An AE86 Levin With GR Yaris Power

I originally met Oto-san a decade ago when he was a young mechanic working at engine swap specialist C&Y Sports. Not long after that, he opened his own little shop, calling it Daddy Motor Works.

Unlike many tuning shops in Japan, Oto-san tackles more than just bolt-on upgrades, and does so with a very high level of execution. Custom fabrication is his forte, and we’ve seen countless customer builds from Daddy Motor Works over the years. Finally though, Oto-san is building something for himself.


The car you see here is nothing more than an idea at the moment, one dropped over an engine stand holding up a G16E-GTS. For anyone not up-to-date with Toyota’s latest engine codenames, this is the compact 1.6-liter 3-cylinder turbo motor from the Gazoo Racing (GR) Yaris.


The base car is Oto-san’s own drift practice machine – an AE86 Toyota Corolla Levin GT Apex – that’s been stripped down to a bare chassis ready for the metal fabrication work to commence.

Oto-san has set himself the goal of having the car completed and ready for the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, so he’s got just over seven months in which to do so.


If you’re OCD like me, knowing that the engine being used comes from the same manufacturer as the chassis will put a smile on your face.


And having driven the GR Yaris last year, I have a good idea of just how special the power/torque delivery of this engine is going to feel in a light car, like a fully stripped-out Hachiroku. Needless to say, it’s going to be pretty ballistic, and there’s the potential for even more power with some ECU fettling.


The G16 is a tall engine – approximately 100mm taller than the 16-valve 4A-G that came out of the Levin. Oto-san is going to position that excess 80mm over and 20mm under where the stock engine sat.

In case you’re wondering, no, this engine didn’t come from a crashed car. You can purchase a G16E-GTS long-block (read: bare) engine from Toyota in Japan for the equivalent of around US$6,500.


That of course doesn’t include the single-piece exhaust manifold/turbo assembly, which Oto-san had to spring an additional US$1,400 for.

Oto-san will be fabricating his own intake manifold and some tiny induction piping to go with it. As the engine is quite short, he thinks there is enough space in front to mount the radiator and intercooler in a vee configuration in order to maximize airflow coming in from the grille opening and out of the engine bay through some sort of hood outlet.


Engine management will be handled by a Link Fury X ECU, which will be plugged in once the custom wiring is laid out and fitted.

From this angle you can see how far the sump will hang down. This is not going to be an issue, but the top part of the engine will not clear the stock Levin hood.


Aside from a heavily modified front subframe, the steering system is also in need of an upgrade. As you can see above, the stock AE86 steering rack is definitely not going to work, but Oto-san has already found a solution. He’ll be using an NA1 Mazda Roadster rack, mounted in front of the engine. As for the exhaust, in true drift car fashion it’s going to go straight out of the hood, chimney stack style.


For the driveline, although Oto-san would really like to run a sequential transmission, initially he’s opted to run a 6-speed from a ZN6 86.


Delivering power to the back wheels will be a 110 Crown rear end with an Altezza diff. The final piece of the puzzle that keeps this Hachi build in the Toyota family is Estima rear disc brakes.


Oto-san hasn’t decided what he’s going to do with the exterior yet, but a wide-body is on the cards as most of the Levin’s original panels are pretty beaten up and/or rusted. Whatever he ends up with, a cut-out in the hood or some aftermarket option is required. I personally would love to see this car built around a Pandem AE86 aero kit. How about you guys?


This will continue to remain a fun track car, so the interior, while likely getting a dashboard of some type, will for the most part stay pretty bare bones.


Work is set to start on the ‘GR AE86′ (that’s the name I’ve given it) in the next few days, and I bet this going to be one of the most talked about cars of TAS 2022 – if the world returns to normal and we can have a Tokyo Auto Salon, that is.

It’s cars like this that I love seeing come together here in Japan, and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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I was arguing with my mates the other day about how cool a gr yaris- engined ae86 would be, and this just proves my point!


Surely you jest. This engine is no match for a 9AGE 20V or 16V turbo. Plus its head is inferior in design. Big mistake.


But its probably lighter (one less cilender and an aluminum block)and it catches a lot more attention. Also the has guys had proven that it can make a lot of power and it's high revving so what's not to love? Oh and it's definitely cheaper:)


The AE86 fanboy is strong in this one.
It's a killer little engine with plenty of punch from factory, and the end product will be very unique. I'd wager it would also be easier (and maybe cheaper) to go the GR route rather then build a 9age.

And so it doesn't have the best head design. I'm sure its pretty safe and sound if Toyotas' giving the Yaris a 5 year warranty.


