We have tabbed the Celica as a prime time player and it has lived up to its billing. We knew it was only a matter of time before the Celica's popularity tricked up to the import race scene. More than a year ago, we heard rumblings of some serious quarter mile Celicas in the works. There was one on the East Coast and one out West. One was front drive; one was rear. One had a V8, one had a 2ZZ. Turbo magazine will be following the build-up of both of these hard-hitting Toys.

The East Coast Celica will be piloted by elite import dragger, Christian Rado. At the 2000 SEMA Show, TRD announced it was the engine supplier for the 2ZZ-GE-motivated FWD bad boy. Christian has told us that the car used for making the body panels will be converted into a Quick Class racer. We could be looking at a two-pronged Celica attack later in the season. There is no word on where the engine for the second car will come from, but Christian said he hopes to employ a female driver.

Our ground-up coverage of the Outlaw Celica begins at TRD USA headquarters in Tustin, Calif. The conceptualization and build-up will be handled by TRD's Special Projects Group, a kind of skunkworks of TRD that handles Ironman Stewart's truck engine, Pikes Peak engines and Goodys Dash engines. The team consists of manager of special projects Larry Slutter, lead man Sheldon Andry, engineer Piotr Guzik, cylinder head specialist Rick Kemp, machinist/fabricator Larry Lohoff and engine builder David Scholl. It was Scholl we cornered in the dark recesses of TRD and put through an intense interrogation that lasted well into the wee hours.

Design Concepts

We have heard the engine will run alcohol. Is that still the plan?
Yes.

Will it be a straight alcohol or a gasoline/alcohol mixture?
Plans call for straight Methanol.

How much power are you planning to make with the project?
We have a number in mind and, frankly, I haven't been told what it is yet myself.

What are you looking at as far as boost?
We're going to start out at 30 psi.

Redline?
We're looking to turn 9800 rpm.

Will displacement remain at 1.8-liters?
Yes, we plan to keeps things as close to stock as possible.

The factory compression ratio is 11.5:1? What will the race engine run?
We are planning to run 9.0:1 compression in the race engine.

What is the factory combustion chamber size? Will it change?
It's 32cc; we will be leaving that alone, as well.

Is the combustion chamber an open or closed design?
Open design. It is almost like a hemispherical chamber, but it's got more of a wedge style to it because of the valves, which take up almost the entire combustion area. It has great valve angles. If you were to cut the head in half, it almost looks like a slice of pie with a spark plug hole in the center. Very efficient.

Tuning Strategies

What kind of engine management system do you foresee controlling the 2ZZ?
We're running a PacTell stand-alone system. We run it on the SCORE off-road series and a couple other special applications.

Does it have datalogging capabilities?
Yes, and we definitely plan to use datalogging extensively for on-track tuning.

What about the turbo?
We're running a Turbonetics turbo, but I am not sure which one at this time, but I can ask them what they have in mind.

I'd sure ask them before they give you that horsepower target too. There could be a very rude awakening awaiting someone.

Currently, the plan calls for dyno testing a half dozen or so units until we find the right balance between spool-up and top-end flow.

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