Home / Social media / News / Sleeper Toyota Conquest is actually an all-wheel drive, Celica-powered, 300 kW beast.


Here in SA there are a few unwritten rules when it comes to challenging cars on the open road. It doesn’t really matter what you drive, you can have a healthy GT-R but you still don’t challenge a box-shape Corolla, a MK1 Golf or a Nissan Champ that’s willing to race because there’s a reason they’re keen. That reason is usually that there’s something silly shoehorned into the engine bay that runs on ethanol and is happy at 3 bar boost, and the owner is always keen to show why that ‘built not bought” phrase holds water. Sleeper agents everywhere. That brings us to what you see here, a run-of-the-mill Toyota Conquest that by all accounts seems only sit a little lower than stock and wears some suitable aftermarket wheels. If you didn’t hear the exhaust note you wouldn’t think twice about a little robot-to-robot battle. Actually, even then you may because even an old-school 12-valve 1300cc Toyota lump with the right exhaust can give off a sound that makes you think there’s more going on under the bonnet. With the Conquest you see here, a rev-up will make you look, the popping when the boost rises will make you look again, and the way the car launches after that will have you regret ordering a full order of Gappelbys. If you’re on the highway and you see the car approach from the rear, you should notice the massive front-mount intercooler and that should tell you that mashing the loud pedal to pull a gap may just be a kak idea. 

Boris Saric is the owner of this neat-looking Toyota Conquest, and growing up in the “Fast & Furious” era, he was drawn to JDM cars, and that’s exactly what this is, but it has all the right bits in all the right places making it a consummate sleeper. There’s a Toyota 3STGE engine swap, but it has been fully forged so that it can make optimal use of the GT35 turbo. The setup runs on an ECU Master Black management system and also uses Flexfuel so it can swap between maps. On 0.8 bar boost on pump fuel, the car makes around 230 kW, which is already strong for a Conquest, but it’s at 1.5-1.6 bar boost where the car comes alive with a healthy 300 kW on tap. If you factor in that these cars weigh less than a ton, the power-to-weight is brilliant. That 300 kW is sent to all four wheels too, which is the best part of this build. Boris used a full Toyota Celica drivetrain and to hold the power reliably, a Tilton clutch is in play. The car is fast, make no mistake. The best-timed run on a drag strip saw the car cross the traps in 12 seconds dead at 191 km/h, but Boris runs on intermediate tyres that don’t really work too well with trackbite, and so the car still spins and slides around. What makes that official time cool is that it gives some people hope when they challenge the car outside of the track. The problem is with the tyres it wears, the car is much more aggressive on the streets and it makes the times runs seem like sandbagging. We like this. A lot. Wicked build Boris, well done Sir!

Take a look at the YouTube video filmed on the back streets of Johannesburg showing off a rather unassuming car, a typical Toyota Conquest commuter car with a few visual changes to make it a little more attractive, along with a monster of an engine and drivetrain build. Lurking under the skin is a 300 kW Toyota 3SGTE lump sourced from a Celica, and it has been afforded the luxury of delivering that power to all four wheels to make it one helluva sleeper: Celica Swap turns Commuter Conquest into 300kW, 4wd Speed Sleeper | Cars.co.za

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