You get the 5-year warranty if you don't mess with it, and I'm sure it will be fine because Toyota makes reliable products. However, the car was designed for a very specific situation and it does it very well. The 3 cylinder all aluminum engine capable of 500 HP is both light and enough to win the WRC rallies. The trick 4 WD system with the handbrake integration to direct power to the front only for mind blowing tricks is a first. Its a great little car, but people, this 3 cylinder engine has its limitations. The 4AGE is superior and has an infinite amount of tuning parts to meet whatever you wish it to do.


Surely you just. T guy is engine is no match for a 9AGE turbo.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Possibly the best modern-day choice


Its the best out-of-the-box choice, but its not the best choice for Power and dominance.


I can't wait to see the completion of the old panda with a new heart.
On the matter of weight distribution, any info about the weight of the G16E-GTS vs 4AGE engine?


The numbers I've found for a dry weight on a G16E-GTS is 109 kg, I'm assuming with the turbo and header, which is roughly the same as a bigport/bluetop, but it depends who you ask. The real weight penalty will come from the addition of an FMIC and other turbo components, as well as the heavier J160 derived GT86 gearbox. However I don't think it will be enough to ruin the car, I personally didn't notice a huge impact in my corolla when I went BEAMs, and that has both a heavier engine and gearbox than stock.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It will be heavier yes, mostly due to the ancillaries that a turbocharged engine requires. It should still be within reasonable weight, plus with the car being stripped and most likely using FRP body panels it should stay relatively light


Very cool build, i think it would be best to have a widebody in the style of the pandem kit, but a little less extreme, like how an m3 would compare to a normal e30.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Will be interesting to see what he goes for!

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Ah, finally it's featured here as well.

I'm just curious if the oil sump would be happy to be that far down, especially if the car is getting lowered quite significantly.

And the Estima rear brakes sure is a curious choice.


The estima and crown both use an f-series rear end. The Estima uses disc brakes with an internal drum handbrake which I assume must almost bolt on to the crown rear end. He probably would have used the whole Estima rear end, but crown potentially isn't as wide. Also the A-series altezza lsd head pretty much bolts into the f-series carrier

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Don't think it's been featured anywhere outside of Japan yet?

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I meant to say there has been a number of posts about it on Facebook, but none of them in detail like this. Hahaha!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL ok


Prefer a stock body with period correct wheels. Silver SSR Dori Doris spring to mind, somehow..

A proper car with a proper restormod engine deserves the full works, oem original parts with new clips and what not.

This shell needs to have new arches, but no widebody nonsese; even the highest quality ones are nonsense, in my book. Most of them anyway.

There i said it. What? i am not allowed to have a personal opinion? :D

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

If the car is being built as a street car, I'd be inclined to agree with you. But right now its purpose is a track car, so a widebody makes more sense.


Yeah, I'm thinking the same. The OEM+ restomod route is a meticulous way to build a street vehicle, but if most of the decisions on this build are driven by the "because race car" rationale, that's a good way to go. Great choice of engine swap too, it should be a blast to drive.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Guys as I stated in the story this is built off of a missile/practice car and will stay that way. I do agree it will be cool to see the same swap approached in a restomod kind of way. Who's next?


what a shame. AE86s shouldnt be abused like that.

Not that i am into the whole "preserve the damn 86, its worth its weight in gold" mentality.

But something with as much cultural impact as an 86 shouldnt be wasted like that. It Should be driven and enjoyed. As a daily.


Ah perfect just what we need another car commissioned to dis-use of proper enjoyment, to instead burn hydrocarbons on city streets and at 6k below redline on the way to the office or grocery store. Better yet, let's sell it off to some rich pleb for a couple hundred grand and remove it from availability in the enthusiast market. please stop talking lol. This website is called, not


an opinion is like an asshole. everybody has 1.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Each to their own... ;)


So cool to see this, thanx Dino!
But please, no Pandem, no more Pandem... I've had enough of them, lol.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I have yet to shoot an AE86 with a Pandem kit, so not sure how you could have had enough of them lol


Sorry, english isn't my first language, sometimes I have trouble making myself understood.
I didn't mean the 86 in particular. I meant Pandem kits in general. I get them, they are cool, but I -personally- have grown tired of them. Not hating on anybody who likes them or uses them =)


For widebody, how about CBY? Seems like a fitting choice for this car. I'll be thrilled to see it running, either which way!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

He hasn't made a decision yet, so will be interesting to see what he goes for!


could the engine be converted to dry sump to lower the overall height?

This is a super cool idea, shame it takes so much modification to work but i suppose we're at the point were most ae86s need to be pulled apart either way.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

No need to dry sump, he'll make it fir the easy way


dino im always curious if in the west they do ls swap for the rx7.. what engine japan do with?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Why would anyone want to do that? Rotary all the way only for any RX7 I say!


