Thailand’s car modification scene is a vibrant one and here’s another reason why. Many car enthusiasts are probably familiar with the 2JZ-GTE, the famous engine found in the fourth-generation Toyota Supra, otherwise known as the JZA80, or simply the A80.
The twin-turbo six-cylinder mill is a popular choice among tuners, and has been shoehorned into a variety of cars, even those without a Toyota badge. In Thailand, Pon Naruepon, who hails from Bangkok, saw it fit to replace the 13B dual-rotor Renesis rotary engine in his Mazda RX-8 with a 2JZ-GTE, which is rather neat modification on its own.
However, he decided to take things step further by swapping out the stock automatic slush box, which sends power to the rear wheels, for a Getrag seven-speed dual-clutch transmission taken from an E92 BMW M3!
Based on the posts on his Facebook page, the BMW gearbox was mated to the Toyota engine and inserted into the Mazda body by way of custom mounting plates. The next obstacle was getting the gearbox’s electronics to play nice with the rest of the mix-and-match components.
To do that, the car features a MaxxEcu Pro standalone powertrain management system from Sweden, which allowed Pon to have control over the DCT. Beyond getting the gearbox to work properly, the unit can also dictate shifting characteristics and provide functions such as launch control.
This is demonstrated by Pon, where the function is activated by a button on the steering wheel that was previously used to answer phone calls on the infotainment system, which has now been replaced with another display to show engine and transmission information.
According to the owner, gearshifts can be performed in 0.08 seconds, and downshifts come with automatic throttle blips accordingly. To ensure better and longer power transmission, the gear ratio on the rear axle has also been changed from 4.1 to 3.1 from a Nissan Skyline.
Despite the Frankenstein-like specifications, the build is actually presented in a neat and non-janky manner. The car’s engine bay has been tidied up and the body gets a Pandem Rocket Bunny kit complete with a large GT wing at the rear.
The car also wears a livery inspired by the iconic Nissan Skyline KDR30 Super Silhouette race car that competed in the early 80s. Even the interior looks prim and proper, with the BMW gear knob installed in a way that looks almost factory fresh.
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