Toyota 2GR engine was developed and produced in 2004 as a replacement for the iconic 2JZ engine and 1MZ-FE V6 and can be found on Lexus and JDM Toyota. This lesser-known engine gained nod for engine swaps and their choice of weapon, the Toyota MR2, and midship Lotus.
Its 3.5 L displacement and lightweight all-aluminum lineup make it a popular choice for small and lighter cars while generating power with the aid of forced induction, and many people showed some love. So today, we will talk about the stocky but powerful 3.5 L Toyota build.
Engine Specification and Design:
- Production Run: 2004 – Present
- Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Configuration: V6
- Bore: 94 mm
- Stroke: 83 mm
- Valvetrain: DOHC 4 Valves Per Cylinder
- Displacement: 3.5 L (3456 cc)
- Compression Ratio: 10.8, 11.8, 12.5, and 13
- Weight: 360 lbs. (2GR-FE)
- Max HP: 360 HP at 6,400 RPM
- Max Torque: 367 lb-ft at 3,200 RPM
Toyota 2GR has five versions, 2GR-FE being in the pole position to represent the 2GR line, hence bearing the name. 2GR engine is somehow similar and can be fairly compared as identical to Toyota 1GR engine. But contrary to 1GRs, 2GR’s engine design is created for a transverse layout sitting.
Toyota 2GR-FE has an open-deck type cast Aluminum Alloy cylinder block with spiny cast-iron cylinder liners cast into the block material; these irregular surfaces increase the adhesion between the Aluminum cylinder block and the liners. The cylinder banks of the engine have a 60-degree V angle.
2GR-FE’s bore remains at 94 mm and a reduced piston stroke of 83 mm for a capacity of 3.5L; between cylinder bores, there are coolant flow passages to allow better cooling. The block has a forged steel crankshaft with four journals and five balance weights and forged connecting rods that used Aluminum bearings. The crankshaft bearings were made from Aluminum, like the bearings of the connecting rod. The lining surface is micro-grooved for the optimum distance of oil clearance, reducing the engine vibration and significantly improving the cold-engine cranking performance. To reduce the weight, connecting rods and caps were made of high-strength steel and nutless-type plastic tightening bolts. 2GR has Aluminum pistons that feature resin-coated skirts to reduce friction, and the top piston ring has an Alumite coating for better wear resistance. The piston crowns, like the 1GR, have a tapered-squish design to reduce engine knocking and improve the engine’s thermal efficiency; the squish angle is designed to improve airflow, enhance flame travel, and encourage swirls. The block utilizes piston oil jets on the left bank and right center of the block to provide lubrication and regulate the temperature of the pistons.
The cylinder head is a three-piece band: the valve cover, camshaft housing sub-assembly housing, and cylinder head sub-assembly, all of which are made from Aluminum alloy and equipped with Dual VVT-i variable valve timing technology across the versions. 2GRs has cast-iron double overhead chain-driven camshafts; the primary timing chain drives the intake camshafts, and through the secondary chains, the exhaust camshafts are guided by the intake camshafts. The engine also has steel-laminate type head gaskets between the cylinder heads and banks to enhance durability and sealing performance; 2GRs used a shim about the cylinder bore of the gasket. It has siamese inlet ports to reduce wall wetting and hydrocarbon emissions due to the reduced overall surface area of the port walls.
Valves are driven by roller rocker arms with built-in needle bearings and a unique cam love design to increase valve lift versus the traditional shim-less lifter type of the previous 1GR; it also reduces the friction between the camshafts and the roller rocker arms. At the same time, this increases the overall cylinder head height to cater to the slightly taller roller rocker system.
2GR-FE has a plastic variable-length intake manifold driven by an Acoustic Control Induction System that chooses the proper length of the opening and closing of the intake air control valve depending on the driving conditions based on RPM.
The rated output of the 1GR-FE varies depending on the vehicle application but is approximately 314 HP at 6,200 RPM with 260 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 RPM on 87 octane. This version features dual VVT-i, variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust cams. The cams are driven using a timing chain and a 10.8 compression ratio.
