Japan's Only V12 Is Not Much To Look At

Illustration for article titled Japans Only V12 Is Not Much To Look At

The Toyota 1GZ-FE is the only Japanese V12 automotive engine in production. It powers the second generation of Toyota's flagship Century four-door limousine, and also found it's way into a Supra with two turbos on top. That's good for about 1000 horsepower.

In standard form, the 48-valve DOHC produces 310 horsepower and 355 lb·ft thanks to variable valve timing. It also has two ECUs, meaning that if one goes down, the Century will keep going with six cylinders.


The Emperor of Japan, Akihito is using the Royal version with wool cloth upholstery, internal granite entry steps and Japanese rice paper headlining for the passenger compartment. Smokey Nagata on the other hand uses two turbochargers and a Mark IV Supra's body with the 1GZ-FE V12, which looks like this:

After seeing the Lexus LFA, one could only wonder what Yamaha could do with twelve cylinders...

Photo credit: cxcheng

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5 liters, 12 cylinders and only 310 hp and 355 ft-lbs? that's really pathetic, especially from the Japanese. I get that it was designed with the "gentleman's" agreement in mind and not for outright power, but more for smoothness, but still. I guess its just a status lump.