Pandem body kit.. daring aren't we today?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Dino, yes I like to live life on the edge, same as you I'm sure


The 100 mm height "disadvantage" is a lot. 4AGE has a stroke of 77 mm while G1E-GTS is 89.7 mm. Hmm I guess that height disadvantage is offset by reduction in length, being a 3 Cyl vs AGE 4 cyl, therefore allowing more room to place bigger / thicker intercooler, radiator etc. To me it all boils down to cost in the end. With the engine, turbo and manifold costing almost $8000, this conversion may not be the most cost effective but surely is among the first one to be done.


No sir, the 100mm is the strength of this 3 cylinder engine that results in its marvellous torque delivery across the rpm range.


also add the cost of the gt86 trans, and the crown rear end and altezza diff. probably a 12-14k swap once it's all done but as an advantage you get a brand spanking new engine that makes reliable (keyword) power compared to an sr20 swap or modifying the stock powerplant.


At the end of the day the conversion cost matters. Therefore this conversion while unique and the first one in the world, it isn't very cost effective. Watch this AE8 with K20C turbo. Yes I realize it isn't Toyota engine but 400 cc extra displacement gives more torque which counts a lot in day to day driving/

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I would think that's pretty decent price wise for using one of the newest motors on the market? That gearbox might not take all that torque though, not the strongest of trannys


coool neat

small engines are the future. smaller more powerful higher revving engines are the future.

7000 8000 9000 10000 RPMS will become standard as more power and more revs and ICE engine tech advances to really run better

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Most small capacity turbo motors tend to have low rpm limits no?


Only a crazy person would remove a 4AGE for this 3 cylinder nonsense, because it is technically an inferior engine that if over revved, it will break the rocker arm. The 4AGE cannot do this due to cam to bucked direct. Also, the 4AGE has ready parts to carry it up all the way to 2 liter using a 7A block, 2ZZGE crank, 20V or 16V head. Then add turbo and you have a 1000 HP engine, and maintain the pedigree of the AE86. The Yaris GR should have come with a 4AGE 20V, then it would be limitless with its trick 4WD and perfect balance.


what? 4AGE is under-engineered and over-hyped. the 16v intake port shape is shit and 20v has too many moving parts. sure they sound cool and could take boost well, but it's 30+-year-old tech with an outdated design. hell late-model 4afe has a better port shape and I believe could take boost better and makes more power while sipping less gas.


You really know nothing about these two engines do you? Even if the 4AGE is 40 years old you should know that it has gone through extensive upgrades, including the 7A Block and a 20V head. This 3 cylinder engine has severe limitations, one being that it cannot stand high RPMs without breaking up the Valve Train. The Yaris GR is a well-put-together car for what it was made for, but it is severely limited by its 3 cylinder engine with a poorly designed valvetrain.


Lol you make it sound so simple, "add turbo and you have a 1000hp engine". Sure its a nice engine, but saying they should have put an almost 40 year old engine in a performance car is just ridiculous


I agree. The G16E is superior to the 4AGE. Newer design. Come on Toyota engineers know their products but that Horatio guy does not. He is just a keyboard operator.


Please explain to me how this engine is superior to the 4AGE or any 7A variant?


There exists and even more perfect motor....


TRD built a complete NPLUS 3S-GE for the TRD Altezza - should have been put in this instead


To be honest, This is an engine swap I haven't thought of. This idea is Brilliant! Small size, big power on a super light chassis, this thing will be a rocket!


This is the content I'm here for. Thank you Dino.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Glad you enjoyed it!


That exhaust manifold is bolt-on he should make his own manifold bigger turbo and then the up-pipe! Other than that very cool build! Can wait to see the progress.. Glad Toyota Builds are still rockin'...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I don't think he wants more power. The engine will already probably annihilate the ZN6 box


This is something we never expected but needed
Would love to see more of this engine especially its potential

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You should check out my piece on the HKS GR Yaris and see the potential right there.


Today I learned that Toyota has crate engine program in Japan. Imagine if they do this with 2JZ in US

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Isn't the US already buying most of the 2JZs out there lol


Bodywork should be provided by Ishikawa Body. A similar treatment to the Silvia's they've done but for an AE86 would be the bomb!
Exciting build, can't wait for updates and the final result!


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Seeing this I now want to see someone swap the GR Yaris engine in a SW20 MR2... That could be interesting aswell.


Love the build! but that engine is kinda ugly... The plastic cover is... well... ewww:) Great engine regardless!