- 2005 – 2012 Toyota Avalon (GSX30)
- 2012 – 2018 Toyota Avalon (GSX40)
- 2006 – 2012 Toyota Aurion (GSV40)
- 2005 – 2012 Toyota RAV4/Vanguard (GSA33/38)
- 2006 – 2019 Toyota Estima/Previa/Tarago (GSR50/55)
- 2066 – 2011 Toyota Camry (GSV40)
- 2011 – 2017 Toyota Camry (GSV50)
- 2006 – 2012 Lexus ES 350 (GSV40)
- 2012 – 2018 Lexus ES 350 (GSV50)
- 2007 – 2009 Lexus RX 350
- 2007 – 2016 Toyota Highlander/Kluger
- 2007 – 2012 Toyota Blade Master
- 2007 – 2013 Toyota Mark X Zio (GGA10)
- 2008 – 2015 Toyota Alphard/Vellfire
- 2008 – 2016 Toyota Venza
- 2020 – Present Lexus LM 350 (HongKong)
- 2009 – Present Lotus Evora
- 2012 – 2015 Lotus Exige S V6
- 2006 – 2016 Toyota Sienna
- 2009 – Present Bolwell Nagari 300
- Toyota Corolla (for Super GT)
- Lotus Evora GTE
- 2007 – 2009 TRD Aurion
- 2009 – Present Bolwell Nagari 300 (Sprintex)
- 2011 – 2016 Lotus Evora S
- 2012 Lotus Exige S
2GR-FSE is similar to 2GR-FE and equipped with a direct injection system but with a higher compression ratio of 11.8. it was produced in 2006 and was recognized immediately by Ward’s and won the best engine list for five consecutive years from 2006 to 2009. It has a 316 HP power output at 6,400 RPM and 280 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 RPM. The 2GR-FSE engine is used in Lexus IS, GS, Mark X, and Crown, incorporating the Toyota’s D-4S twin injection fuel system. This system combines the traditional port injection with direct injection. Direct injection reduces the charged intake temperature. It helps to increase the performance and lowers the engine knock tendency; however, it does require an in-engine mechanism to increase air turbulence in the engine. These are put into place to help attain a homogenous air-fuel mixture inside the cylinders at high load and low RPM situations, but these mechanisms weaken the performance at higher engine speeds. Good thing for 2GR-FSE because this engine was able to achieve specific power near the top of all naturally aspirated production gasoline engines; this is due to the effective usage of port injection and acquired the correct mixture without engine restrictions.
Toyota also introduced a new type of fuel injector for this engine that aids air and fuel mixture to increase power and efficiency. This is due to the dual-fan spray pattern of the direct injectors perpendicular to the piston travel that disperses widely across the cylinder; this not only helps the air-fuel mixture but also improves emissions, especially during the warm-up stage of the catalytic converter.
- 2005 Toyota Crown Athlete
- 2005 Lexus GS 350
- 2005 Lexus GS 450h
- 2005 – 2013 Lexus IS 350
- 2008 Toyota Crown Athlete
- 2008 Toyota Crown Hybrid
- 2009 Toyota Mark X
- 2013 – 2015 Lexus GS 350
- 2013 – 2017 Lexus IS 350
- 2013 – 2017 Lexus IS 300 AWD
- 2014 – 2017 Lexus RC 350
- 2015 Toyota Mark X GRMN
The 2GR-FXE engine is similar to the 1GR-FE but operating by Atkinson Cycle and was produced in 2010. It has an increased compression ratio of 12.5, 249 HP at 6,000 RPM, and 234 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 RPM. And for Lexus GS 450h, an engine with a 13.0 compression ratio is produced. It can also be found on 2010 Lexus RX 450h, 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (non D-4S), 2012 Lexus GS 450h, and 2013 Toyota Crown Majesta (with D-4S).
2GR-FKS is a combination of the D-4S system from the 2GR-FSE with the Atkinson Cycle used in the 2UR-GSE and 8AR-FTS engine; together with the 2GR-FXS, this engine selectively uses direct and port injection.
