Toyota Chaser — Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

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We all know about the Toyota Supra and its lineage of 1JZ and 2JZ motors, but did you know that the JZ engine also lived in a Toyota sedan. Not only could you carry the whole fam but also have a sweet drift machine. Join James as he tells you all about the Toyota Chaser, or Cressida if you live in 'murica. Up to Speed is a weekly automotive history show about the best cars, brands, designers, drivers and influencers ever. Host James Pumphrey covers everything from the Toyota Supra to the Chevy El Camino, The VW GTI to the Subaru WRX. The origins of every car will be uncovered to get you Up to Speed. Some of our best videos ever are coming out soon, stay tuned so you won't miss a thing. Donut Media is at the center of digital media for the next generation of automotive and motorsports enthusiasts. We are drivers, drifters, and car enthusiasts who love to tell stories.

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(car drifts) - Pickle juice, Coca-Cola, light beer! Whether you're trying to turbocharge your night or drift into unconsciousness, there's no better way to take the edge off than a well-chosen Chaser. This is the story of one of Toyota's longest running models, a testament to improvement and good old high-power, rear-wheel driving fun.

So, pause you anime, you JDM freaks. This is everything you need to know to get up to speed on the Toyota Chaser. (upbeat music) We're gonna get to the Chaser, but before, let's rewind a little bit for a bit of a history lesson.

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In the early 50's, Japan was beginning to recover from the devastation of World War Two. The workforce was in great need of mobility. For the most part, public transportation had deteriorated during the war, and the country was a few decades away from having the expensive rail lines it has today.

Toyota had been flirting with bankruptcy for years, struggling to produce vehicles in the slow economic client. In the slow economic climate. The Americans pretty much saved Toyota when they ordered 5000 military trucks for use on the Korean Peninsula.


With that money, Toyota was able to get back on their feet and produce a new passenger car for Japan.

The Toyota Crown debuted in 1955. The styling resembled American sedans of the same era, but shrunk down a few sizes, like Toyota put in the dryer with a little too much heat. "All right, everybody, here's the new...

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"Ah, man, I just bought it, it's already small?" Since 1950, Japanese drivers had been taxed based on the size of their car's engines. The bigger the motor, the more you pay. To keep the Crown affordable for the masses, Toyota had no choice but to use an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny little engine.

Despite the fact that Toyota had been struggling, the Crown was a pretty great car, and it helped Toyota become one of Japan's biggest auto makers.


The Crown brand was so strong that Toyota figured they could afford to make it a little bigger and more luxurious, but didn't want to abandon the small proportions that had made the car such a sales success. So, they did both.

They made the Crown bigger, and introduced a smaller version called the Corona, with lime. This was just the beginning of the Crown's growing family tree.


In 1968, the Corona got a little brother, the Coronoa Mark Two, but like my little brother Lars, the Mark Two was bigger than the original, something the Corona would never stop resenting, despite knowing he was wrong, and that he should just love Mark Two for who he is, even though Mom said the Mark Two was her favorite son. What was I talking about? The Mark Two is where the real story begins.

Toyota wasn't the only Japanese company making sedans in their homeland.

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The Nissan Skyline And Datsun 510 were hot on their heels, and let me tell you, those are both pretty good. Toyota needed to fight back.

So, in 1972, the Mark Two was completely overhauled. To go toe-to-toe with the Skyline, it needed a bigger engine, so they gave it one.

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Gone was the little four-cylinder, and in its place was a sweet 2.5 liter inline-six, but only in the US.

What? This is the first time in Up to Speed history that the US got the better motor? Lightning, lightning, lightning, lightning, lightning! Toyota now had a muscle car in the US, and gave it a new name for its American home. Cressida! It didn't have a big block like its American colleagues, but it looked the part.

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The Cressida's styling was boxy and Coke bottle esque, just like real American muscle cars. You know what they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Ain't that right, Nolan? (car drifts) In 1977, Toyota introduced a new model to the Mark Two line for Japan.

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- Chaser! - It was basically the same as the regular Mark Two, but less luxurious and more affordable. In 1980, Toyota expanded the Chaser line with the Chaser Avante.

The Avante's suspension was tuned specifically for aggressive driving, and possessed an all-new heart beating under the hood.

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The 1G-GEU inline six engine differed from the straight-six previously offered in America. The most notable difference was the size. While the Yankee version was 2.5 liters, the 1G was smaller, at just two liters.

