Home / Social media / Cars / Is this Yaris GR-Powered Toyota AE86 the best JDM restomod ever?


When engine swaps happen to iconic cars, purists can get very upset, especially if the new swapped powerplant is from a different manufacturer. When said iconic car is also rare and sought after the idea and the work needs to be perfect, and luckily when it comes to this particular Hachiroku the work was carried out by the fanatics at Daddy Motor Works in Japan. Now this AE86 has been seen before, when a car like this is uploaded, it’s set to break the internet. What makes this sighting of the Yaris GR-powered Daddy Motor Works Toyota AE86 different is that Brickhouse SPL didn’t just drop by the workshop to have a perv of the car and get some pics and a little footage. Being able to speak fluent Japanese, Steve from Brickhouse chatted to Daddy Motor Works owner and builder of this amazing car about the inner workings of it. A close up of this car is exactly what the world needs. Not only to see what’s possible out there, but this close look shows the quality of work all proper builds should have.

Just a quick refresher for those (very few) motoring fanatics that aren’t as clued up on the Toyota JDM models. These classic hatchbacks are widely known as the Hachi-Roku, and it’s simply taken from the Japanese word for eight-six. The AE part of the name comes from the engine code for the car, A from the 4A-GE engine, E designates the Corolla range of cars, the 8 comes from the series name E80, and the 6 denotes the variant in the model lineup. You can see why AE86 just works better. 

We see loads of engine transplants in the surviving Toyota AE 86 models, but this one as to be one of the best. The Yaris GR is new to the motoring world, and it’s already cemented itself as being one of the best performance-orientated cars to grace the sportscar market in the last 20 years. While it has aggressive looks and amazing handling, the main hype has been about the turbocharged 1600cc 3-cylinder engine because has nearly 200kW on tap and while initial thoughts were that the engine might not like modifications with it being so highly strung, there are already loads of 300kW versions running around now with basic bolt-on mods. So the capacity stays the same for the Daddy Motor Works AE86, but the power increases substantially.
It’s clear that Oto-san’s skills are extensive. Being able to run through the car and the modifications with explanations on why the things used were chosen as well as what went into the project. This project has a clear vision from the start, the Yaris GR’s G16 engine didn’t just pop up for sale, and it wasn’t sourced from a wrecked Yaris GR either, Oto-san bought it complete and brand new direct from Toyota Japan. From there everything around the motor had to be custom built for the old 86. In the Yaris GR the motor is mounted transverse while in the 86 it needed to be mounted longitudinally to properly send the power to the rear wheels. 

The G16 engine remains stock, for now, but with everything else that’s been built around it, big power in the future wouldn’t be a problem, things are almost over engineered, and that’s a good thing. To get the rears spinning, Oto-san employed a ZN6 transmission, the 6-speed one from the new generation 86/BRZ, and this was fitted to a Nissan L-series bellhousing adapter kit, which was given custom work to be able to mate up to the G16 too. The clutch setup came from the well-known clutch and transmission guys at OS Giken.

We're pretty sure we'll be seeing more GR16 engine swaps in the future, especially with the Corolla GR also hitting the markets recently. If you have baller money, you can buy an engine from Toyota like Oto-san did, or you can wait for the Yaris and Corolla models that will succumb to bad driving and show off fails and repurpose the engine from them.  Here at SXdrv we reckon the only way to improve on this Daddy Motor Works Yaris GR powered Toyota AE 86 would be to get the front wheels hooked up to too... 

Take a look at the YouTube video about the workshop responsible for the GR-swapped AE86 below: Japan's Engine Swap Master: Daddy Motor Works GR Yaris Swapped AE86 Machine Check & Shop Tour! | Brickhouse SPL

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