Toyota Lexcen ultimate sleeper

Every weekend, all around Australia, club-level motorsport events are happening.

At these events, there’s often all sorts of weird and wonderful homegrown creations competing, such as the mid-engine V8 Holden Rodeo we discovered at a Winton test ’n’ tune day.

Our latest find, however, puts even that in the shade. The Toyota Lexcen was born from the Holden-Toyota alliance in the late-’80s/early-’90s, for those who liked the idea of a Commodore but found the Holden badge a little too racy.

Toyota -Lexcen -V8-AWD-interiorIt wasn’t a hugely exciting package, but Victorian Ian Johnston has livened it up a bit. Describing himself as “a tinkerer”, he’s installed a 6.6-litre supercharged V8, all-wheel drive system and custom independent rear suspension to create the ultimate gravel-chewing autocross weapon.

The engine is a stroked 6.0-litre L98 crate motor with forged internals and topped by a Harrop supercharger. It feeds its power through a highly modified 4L70 automatic and the end result is around 450kW at the wheels according to Ian.

Toyota -Lexcen -V8-AWD-engineAnd that’s to all four wheels. The rear differential is a Harrop TrueTrac unit while power is distributed to the front via a Torsen T-3 transfer case from a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Handling front-end traction is the diff from a Holden Adventra, while custom-made driveshafts are the final piece of the puzzle.

Suspension is all custom, though the inserts were Koni once upon a time, and VZ Clubsport electronic architecture enables the car to run full ABS and traction control, though it’s not yet calibrated for loose surface work.

Toyota -Lexcen -V8-AWD-rearV8 Commodores are fairly common at autocross events, but Ian shooting off the line like a World Rally Car leaving a drag racing bellow in his wake soon gave the game away that this wasn’t your usual tweaked SS.

It’s an awesome bit of engineering, and while it had a couple of ECU hiccups on the day, so far it has been very reliable and incredibly fast. We look forward to seeing it in action in the future.

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