An AE86 Levin With GR Yaris Power – Speedhunters

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
[email protected]

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