Gorilla’s JZA80 Supra is a True Racer

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With all that power on demand, wheelspin is never far away.

Most in the know would regard the MKIV Supra as a phenomenal all-around performer. Despite this, there has been a rumor going around that Supras aren’t much good at turning corners or putting the power down, but in recent years that canard has been dispelled thanks to cars like the one tuned by Gorilla Industries. Well-balanced, over-engineered and just plain sexy, it’s a mystery why the Supra hasn’t been developed further in the grassroots racing scene.

Owner Shane Standley has taken it to the track to refine its handling balance, power delivery and braking performance. The nose-heavy Supra has been lightened with a carbon hood and Ridox fenders, and a set of Volk CE28N wheels whittle down the unsprung weight. Weight is likely the Achilles’ heel with the MKIV Supra, and the owner has done his best to reduce a little of the excess heft without sacrificing usability. After all, this car sees a lot of time on the street, though it’s slowly becoming more of a racing car as time goes on.

If the Supra’s main hindrance is its chunkiness, its strengths lie within the engine bay. The 2JZ-GTE motor has been mildly tuned with a set of GSC cams – mainly for the lumpy idle – and a GT35r turbocharger. With a 1.06 exhaust housing, this particular turbo has been chosen to offer low-end response with an impressive top-end. The addition of a Trust FMIC, Apex’i Power FC, 800CC injectors and an HKS exhaust system are enough to bring the power output up to a respectable 500 horsepower. Considering how little has been done, those are impressive numbers.

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A modest engine bay belies its serious power.

Despite a progressive power delivery from the modestly-sized turbo, traction is still an issue. The Racelogic TC system limits wheelspin but it’s still easy to light up the rears once the boost hits. To improve rear grip, an APR GT Wing has been added. Nonetheless, the Supra is still a handful with all the torque on hand.

To address the footwork, Cusco Zero2E coilovers and Ikeya Formula arms allow for an added range of suspension adjustment to get the most out of the Supra. Adjustable upper control arms allow for more camber which definitely benefits the nose-heavy Supra. Titan swaybars front and rear help keep the car flat during cornering. All this translates to a very respectable 1:05 lap time at Wakefield Park. That is, before the crash.

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Even without the gold livery, the car looks quick.

At World Time Attack Challenge in 2013, Shane got it wrong and lost the rear in a quick corner. Despite finding a moderately-sized turbo, the delivery was still a bit on the spiky side, and oversteer over the curbs caught him out. Once the tires started to spin, there was little hope in saving it. The owner emerged unscathed, but the car suffered some serious damage. In the past couple years, the Supra hasn’t been seen back on track, though word has it that the owner intends to revive this epic Supra. With well-chosen parts, the Gorilla Industries Supra showed what the platform was capable of with some mild tuning. Let’s hope it sees the track once again.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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