The 1GZ-FE was only used in the second-generation Toyota Century, a fullsize luxury sedan sold to high-ranked people in Japan. Although far less known than a popular Toyota engine such as the 2JZ series, the company’s only V12 actually lived a long half, from 1997 to 2017 as the previous-gen Century was sold for two decades.
One of the 5.0-liter engines was shipped at some point to South Africa where the crafty folks at Fatboy Fab Works managed to cram it inside the engine bay of an entirely different vehicle. We’re talking about a humble Hilux that originally had a 3.0-liter diesel when it rolled off the assembly line back in 2012.
Brought to our attention by Double Apex, the amped-up Hilux now rocks the Century’s V12 with a pair of Garrett GT35 turbochargers. The original engine in its naturally aspirated form used to make 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts) back in the day in the majestic sedan, but now it’s pushing out a massive 540 hp (402 kW) on the dyno. Torque is also substantially up, from the stock 355 pound-feet (481 Newton-meters) to a mountain-moving 715 lb-ft (970 Nm).
Interestingly, it would appear the four-speed transmission of the Century is able to cope with more than twice the V12’s original torque as the Hilux retains the sedan’s automatic while using a custom propshaft. The brakes are original for the time being, but will soon be upgraded to handle the extra muscle provided by the twin-turbo powerhouse.
The main idea behind the super truck was to have it ready for the Simola Hillclimb event, which took place earlier this month. Fatboy Fab Works managed to sign up the twin-turbo Hilux and it successfully climbed up the hill, but not before sorting out some electrical and gearbox problems. The beefy truck is now up for grabs if anyone is brave enough to drive a V12 Hilux.
Bear in mind it’s not the first Toyota after the Century to get the 1GZ-FE as there have been several Supra Mk4s with the 5.0 conversion. As you can see in the related links above, we’ve written about a couple of them. Also worth mentioning the Hilux is no stranger to larger engines, with an AMG V8 conversion making the headlines last year thanks to its naturally aspirated 6.2-liter (M156) sourced from an old C63.