Progress is inevitable.
As much as most of us yearn for things from the ‘good ol’ days’ to last forever, it’s a certainty that things will continue to evolve, with or without us. The only decision we need to make is whether we’re willing to move forward as well, or stay rooted in the past.
There are legitimate arguments for both sides, and particularly when you’re dealing with a product that is tried and tested, one might be more hesitant to move onto something new. What isn’t broken, doesn’t need fixing and all of that.
I remember some of the earliest criticisms of the A90 (MkV) Supra – and there were quite a few – was that it should have had a Toyota-designed and built engine. A so-called ‘3JZ’, if you will.
What wasn’t really take into consideration at the time was that the JZ series of engines are almost 30 years old now, and were designed and built in a completely different era of the motoring industry with significantly less stringent rules, regulations and emissions targets. These are mind-numbingly boring things to have to consider, but be considered they must in this day and age.
With the last of the JZ variants having ceased production in around 2007, Toyota had to decide whether to design and produce a 2JZ successor. To do so would mean they would need to eat all of the development and production costs (a not insignificant amount of money). The other option was to use something suitable that was already in existence.
Enter BMW’s B58.
While we’ve had to endure three years’ worth of highly imaginative ‘nIcE bMw bRO’ comments on every A90 Supra image posted to social media since, I do feel that Toyota have been entirely justified in their decision.
Understandably, it’s still very early days for the B58 which was only introduced in 2015.
The 3.0-litre, turbocharged, inline-six is probably as close as Toyota themselves would have gotten to a ‘3JZ’, when all realities of contemporary engine design and restrictions have been considered.
If there’s a better place to talk about the past and future with respect to the current subject matter, then I’m not aware of it. If you have any affinity towards the Supra, then you will have come across Florida import tuning specialists, Titan Motorsports.
While the bulk of Titan’s business is actually parts distribution for (primarily) turbocharged Japanese and European cars, they’ve built themselves some pretty impressive demo machines over the years, often featuring parts developed in-house or in conjunction with their partners.
A business which started in the bedroom of brothers Nero and Bottle Deliwala to fund a MkIV Supra build, has become a name synonymous with very, very fast cars. The ethos of these cars has stemmed from the passion of the workforce, and Titan Motorsport’s fascination with a minimalist and lightweight approach to building cars. Incidentally, this ethos was based on the staff’s personal experiences of building their own Hondas.
There will be a separate story to come later this month where we will explore Titan’s history with the 2JZ, but for this feature we want to keep our focus on the B58 and its future potential.
To get some insight on how they have fared so far with their own A90 Supra, I recently spoke with Wes Bourne from Titan Motorsport.
While the A90 Supra is still in its infancy according to Wes, that hasn’t stopped Titan from extracting an 8.93-second quarter mile at 152mph from it. Their A90 was the first in the world to dip into the 8-second range when it did so in late 2020.
With Pure800 turbos, a Titan Motorsports down pipe and fuel system, along with port injection and nitrous, the B58 made over 800hp and 700ft-lb at the time with factory displacement. After that event, Titan took the motor apart for the first time and found that the componens inside were practically as new, despite 120+ dyno runs, street pulls and timed runs at the drag strip on a stock crank.
With the knowledge gained from that inspection, Titan are now working towards the next evolution of their car and are confident of a 7-second pass with further upgrades. They still face some environmental challenges, however.
As they’re based in Orlando, Titan Motorsport have to contend with high temperatures and humidity in the summer, and rain throughout the winter. This means there is only a narrow window if opportunity to put some passes on the board in conditions conducive to quick ETs.
One of the upgrades which they hope will get them into the sevens is CSF’s new Super Manifold for the second-generation B58, as found in the A90 Supra and G-Series BMW.
The intake manifold features a larger and more efficient water-to-air intercooler which has seen a drop of ~30°F in intake air temperatures along with quicker recovery, a lower pressure drop across the system and several other significant features which benefit performance and practicality.
CSF have recently added an optional nitrous hard-line kit created in conjunction with Nitrous Express to take advantage of the individual nitrous/methanol ports on the intake. Our friends at MotoIQ were recently able to perform a performance evaluation on the intake, which you can read about here.
What is likely the largest limitation of the B58 setup currently is the transmission, or rather the transmission’s electronics and software calibrations, which at the moment cannot be modified by the aftermarket. This means that the 8-speed ZF gearbox cannot be adapted with different shift points or rev limits.
Once this proverbial cookie is cracked, we should see times tumble even further.
Perhaps the most impressive part of all this, is that Titan Motorsport’s 8-second A90 Supra is still regularly street driven, and with some simple setup changes can be used comfortably on a circuit, too.
Titan’s focus for the time being is still on developing the Supra for the street, with plans for a pro-race car in the future.
It was 2018 when we first saw the A90 Supra fully revealed. It took less than two years from this moment for the aftermarket to run these cars at more than double the stock power output and into the eights on the drag strip with much, much more to come.
Whatever your feelings on Toyota’s collaboration project with BMW, you cannot the deny the performance potential of it.
CSF Race is an official Speedhunters Supplier
Photography by Yaheem Murph