The V-12-Powered Subaru WRX You Never Knew Existed

The art of engine swapping can be traced back nine decades to the earliest days of hot rodding that was then springing up in home garages around the country. The idea of stuffing a larger, more powerful engine into a chassis it has no business in is a rite of passage, so to speak, and this Toyota V-12-swapped Subaru creation is another reminder that almost any engine can be made to fit in almost any vehicle.

Talk Of The Town

The handiwork of Canada’s John Proulx, a guy who is all too familiar with not only engine swapping in general, but Toyota engines specifically, this WRX project has social media talking. Having already successfully shoehorned the venerable six-cylinder 2JZGTE into another Subie, this time around he’s decided to double up on the cylinder count with Toyota’s 1GZ-FE.

If that engine code sounds at all familiar, you might recall that master craftsman Kazuhiko “Smoky” Nagata of Top Secret fame relied on the same power plant about 15 years ago, along with a pair of turbos to power one of his MkIV Supra builds. The 12-cylinder engine originally powered the luxurious 1997-2017 Toyota Century sedan, so it isn’t the brute that you might imagine. Good for only about 276 hp—though torque is north of 350 lb-ft—the V-12 can be fiddled with to produce a lot more with the help of boost, and that’s in the cards for Proulx as well, with a goal of hitting 1,000 hp with management being handled by a MaxxECU Pro Premium unit.

Along with Mr. Nagata’s awesome Supra rendition, we spotted another Toyota V-12-swapped build back in 2017 at the Emirates Custom Show in the Middle East. Stuffed into the bay of a Toyota 86 by @k.k_performance, it featured a quad-turbo setup, carbon fiber intake manifold plenums, and a pair of waste gate exits pointed upward. There are others who have successfully completed the 1GZ-FE swap into other chassis, including the Chaser and Corona, but this is the first one we’ve seen going into a Subie.

Table for 12?

Dimensionally, the 12-cylinder is about the same length as its 2JZ cousin, with some additional width to squeeze in the other bank of cylinders. Having already completed his first Toyota and WRX marriage, Proulx managed to fit his Subie’s 1GZ-FE right into place, and he’s done an excellent job of making it look the part, with custom plenums and powder coated valve covers, along with blacked out ancillary parts that tie it all together.

The other interesting part about this build is its transmission, and, before you ask, no, the Subaru will not be all-wheel-drive. To handle the expected power, a BMW dual-clutch unit has been selected and uses a custom adapter plate to join the Toyota mill. Perhaps the Bimmer transmission is controversial in that most would expect a standard shifter to stir, but the paddle shifters he’s working on currently bring the intrigue up a few notches in our book.

Worth Your Time

With plans for a Ford 8.8-in. rear end to help harness the V-12’s grunt and, of course, a pair of turbos to make the sort of jam he’s after, there remains plenty more to come from this build up. Even if you’re not on board with the thought of cross-platform swaps, the work being put in, which looks to be top notch, is worth taking a closer look at. You can follow along with his build as he updates it regularly on his Instagram.

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