Toyota's Timeless Creations: The 10 Best Engines Ever Produced
Toyota is one of the world's most successful automakers, and these are the iconic engines that earned it the top spot.
Functioning at a production rate of about 10 million automobiles per year, Toyota isn't only a well-known brand all over the world, but it has cemented its name as one of the world's most successful automotive production brands. Notably, one of the most important factors in Toyota's success in the industry is the company's penchant for producing iconic engines.
The zeal to produce incredibly great engines is also among the reasons Toyota invested $383 million into combustion engines in 2022. The result are there for all to see through some of the best Toyota models with high reliability ratings. That said, in this article, we traveled back in time to bring you the most timeless engines ever produced by Toyota.
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The ZZ engine family made it to this list through the 1.8-liter version called the 2ZZ-GE. Built in Japan with inputs from Yamaha, the 2ZZ-GE is a four-cylinder engine that is able to produce more power through a dual camshaft profile system, there by not requiring forced induction or an increased displacement.
After its introduction, the 2ZZ-GE became the first production engine to merge dual-profile variable valve lift with cam-phasing variable valve timing. The 2ZZ-GE is revered for its strong performance, reliability, and high-revving capability.
We just couldn't make a list of greatest Toyota engines without the incredibly amazing 1LR-GUE. A V10 gasoline engine, the 1LR-GUE was built by Toyota in partnership with Yamaha. For the construction of the mill, Toyota adopted a rather unusual 72-degree layout which provided the rotating assembly with an improved balance. Powering the Lexus LFA, this Toyota V10 engine is simply an engineering marvel.
Not only is this unique V10 mill smaller than most V8s, but the 1LR-GUE boasts great durability as it was fabricated with magnesium, aluminum, and titanium alloys while it features DOHC 4 valves per cylinder. The engine's exhaust system was built in partnership with Yamaha music division, creating one of the most incredible notes ever heard from a V10.
The GR engine replaced the MZ V6 and JZ inline-6 in Toyota vehicles. It's a family of gasoline V6 engines featuring die-cast aluminum block and aluminum DOHC cylinder heads. The series of GR engines features forged steel connecting rods and crankshaft, along with cast aluminum lower intake manifold and a timing chain, helping it churn out smooth power with ease.
The 2GR-FE is a 3.5-liter version of the GR series. It's fitted with the brand's Dual VVT-i on the exhaust and intake cams. Notably, the 2GR-FE is revered for its ability to deliver potent power while remaining fuel efficient, making it fit to be among the most fuel efficient engines of all time.
The A series is a family of inline-four internal combustion engines in Toyota's engine production sphere. Toyota built the engine blocks with cast iron while the cylinder heads are fabricated with aluminum. Also, Toyota ensured the cylinders are siamesed, so the engine can be really short.
The 4A is among the A family, and it's a 1.6-liter engine produced in numerous variations that include the 4A-GE that was available in five production generations. The 4A-GE is now a top choice for engine swap among performance enthusiasts due to its reliability and amazing performance prowess.
In the early 1990s, Toyota launched a chain of diesel engines called the HD series. The 1HD-FTE belongs to this series, and it's a 4.2-liter straight-6 turbocharged diesel engine. The engine uses a direct injection fuel system, as well as electronic fuel injection system, while offering a relatively high RPM.
As a six-cylinder turbo diesel engine, the 1HD-FTE is well-known for its high dependability and durability. Hence, the engine powers some of the most reliable vehicle models from Toyota which include Toyota Land Cruiser. It's an ideal engine for off-roading.
Toyota built longitudinally mounted straight-6 engines from 1965 to 1993, calling these engines the M family. All built at the Toyota Kamigo plant in Toyota City, the M family engines are manufactured with cast-iron block while the cylinder heads are made of aluminum. After producing several variants of the M engines, Toyota released the 7M-GTE in 1986.
A turbocharged inline-six, the 7M-GTE is revered for its high-power output as it was the top Toyota performance engine of its time. Very reliable and highly tunable, the 7M-GTE can churn out up to 500 horsepower with the right modifications.
1989 - 2000
4.0 liters (3968 cc)
250 - 260 hp
260 - 270 lb-ft
Lexus LS 400, SC 400, GS 400
A part of the Toyota UZ engine family, the 1UZ-FE is a 4.0-liter all-alloy V8 engine. The engine is lightweight and highly efficient, thanks to its all-aluminum block and cylinder heads. During its rigorous testing stage, the 1UZ-FE clocked more than 1.67 million miles of actual road test drives on the most grueling of terrains.
The production 1UZ-FE engine came out more powerful, more economical, and it also produced lesser noise in comparison to its rivals. Internally, the 1UZ-FE features hypereutectic pistons, while the crankshafts and connecting rods are made of steel. The 1UZ-FE engine is widely adored for its impressive reliability.
1986 - 2002
4.0 liters (3,968 cc)
200 - 260 hp
200 - 270 lb-ft
Celica GT-Four, MR2 Turbo
A part of the S engine family, and based on the 3S-GE, the 3S-GTE is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine produced by Toyota for four production generations. Furthermore, for optimal engine performance, ignition timing, and fuel delivery, the 3S-GTE uses electronic engine management systems.
With its excellent power delivery and potent mid-range torque, performance enthusiasts really can't get enough of the 3S-GTE. The engine features a cylinder head made of aluminum alloy and built in partnership with Yamaha.
Arguably the most adored Toyota engine on this list, the Toyota 2JZ-GTE is legendary. Considered the most reinforced engine ever produced, the 2JZ-GTE features a highly durable cast iron, closed deck block, and this full engine rebuild explains why the 2JZ is an engineering masterpiece. Manufactured in response to the highly successful Nissan RB26DETT engine, the 2JZ-GTE is built with an inline-layout with six-cylinder and sequential twin turbos.
Originally built for high performance, Toyota had to downgrade the 2JZ-GTE for a milder output due to the rampant accidents on Japan's roads at the time. However, the engine was quickly discovered and coveted by performance freaks who only needed to change its small twin turbos with a larger one. With the right mods, you can get up to 700 hp from the 2JZ-GTE while some go as far as pulling out 1,500 hp from it.
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There are so many reasons to buy a Toyota Tacoma, and among 1995 to 2004 models, the 5VZ-FE engine is surely one of the reasons. Succeeding the SOHC 3VZ-E in the VZ engine series, the 5VZ-FE has a cast iron block with aluminum DOHC cylinder heads.
Vastly revered by Toyota truck enthusiasts, the 5VZ-FE is highly reliable, and it provides immense off-road capability and ample low-end torque in the vehicles it powers. Other awesome features of the engine include cast aluminum intake manifold, cast camshafts, cast crank, and sequential multi-port fuel injection.
Right from childhood, Olakunle has been fascinated by cars, and as an adult, he's gotten neck-deep in the world of automobiles. Hence, he finds contributing to HotCars quite interesting – a surreal experience.Toyota HOTCARS VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT