A long time ago, someone told me that if you hear that distinctive 2JZ engine sound, it’s hardly ever going to be coming from a Toyota Supra, and practically never from an Aristo. While in Finland last year, yet again this proved to be true.
I heard the squeal of tires struggling for grip mixed with the sound of a 2J hitting the limiter, and then noticed a red, box-like shape in the distance. I knew exactly who and what it was; I’ve been following Eemeli Vuorela and his 1980 ‘Swedish Erotica’ for a number of years on social media.
This four-door Volvo has been evolving in the hands of Eemeli since 2012. Initially, the classic sedan was mildly modified with a set of wheels, low suspension and a roof rack being the main talking points, but just a year after starting the project, the Toyota 2JZ engine swap had become a reality.
Twelve months later the 244 received a custom interior, but after this Eemeli turned his attention to a VW van project, which consumed another two years. He eventually returned to the Volvo though, adding a roll cage, wide fenders, air suspension, and new custom wheels.
The wheels are a good place to start too, because they’re pretty cool.
Any idea what you’re looking at? The horse logos give half the game away; the white-finished centers came from a ’96 Ford Mustang’s 15×7-inch wheels, but these have since been mated to wide OZ Racing barrels. This truly one-of-a-kind set of wheels measure 17×9.5-inch up front and 17×12-inch in the rear. Check out the Brembo big brake conversion up front, too.
As mentioned a moment ago, the 244 runs air suspension. It’s a straightforward setup with Universal bags, a 24-liter tank, and twin compressors.
It’s the engine that makes this Volvo something truly special though. The 3.0L 2JZ-GTE runs a Master Power MPR6164 turbocharger and all the supporting modifications you’d expect, including a Turbosmart ProGate wastegate, large front-mount intercooler, and 1,000cc injectors. It hasn’t been on the dyno yet, but 600hp surely wouldn’t be too far off the mark with this setup.
All that power is transferred through a lightweight flywheel and Sachs race clutch to a BMW GS6-37DZ gearbox, and finally a BMW rear end.
Visually, the 244 is very aggressive looking with a low and clean body that a lot of stance projects will envy. The fiberglass flares add 80mm on each side of the car, and they need to be that wide to tuck the wheels the way they do.
I’ve left my personal favorite aspect of this build – the interior – to last. The retro brown checkered style works so well in an ’80s Volvo family car. The only thing out of place is the tablet on the dash, but hey, that’s practicality. Everything else fits perfectly: the old school rally-spec Kevlar seats from GA Racing, L-Tec steering wheel, the roll cage, shifter and switches.
It’s inspiring to see projects evolve over time, and right now Eemeli is conjuring up the Volvo’s next iteration. He’s thinking about a switch to static suspension, some bodywork modifications, as well as a few mechanical improvements.
Given how well it’s been done up to this point, I can’t wait to see the 244 at a show or meet and check out the future upgrades. In the meantime, I’ll leave with the video above showing the Volvo in action.