Millen rear wing. A Top Secret rear diffuser was also sourced, giving the Supra a legit road-racing look. Wayne's sprayed the car in BMW's Sterling Gray Metallic. The interior is stock, with the exception of a set of Recaro seats, Schroth harnesses and Defi gauges.
In just under four months, E-Shift took the iconic Supra and gave it a new lease on life. When you can drive a car like this to and from work every day and still take it to the track for some road-racing action, you know you've done something right.
The most satisfying experience for Miranda has been "the looks on the faces of the guys with Z06s, Carreras and Vipers" when he rolls up to the track. Apparently, the demographic attending the NASA-sponsored track days at Watkins Glen (Miranda's home track) are not used to seeing import battleships on a regular basis. Nor are they sure what to make of it when they can't keep up.
1995 Toyota Supra TurboEngineEngine Code: 2JZ-GTE
Type: 2997cc in-line six, DOHC, iron block and aluminum head, turbocharged and intercooled
Internal Modifications: HKS 264-degree intake and exhaust camshafts, ARP rod bolts, Manley valve springs and retainers
External Modifications: E-Shift air intake system, SP intake manifold, Turbonetics T66 turbo, GReddy wastegate, HKS intercooler, custom up-pipe by E-Shift, GReddy oil cooler, HKS TT hiper, custom E-Shift Pro cats
Engine Management Modifications: Walbro fuel pumps, GReddy 720 cc/min fuel injectors, SX fuel pressure regulator, SARD fuel rail with custom fuel lines
DrivetrainLayout: Front engine, rear-wheel driveDrivetrain Modifications: ATS carbon plate clutch, Exedy twin plate
SuspensionFront: TEIN adjustable coilovers, Titan Motorsports anti-roll barRear: TEIN adjustable coilovers, Titan Motorsports anti-roll bar
BrakesFront: Rotora six-piston calipers, Rotora s/steel braided linesRear: Rotora four-piston calipers, Rotora s/steel braided lines
ExternalWheels: Forgeline 18x9.5 (F), 18x11 (R)Tires: Toyo RA-1 275/35/18 (F), 305/30/18 (R)
Body: Paisley front carbon lip, Millen rear wing, Top Secret diffuser
Interior: Recaro seats, Defi gauges, Schroth harnesses