The engine was rated at 278 HP at 6,000 RPM and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 RPM for the Tacoma release. The Lexus RX 350 was rated at 295 HP at 6,300 RPM and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 RPM; 311 HP at 6,600 RPM and 280 lb-ft of torque for the Lexus IS350 and GS350.
Other 2GR-FKS Applications
- 2016 – Present Toyota Tacoma
- 2015 – 2020 Lexus GS 350
- 2015 – Present Lexus RX 350
- 2017 – Present Lexus LS 350
- 2017 – 2019 Toyota Highlander
- 2017 – 2020 Toyota Sienna
- 2017 Toyota Camry
- 2017 Toyota Alphard
- 2018 Toyota Avalon
- 2018 – Present Lexus IS 350
- 2018 Lexus ES 350
- 2018 Lexus RC 350
- 2019 – Present Toyota Highlander
- 2020 – Present Lexus LM 350
There are three supercharged applications of the 2GR-FE engine: TRD Aurion, Lotus Exige S, and the Lotus Evora S. This engine is also known as 2GR-FZE.
Engine Tuning, Upgrades, and Modification
2GR engine is not the best candidate for naturally-aspirated tuning, and there is a supercharger available for this. However, if you want to tune it this way, you need to buy pistons that can fit a 12.0 compression ratio paired with a performance camshaft and cold air intake; do some head porting and polish, 3-1 headers, performance exhaust system, and tune the ECU. This can give you attain 320 HP.
Another option is to buy a TRD or an HKS supercharger kit; you need to buy any of that kit, then bolt in on the stock internals and get around 350 HP. If that 350 HP is not enough, you may opt to increase the boost pressure to the maximum point by having a more powerful supercharger, 500 cc fuel injectors, pistons fitted to a 9.0 compression ratio, and an ECU upgrade.
Like any other engine, 2GR is not exempted from experiencing a few common problems. These issues are addressed to weigh the reliability and overall toughness of the engine even under tremendous usage. Here are some 2GR common issues that you might encounter:
First is the Oil leakage. Engine oil leaks come from different areas. However, in 2GR engines, leaks have something to do with the oil tube in the VVT-i lubrication system and prevalent among Toyota models up to 2010. The VVT-i tube is made of iron and rubber hose that feeds the oil, and we all know that rubber may wear out down the line and may be the root of leaking. With this, many Toyota automobiles with 2GRs are withdrawn. Toyota has already addressed the issue and replaced the rubber hose with a metal one since 2010. You might notice a minor leak due to some oil drops on the ground or produce some smoke; bigger leaks lead to rapid oil loss that plummets the oil pressure and creates a bigger smoke.
Another problem to consider is the noise that comes from the engine. This issue might be due to an idler pulley. You can hear an annoying squeaking sound from the engine bay. Some cars affected by this are ’05 – ’08 Avalons, ’06 – ’08 RAV4, ’08 Highlanders, ’07 – ’08 Camry and Sienna.
Take note that the idler pulley is situated between two cover plates. The plate outside the pulley goes to the engine; the plate inside is our target, which is the extra one, must be installed to secure the elimination of the squeaking sound.
Last is the Water Pump Failure. 1GR’s weak point is also on this department, and as a member of the same family, this issue might also haunt other GR engines. This issue is detrimental to the engine, considering that it involves coolant circulation. This happens due to the normal wear and tear of the water pump commonly occurring in unpredictable times, as it can happen anytime, especially on older models prior to 2010. Well, if the pump fails, it should have been taken care of imminently to avoid overheating due to lack of coolant flow.
2GR engines have to be the technologically advanced, fuel-efficient, and powerful engine that Toyota created in these past few years. However, due to some issues, its reliability is subpar compared to its peers. But don’t worry, this engine has a lot to offer and will not disappoint you because it powered a myriad of Toyota cars and even won best engine awards. With the proper care and maintenance, this engine can last at least 250,000 miles. And don’t forget to use high-quality engine oil, gasoline, and schedule replacements, especially the water pump.
I hope that you learned and understood the Toyota 2GR engine more with this simple guide. The engine’s design, power, applications, and overall impact on the automotive industry.