2JZ-powered Toyota 4Runner hits the drag strip, smokes Mustang and Camaro

Released in 1983, the Toyota 4Runner is one of the toughest and most rugged SUVs on the market. Some would describe it as the very definition of robustness. Perfectly suited for tackling undefeated trails, the 4Runner is by no means the kind of vehicle you would take to the track. Not even in the TRD Pro version. Unless you replace the standard grinder with an original Supra 2JZ, ie.
As ridiculous as it sounds, someone did make the trade. Meet Darren Knepper, the man who turned a 1990s 4Runner into a drag-capable beast by dropping a 2JZ engine with a massive 80mm Garrett turbocharger under the hood. The mill is capable of developing up to 1,200 horsepower, which probably means it’s the most powerful 4Runner in the world. The SUV is also billed as the world’s fastest 4Runner, a claim backed by strong quarter-mile runs.

We already discussed this beefed up example earlier in September 2021. But now is the time to see it flex its 2JZ crusher on the drag strip. Darren recently visited Byron Dragway during Hot Rod Drag Week 2021 and pitted his Toyota against a few full-fledged muscle cars. And he posted faster ETs!

The 4Runner completed the quarter mile in 10.29 seconds at 135 mph (217 km / h) against a 1967 Ford Mustang and in 10 seconds flat at 140 mph (225 km / h) against a modern Chevrolet Camaro. Needless to say, it would be downright pointless to compare this SUV to a regular 4Runner. The current generation SUV wouldn’t be a match either.

But this one is actually faster than that. Darren’s quarter-mile record is an impressive 9.6 seconds at 147 mph (237 km / h)! It’s a bit faster than the … wait … Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Mopar covers the distance in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. This 4Runner is quite a slingshot, right?

It might sound incredible, but all the proof you need is in the video below. Just press play to watch the world’s nastiest 4Runner burn rubber for a quarter mile.


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