You're telling me they made a straight six the same size as a bottle of Sprite? This made the 1G kinda weird, because two liter engines usually only have four cylinders. Toyota developed the 1G with the goal of having the most powerful engine in the two liter class.


With 160 horsepower and 138 torques, they succeeded. The 1G-GEU also had Toyota's variable induction system, which electronically matched the opening of the intake valves to the engine's speed. In simple terms, more power, less gas.

In 1984, the Avante became a luxury trim level, and the Chaser got even more performance credit. It still had a 1G straight six, but this time with two little things called turbochargers bolted on, what? They turboed it times two? What, one turbo's not enough? You gotta put two of the dang buggers on it? All my toy Yoda fans out there, I know you know the 2J. You probably know the 1J as well.

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The 1G-GTE is their daddy, and he's a pretty cool dad, just like me. Each of the turbos was powered by three of the six cylinders, meaning it was a parallel turbo system. Now, I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on it, but there are a few different types of turbo systems, parallel, sequential, and staged.

Parallel is two turbos splitting the works.

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Sequential is a small turbo and a big turbo working together as the engine speed increases.

And staged is when a small turbo feeds into the big turbo, and the big turbo squeezes the air even more. If you wanna learn more, check out this episode of the Science Garage.

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It's honestly one of my favorites.

Early twin trubo Chasers made 185 horsepower, but then made 210 a few years later. But if turbos weren't enough for you, you pervert, Toyota has you covered. Available in automatic Chasers was the 1G-GZE, a supercharged version, what the, dude, what the (beep), Toyota, man? This is a four-door sedan with a root style supercharger strapped on, putting down 167 horespower.

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What was going on? Well, Toyota developed the supercharged version for taxis, who would need the low-end torque when scooting through traffic. I wish we had supercharged taxis here in LA.

All we have is Priuses. Thanks, Toyota. (car drifts) The main difference between the 1J and the 1G is that the JZ is big pimping.

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(pop music) Now weighing in at 2.5 liters, Toyota was no longer constraining themselves with the road tax. They just wanted a really powerful straight six for their sports car, the Supra.

And they also put the motor in the Chaser.

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The 1JZ made 276 horsepower allegedly. They were like, "Let's just say that all of our cars "have 276 horsepower." They really had more. With all that power, people started to figure out that you could do some pretty rad things in a Chaser.

And by rad things, I mean doing fat burnouts and pulling off a little thing called a powerslide. Also in '89 was the fourth generation refresh of the Chaser, which included eight different trim levels, the XL, the XG, the Raffine, the SXL, the Avante, the Avante Twin Cam 24, the GT Twin Turbo, and Avante G.

1989 was such a huge year for Toyota that super famous Toyota fan Taylor Swift named an album after it.

♪ Cause baby, now, we got bad blood ♪ 1992, the year Post Malone was born. The Chaser had yet another refresh. The body was curvier, the engine had a little bit more power.

At this point in the Chaser's history, keeping check with all of the specific trends and related models, like the Cressida and Mark Two, becomes pretty difficult, so I'm gonna refer to this car by its chassis code, the JZX90. Everyone on the forums does it. If you don't like it, send a letter to You Can Kiss My (beep), Donut Media, Los Angeles, 90064.

(car burns out) Four years later, Toyota released an improved model, now known as the JZX100.

The styling was even more refined, and in my opinion, it's probably the best looking one.

But if you like the other ones, that's cool too, man. Like, that's why they're called opinions. New for the JZX100 was a big change to the engine.

The 1JZ no longer had twin turbos. It now utilized a single big turbo setup.

For the 1998 Japanese Touring Car Championship season, Toyota entered a highly modified JZX100, driven by Masanori Sekiya, who drove the Toyota sedan to the top of the leaderboard, becoming champion that season. The car had a freaking tiger painted on it, so what do you think was gonna happen? The 1JZ motor was totally overdesigned for everyday driving, meaning it could take a ton of abuse and keep on trucking.

What that also means is you could put a ton of mods on it to make it more powerful. (car fires engine) Here in America, we don't get to appreciate that the Chaser's such a huge drifting powerhouse pretty much everywhere else, because we didn't get it.

Heck, I bet a lot of you guys didn't even know this thing existed and was so badass. Sadly, Toyota stopped making the Chaser in 2001, ending a 34 year run as one of Japan's favorite four-door funmobiles. ♪ In the arms of an angel ♪ (car drifts) Thanks for watching.

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